Your E-mail:
Hobby Farms - Current Issue

Printer Friendly

Ascaridiasis (Roundworm) in Chickens

The hard-to-kill roundworm is a dangerous parasite that can be lurking in the topsoil around your chickens’ coop.

By Jose A. Linares, DVM, and John El-Attrache, PhD

Ascaridia galli, also known as roundworm, is a common intestinal parasite in chickens. These large, whitish worms can grow close to 3 inches in length.

Roundworm Symptoms
The main signs of roundworm infection in chickens, as coccidiosis, are diarrhea and weight loss. In cases of severe infestation, masses of adult worms can cause a blockage of the intestine, which can be fatal if not treated. When large numbers of larvae or immature worms migrate through the lining of the gut, they cause severe inflammation.

Can it spread?
This roundworm has a direct life cycle, meaning that it’s contagious. When its eggs are passed through the feces, the eggs remain in the soil until ingested. Similar to Coccidia, these eggs are resistant to most environmental extremes and disinfectants. Ascaridiasis is also a problem in floor pens where parasite egg numbers build up in the soil over time.

Roundworm Prevention
Rotating the pen location and changing the topsoil yearly will reduce the risk of roundworm infection in your flock.

Roundworm Treatment
If your flock becomes infected with roundworm, monthly treatment with Piperazine in the drinking water will prevent severe infestations. Piperazine is available at most farm-supply stores.

About the Authors: Dr. Jose A. Linares, DVM, ACPV, is the Resident Director of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory in Gonzales, TX. Dr. John El-Attrache, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.

 Give us your opinion on
Ascaridiasis (Roundworm) in Chickens

Submit a Comment
Reader Comments
What can you do to treat the soil to kill the round worm? What organic treatments are effective for treatment of round worm in chickens? I am doing research on this as there is so much controversy on the subject. I have not found much printed literature on this as well.
Debra, Houston, TX
Posted: 5/3/2015 7:28:20 AM
My chook has suddenly unable to weight bare, she is still eating and drinking but no moving from her nest. Any suggestions
Clare, Nz, NY
Posted: 5/17/2013 12:43:05 AM
View Current Comments

Zip Code:

Product Spotlight
Hobby Farm Rewards 
Member Login »


Information on over 200 horse breeds