How to tell if your chicken has worms (hint: not only diarrhea)

Chickens can be great pets, but managing a whole flock can be hard at times. This is due to the fact that chickens can become exposed to things like worms, which will be our topic for today.

If you’re asking yourself: How can I tell if my chicken has worms? You’re in the right place. We’ll do our best to answer all of your questions throughout the article. Also, please feel free to skip around if you need to. We’ll be going over a lot about worms, so I recommend that you glance at each section.

Now, with that being said, let’s dive right into this wiggly topic.

Common symptoms of worms in chickens include:

  • Strang looking egg
  • Pale yolk
  • Persistent diarrhoea
  • Bubbly faeces
  • Losing weight at a rapid pace
  • Eating more than usual
  • Directly visible worms in the faeces
  • …or maybe no symptoms at all

What are the symptoms of chickens with worms?

If you want to determine whether or not your chicken has worms, the first thing you’ll need to do is check the symptoms. Luckily, at least with chickens, finding the symptoms is actually not too difficult. This is due to the fact that worms have distinct symptoms, and we’ll show you what to look at.

What do the symptoms look like?

Chickens can fall ill for many reasons, but if they have worms there are a few key symptoms you’ll need to look at.

So let’s break down some of the symptoms. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • If a chicken’s eggs seem strange to you or have a pale yolk
  • If your chicken is having persistent diarrhoea
  • If your chicken has bubbly faeces it may also be worms
  • If your chicken is losing weight at a rapid pace, you may want to check for worms
  • If you notice that your chicken is eating more than usual, while subtle, this can be a sign of worms
  • If you find worms in your chicken’s faeces

So when it comes to determining whether or not you’re dealing with worms, the symptoms are going to be obvious.

Please keep in mind that some symptoms may vary. This means that your chicken may experience subtle symptoms or even all of them. Therefore, you should always be vigilant if you notice any of these symptoms in your chicken.

Does poop on eggs mean chickens have worms?

There have been some videos claiming that poop on eggs is a sign of worms. Now, while this can be true, this is not always the case.

So in this section, I’ll be debunking this theory for you.

What does poop on an egg mean?

Some poop on an egg can really mean anything. This can be caused by a chicken walking on eggs, and sometimes it just happens. This is due to the fact that chickens don’t always choose the best spot to poop.

So while it may raise some concerns, most of those concerns have a simple explanation.

Hatching chickens eggs

How can you tell the difference?

The only surefire way to know if your chicken has worms is to examine the stool. So if you’re concerned about poop on eggs, be sure to take a sample. If the chicken does have worms, chances are you’ll be able to see them wiggling in the stool. So be sure to remain vigilant, but poop on eggs shouldn’t equate to worms in most cases.

Seeing poop on eggs will definitely be alarming. It won’t look normal, but the reality is that it’s usually an accident on the chicken’s part.

So be sure to clean the egg, and if you’re worried, check the stools.

What do worms look like in chicken poop?

I’ve shown you that worms may be present within the faeces of a chick. While this may be alarming at first, you’ll be surprised by how hard they are to see sometimes.

This is why I want to describe what these worms may actually look like in your chicken’s faeces. Let’s take a look.

So what do worms look like?

Worms will resemble something of a lost piece of hair in your chicken’s stool. This is the reason they go unnoticed, but knowing what to look for can help. In most cases, you’ll notice a lot of these stringy white hairs, which means that your chicken has worms.

Another great indicator is to examine the movement of your chicken’s stool. This is going to sound gross, but if you notice it being less than still, it may be worms.

Worms in chicken stool resemble wiggly white hairs. They’re very small, but you will notice them wiggling around in stool. So keep an eye out for little white hairs in your chicken’s stool.

Can worms kill chickens?

Once you discover that your chicken has worms panic will definitely settle in. This is a normal reaction, and to be honest, it’s a scary time.

You’ll be worried about the safety of your chicken, but don’t panic, because I have the answers.

The symptoms

We’ve already gone over many of the symptoms, but to determine if worms are fatal I need to look once more. Many of the symptoms caused by worms are dangerous because they impact the digestive tract.

