Cecal Worms or Heterakis Gallinarum

Cecal Worms or Heterakis Gallinarum are very common. They don’t actually do much damage, however blackhead organisms can live in the worms eggs for many months and cause Blackhead many months later which can kill Turkeys.

They are a particular concern if you keep both Chickens and Turkeys. It is usually best not to keep them on the same ground together because of the cecal worms causing Blackhead which affects Turkeys.

Cecal worms infestations occur directly by birds eating eggs that have been passed out in droppings following what is known as a direct life cycle.

Signs and Symptoms

None. Birds will carry cecal worms without showing any ill-effects.


As with all internal parasites, there are many treatments including Flubenvet that will kill these worms. Worming Chickens and Other Poultry provides some ideas for worming poultry.

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Tim Daniels

Tim is the founder of the poultrykeeper website and lives in Herefordshire, UK. He keeps Cream Legbar chickens, Silver Sebright bantams and hybrid layers for eggs, Abacot Ranger ducks, Brecon Buff geese and some quail.

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