Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bloody Egg. Do My Chickens Have Worms? (And A Giveaway!!)



Dear Bee –
I read online that finding blood on the egg shell is a sign of capillary worms in chickens. Can worms be present inside of eggs? The same site said chickens should be given chemical dewormer orally to rid them of worms and as a preventative measure too. Do you agree?

Bee's Answer:
 
Nope.  Eggs come from the oviduct, not from the intestines where most parasites dwell.  


(This is a good illustration of a chicken's ovary and the potential eggs this hen would have laid.  While the illustration is helpful for the purposes of illustrating this post, I also wish to point out that this particular hen wouldn't have been a good layer. A good layer would have a much larger ovary with many more eggs in various stages of development.)

Parasites usually live in the small intestines which have a greater blood supply than the large intestines. That's quite a distance from where the eggs come from.  ....that's why they are clean instead of covered in poop when they come out ~ different tube.  




Blood on an egg could mean any number of things and it's usually not repeated... as in one hen always having bloody eggs.  I've seen it on very, very large eggs, on the eggs of new layers, and on the eggs of hens getting back into laying from a slow down, etc.

This obsession folks have with chickens and worms is often a source of amusement for me.  I've never seen a worm in any feces of any chickens I've kept down through the years and neither has my mother.  It's just not that common to have worm infestations in healthy flocks.  Anyone who is dealing with heavy worm loads is doing something wrong along the way and needs to stop what they are doing instead of subjecting their flocks to harsh dewormers on a scheduled basis. 

Take it from someone who has seen the inside of a freshly killed chicken more than most ordinary folks have (I've been killing chickens since I was 10 yrs old)... high loads of internal parasites are just not a normal part of backyard flocks.  If they are becoming so, it could be because people are creating "super worms" by constantly and needlessly deworming their flocks.  
Super worms are created when worms survive the chemical dewormers and then breed more worms that can survive. Many flock keepers will then switch dewormers to kill the surviving worms, which leaves the survivors of THAT dewormer.  Now you have worms that can and will survive two dewormer chemicals... and it goes on and on.  Sort of the same way we get lethal e.coli and other pathogens that do not respond to antibiotics... because of the overuse of antibiotics in the human population creates germs that are survivors of anything that comes down the pike. 

I'll give the same advice here that I gave earlier... stop staring at poop, stop obsessing over every little egg abnormality, stop giving medicine on a scheduled basis out of fear of things.  Start just using good, simple flock management practices so that we can stop worrying over every little fart the flock lets.  Then we can rest easy and any bird that isn't doing well will stand out like a sore thumb against all the glossy, fat and healthy birds you have.  Then you take that bird and cull it.  That leaves all the pretty and healthy chickens still standing, leaving nothing to worry about. 

If you have more than one bird that isn't doing well... look to your flock management practices, not a quick fix of medicines that just create more problems. 

Bee -
*

Who's ready for a Giveaway??
The fantastic folks at Louise's Country Closet have kindly offered to give one lucky reader a key chain from their great selection. 
To register to win, please:
  • Become a follower of this blog (if you haven't already).
  • Go to Louise's Country Closet and take a peek at all the great items out there.
  • Comment on this blog and let us know which key chain you like the best!
One winner will be randomly selected from all the comments we get and that winner will be announced next Wednesday, November 28th, 2012.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

27 comments:

  1. I love the "Crazy Chicken Lady" with the orange chicken on it best. :-)

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  2. I really like the way you've made Bee's byc entries into blog posts -- they're seamless! And the illustrations are perfect (I like how you marked the small intestine on that great chicken anatomy chart) and everything is just plain awesome. Really amazing job, and I hope you don't get tired of it!!! Because it's the best chicken blog out there!!!