So if your chicken looks malnourished, or has diarrhoea, I’ll show you how that can be fatal.

Here are some reasons why the symptoms can be fatal:

  • Diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and eventually death
  • Your chicken being malnourished can lead to death from starvation
  • The worms can cause infections that can lead to other illnesses

So as you can see, if your chicken does have worms, the symptoms can lead to death.

How long will it take?

If you know your chicken has worms, time is not on your side. This is due to the fact that dehydration can cause death within days. Plus, aside from dehydration, a lack of nutrients can lead to a quick death as well.

So if your chicken does have worms, please be sure to treat the chicken ASAP.

The worms themselves won’t exactly kill the chicken, but the symptoms will. This is due to the fact that malnourishment will lead to an untimely death in most chickens. So please keep an eye out, and try to catch symptoms early.

Unfortunately, with worms, time isn’t exactly on your side.

Can eggs have worms in them? And can I get worms from my chickens?

One thing that may bring concern with worms, is whether or not the eggs are contaminated. A lot of people love to eat eggs, but what if they hatched from a chicken that had worms?

Can eggs have worms in them?

The chances of worms making it into an egg are actually very low. Now, with that being said, this is not impossible. This is due to the fact that worms can infect the oviduct of hens.

This means that some worms can actually end up within the actual egg. So be sure to check the eggs for worms if your hen has worms.

What if I ate one of those eggs?

If your hen laid a wormy egg and you’ve accidentally eaten it, you might be worried. This is totally normal, and I understand where the panic comes from. Luckily, when it comes to the worms that chickens have, they’re not harmful to humans. So while it may seem very gross, you don’t need to run to the hospital just yet. Think of it as some extra protein -if you can stomach that.

Are the worms dangerous to the chick?

If worms do manage to get into the egg, this can be dangerous to the chick. This is due to the fact that they can infect the chick, and eat away at its nutrients. Unfortunately, if this does occur, you might be a bit too late to help. So before your hen begins laying eggs, make sure to check first.

Worms may seem scary, but the good news is that they’re not harmful to humans. So while your hen may have a tough time, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will. Obviously, I don’t recommend eating these eggs, but it can be done safely.

Can you eat the eggs of a chicken with worms?

We’ll be the first to tell you that worms sound pretty gross. It doesn’t sound like something you should eat, and to be blunt, there is some truth to this. So let’s take a look at whether or not you can eat those bad eggs.

Can you eat them?

Now, as I mentioned earlier, you can safely eat the eggs. This is due to the fact that the worms can’t survive in humans. This means that you won’t need to worry about getting treatment or anything like that. Now, while this may be true, you shouldn’t eat contaminated eggs in general.

This is due to the fact that certain allergies, or a weak immune system, can lead to health complications.

So while it’s safe to eat eggs that have worms in them, do you really want to eat that? It’s a good idea to deworm your hen, and then wait until she lays more eggs. If you do eat a contaminated egg on accident, though, there is no need to panic.

Do I need to deworm my chickens? (Is deworming necessary?)

Not a lot of people enjoy feeding chickens medicine -or anything to do with deworming in general. This is due to the fact that people worry about the harm it may cause, which at times can be true. So in this section, we’ll be breaking this answer down for you.

Is deworming essential?

Worms are a big problem, but that’s really only if your chickens have them. This is due to the fact that worms will multiply very fast, which can lead to an infected flock. Now, if you notice this happening, you’ll definitely need to deworm your chickens until the problem is gone.

On the other hand, worms are not as common as you may think. The good news is that older chickens can actually handle the issue on their own. Therefore, when it comes to deworming, you may want to do more of it when your flock is younger.

I always recommend that you take a seasonal approach to deworming chickens. While worms can be rare, it’s always best to play things safe. If you don’t believe in certain chemicals, be sure to use something like apple cider vinegar instead.

Will apple cider vinegar kill worms in chickens?

There are quite a few home remedies that can help with worms. Everyone will claim that they have the magic cure, but this is not always the case. So before you dive into your own remedy, please be sure to pay close attention to this section.

Does apple cider vinegar do the trick?

