I know for certain that Diamond had gape worm. Her symptoms were a mucky bottom, a coughing sound, difficulty breathing, gaping, neck stretching and head shaking. She also improved with flubenvet and coughed up gape worm on the chickens’ patio. They looked like tiny red threads. Eventually they overwhelmed her and I couldn’t get her free of them.
The rest of the flock had no symptoms but I found what I thought was gape worm in some poop. However after we found Star dead overnight I started looking up chicken poop. I am afraid that I have to admit that I research chicken stuff every day and I do on occasion research chicken poop. Star had been producing some lemon yellow poops in the days before her demise and I wondered if it could be an indication of a heart problem.
Anyway while looking at all the variations of chicken poop I came across a photo very similar to the one I took of what I thought was gape worm. The article said that the lady found it on the overnight poop board and as she was taking her dog to the vets that day she took it with her to get it tested for worms. It turned out there were no worms. Sometimes chickens shed part of the intestinal lining.
I had thought it was rather big and odd that it would be expelled while the girls were showing no symptoms but I went into panic mode. Ironically this was on the day that I had just finished worming the girls with a double dose of flubenvet.
I am now hoping that this means that the flock will be okay. They all look great. A friend who I discussed this with a few days ago pointed out that Diamond had been with us eight months and in that time the rest of the flock hadn’t shown any symptoms so it was possible that they wouldn’t pick it up or if they had and I cleared them they may not pick it up again. This was before I saw the article and photo above.
I am now feeling much happier about the flock. I am trying to build up their health so have put some vitamins in their water and given them some plain mash. I also gave them a tray of cabbage seedlings. My husband has been planting trays of seeds for the allotment and having potted on twenty cabbage seedlings the rest were surplus.
Perhaps at last we can settle back to normality for a while. At least until the next drama hits us.