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    Replies
    1. Normanack - thank you very much for your kind compliments! I truly enjoy being a part of sharing this wonderful information!
      Leigh

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    2. Bulldogma,
      This blog is invaluable. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have organized all of Bee's information so I don't have to refer to my many Word documents. I would never get them organized in a way that they would be as useful as this blog. I don't write often, but look forward to reading this thread.
      Love the keychain: "The chicken Lady".
      Cheryl

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  3. love the one with, ocd!!! thanks im a follower!
    cheers~
    Ang

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  4. I'm already a follower - this is one of the first blogs I check each day! Thank you so much Bulldogma for compiling all this information into one, easy to use spot! You have done an amazing job and in such a short time!
    And as to the key chain... I love the "my pet makes me breakfast" one... Nothing better than a fresh fried egg in the morning.

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  5. Leigh,
    This blog is the best one yet! It has so much information in such a small space. It makes good chicken sence.

    OMG Louise's Country Closet has a coffee mug I just have to have! It says:

    "I don't do mornings"

    It has a cute yellow chicken on it in character with the slogan.

    I wonder if they do personal mugs?

    Vicki

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    Replies
    1. We do :) (From LCC under my blog name)

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    2. Also my favorite keychain is
      My pet makes me breakfast

      Vicki

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  6. Wow! Awesome post :D

    I often get eggs with blood on the shell and never considered it abnormal. Usually it is from pullets coming into lay or really big eggs like Bee said. :)

    -Aoxa

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    Replies
    1. Do you actually mean "on the shell" or "inside the shell" where the egg is?

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    2. Anonymous - I'm guessing Aoxa means on the outside of the shell, though it is not uncommon to find blood spots inside an egg too. Eggs with blood spots on the yolk are also safe to eat :o)
      Leigh

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  7. I like the key words on the left and easy to search practical info. Are you pulling info off of the OT thread? I've seen lots of great stuff on there as well, it's just a pain to find it sometimes. It'd be a lot of work to get through the 11,000 posts, but a lot of it fits in here.

    Keychain: "My pet makes me breakfast." Mmmmm, now I want a breakfast burrito.

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  8. This blog is so organized! I applaud thee!

    for the keychain, I like the "chicken love"

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  9. Even if I don't have time for the 30-50 new posts for the Gnarly Bunch, I can come here and read a little BeeWisdom. Really loving this blog!
    I like the "The Chicken Lady" keychain.

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  10. my first visit and i'm hooked!
    love the "my pet makes me breakfast" keychain.
    so true!

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  11. I love this blog. I would love to win the "my pet makes me breakfast" keychain

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  12. Already a member... I like the "no spring chicken" one... (I resemble that remark)...

    Sent a link to this post and the anatomy photo to my 30 yo daughter. She was babysitting with a little girl that was talking about how the chicken had a baby and what part of the chicken the baby came out of (using human terms for anatomical parts). My daughter had asked me what the proper name for such private parts were because she and the little girl's mother were going to try to teach her a little more accurately. She asked me this yesterday so I sent her over the chart!

    Happy Thanksgiving All

    ~Leah's Mom~

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  13. PS: I hate the way Google tries to interpret the ' in "Leah's Mom"... It always feels like I'm cussing every time it lists my name.

    :)

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  14. I follow via email. :)
    Cute keychains! "My pet makes me breakfast" is the one I like best!

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  15. Chicken love is the on I like! Enjoying this site so much!

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  16. I like the "My pet makes me breakfast" keychain, "crazy chicken momma" is a close second.

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  17. I like the "My pet makes me breakfast". These are so cute!

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  18. I like the "My pet makes me breakfast" key chain too! I think we have a favorite!

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  19. I neeeeeed the What The Flock Key Chain! So funny!

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  20. Most worms/parasites live in intestines/gastric tract, but the Prosthogonimus (flatworm) lives in the oviducts and can be found inside eggs as can ascaris (roundworms).

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    Replies
    1. Yes - yet the appearance of blood in an egg is generally indicative of a different oviduct issue and not of the worms.
      Cooking eggs will kill any worms or larvae present in the egg.
      :)

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