Apple cider vinegar is one of the common treatment options, and there is a good reason for this. This is due to the fact that apple cider vinegar can make your chicken’s body a hostile environment. It will be harder for worms to do much of anything, and this is what causes them to die.

Therefore, it is definitely a good idea to feed your chickens some apple cider vinegar. Also, apple cider vinegar can make worm prevention more effective as well.

How effective is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is obviously not medication, which means that its effectiveness comes into question. Apple cider vinegar definitely won’t harm your chicken, but it’s not 100% effective. So while apple cider vinegar may have certain antibacterial properties, this doesn’t guarantee safety from worms.

Some other fruits and vegetables that may help

Apple cider vinegar is going to be the most effective, but it’s not the only option. So here is a quick list showing you some other natural worm prevention food items:

  • Pumpkin
  • Chilli peppers
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Mustard greens

All of these options are known as vermifuges, which is a fancy way of saying they repel worms.

What about other remedies I’ve heard about?

I strongly suggest that you be very careful with homemade remedies. While they may seem useful, using something designed to treat worms is always better. Plus, if you start coming up with interesting ideas, you won’t know how your chicken may react. So stay on the safe side, and keep it to apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar can be very effective. You shouldn’t use it as your only option, but it can be a great way to deal with pesky worms.

Will diatomaceous earth kill worms in chickens?

This may seem like an unconventional method to deal with worms in your chicken’s stool, but the results will surprise you. This is due to the fact that diatomaceous earth will actually harm worms. So let’s take a look at how this process happens.

Parasites on the outside

diatomaceous earth, if used correctly, will act as a natural worm repellent. It will create an atmosphere that’s not habitable for worms and lead them to perish. This applies to worms in the soil, stool, and outside of the chicken’s body.

Parasites on the inside: Worms

It might seem dangerous to add diatomaceous earth to your chicken’s feed, but it can actually help. For this to work, please make sure that you only mix a little bit. If you do manage to do this right, the diatomaceous earth will actually rid worms inside of the chicken’s bodies.

diatomaceous earth is effective on both the inside and outside of chickens. This means that you can use it as prevention, but you can also use it as treatment. So make sure that you add a little diatomaceous earth to your chicken’s feed if they’re sick.

How often should you deworm chickens?

Now that you know about how worms in chickens work, you’ll want to defend against them. This means you’ll need to take some precautions, but don’t panic, because it’s quite easy. The only issue is that it’s hard to gauge exactly how often you should be deworming chickens.

Take the seasonal approach

The chemicals used to deworm chickens won’t usually cause harm. While this may be true, that also doesn’t mean you can overload them on said chemicals. Therefore, one of the best approaches you can take is the seasonal approach.

This is due to the fact that worms can only survive in certain conditions, which means some months are safer than others.

Which seasons should I deworm my chickens?

This will depend on where you live, but in most cases summer and winter are safe. This is due to the fact that hot and cold weather can harm worms. Therefore, you should focus on deworming your chickens during the fall and spring months.

If you want to use air temperature as an indicator, between 35 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (2 – 24 Celcius) is the danger zone. Aside from temperature, these months also tend to be a bit damper. While this may be refreshing, worms will actually thrive in this type of environment.

The seasonal approach is the best approach. You don’t need to deworm your chickens once a month, but you should be vigilant about the seasons. So be sure to deworm your chickens once in the fall and once more in the spring.


I know that I went over a lot of information today, but when it comes to worms it’s necessary. I want to make sure that you’re well informed, but I also don’t want you to panic. While worms may be frightening, it’s not the end of your flock. You just need to properly attack the issue, and you need to work on preventing worms.

Adult chickens will have an easier time, so as your flock ages you’ll have less to worry about. Always be sure to look out for symptoms, and if you see some, be sure to examine the stool. If you notice little white hairs, it’s time to deworm your chickens.

I hope that I helped, and I hope that your flock continues to be healthy. If you do end up with worms, combine some of the treatments I showed you today. Once you do that, be sure to deworm your chickens every fall and spring.

Now that you know the facts, I hope that you don’t panic the next time you encounter worms.