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Dr. Elaine
Dr. Elaine, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1388
Experience:  D.V.M. 26 years of small animal emergency and general medicine, including pet birds, poultry, waterfowl, and birds of prey.
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My chicken has 1/4 inch long white worms coming out of her

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My chicken has 1/4 inch long white worms coming out of her vent. What should I do?

Hi there, this is Dr. Elaine.


I need you to bring her inside and check under her feathers and around her vent for any apparent wound or skin irritation.


This sounds like she has been struck by maggots (fly larvae). They will often go after an animal that may have a wound or pasted feces in the area in which the fly lays the eggs.


Normally the maggots will go a bit inside the vent, but not up into the body, as they need air to breath. The ones seen to be coming out are not more than 1/2 inch or so inside usually.


Most maggots attack dying flesh, feces--so the fact that she has some sort of wound may be due to either feces pasting on her (maybe diarrhea) or she is literally being hen-pecked (or rooster-pecked). Chickens are notorious--i.e. "PECKING" order...Embarassed


Hens too, are remarkably tough compared to other bird species. This area is going to require medical care. If a trip to the emergency clinic is just not possible (she really should be seen asap if these are maggots) for now, try to soak just that part of her in warm water to physically remove what you can--please wear gloves. Maggot removal can be laborious and take many attempts to get them all and is best done by a veterinarian. Good luck.


Please let me know if I may be of further help.




Dr. Elaine

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can we soak her tonight and wait to take her to a vet tomorrow morning? What do the maggots do to her? With the warm water treatment, is the goal to wash away the maggots?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry. In my concern I neglected to thank you and to note that your diagnosis seems right on. Sylvie has had pasted feces that I though was perhaps a lice issue. She did not respond to 5 weeks of dusting treatment for this.

Ideally, she should have these removed tonight (you are going to need to leave her wherever you take her, as the removal is time consuming in blocks of time).


Yes, the goal tonight would be to "float" away as many as possible--can use gentle soap the first time or two. Try your best not to saturate the whole bird if the maggots are not everywhere, and dry her well, keep her inside but contained so you don't have "maggot central."


The maggots, when crushed (in numbers) within the wound or open tissue, can release more of a toxin than already exists from the dying tissue itself, but the actual tissue death is really the source--hence often debridement and maggot removal is required, unless this is only from pasting.




Dr. Elaine

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