Duck Worms: Best Things You Need to Know

What about duck worms? Ducks are charming, social animals that are a delight to watch and interact with. Whether they are domesticated pets or wild waterfowl, ducks are known for their love of swimming and foraging.

However, like all animals, ducks are susceptible to various types of parasites and illnesses. One such parasite is the duck worm, also known as the kidney worm. In this blog post, we will explore what duck worms are, how they affect ducks, and how to prevent and treat them.

You may also want to read about the best duck feed.

What Are Duck Worms?

Duck worms, scientifically known as Capillaria spp., are small, thread-like parasitic worms that live in the kidneys and urinary tract of ducks. These worms are usually 1 to 2 inches long and are white or grey in color. Duck worms can infect a variety of waterfowl species, including ducks, geese, and swans.

Duck worms are transmitted when ducks ingest contaminated food, water, or soil that contains the eggs of the worm. Once inside the duck’s digestive system, the eggs hatch and release larvae that migrate through the duck’s body until they reach the kidneys and urinary tract. Here, they mature into adult worms and lay eggs, which are then passed out of the duck’s body in its feces, completing the life cycle of the parasite.

How Do Duck Worms Affect Ducks?

Duck worms can cause a range of health problems in ducks. When the worms invade the kidneys and urinary tract, they can cause inflammation, scarring, and damage to these organs. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including increased thirst and urination, weight loss, lethargy, and poor egg production in female ducks.

Duck Worms

In severe cases, duck worms can lead to kidney failure, which is often fatal. Additionally, ducks with weakened immune systems, such as young or elderly birds, are more susceptible to developing serious health problems from duck worms.

How Can You Prevent and Treat Duck Worms?

Preventing duck worms is key to keeping your ducks healthy. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of a duck worm infestation:

  1. Practice Good Hygiene: Keep your ducks’ living area clean and dry. Remove feces and other debris regularly and provide fresh, clean water for drinking and swimming.
  2. Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding can increase the risk of parasitic infections in ducks. Make sure your ducks have plenty of space to move around and avoid overcrowding them in their living quarters.
  3. Provide a Nutritious Diet: A healthy, balanced diet is essential for supporting your ducks’ immune system and overall health. Feed them a high-quality, nutritionally complete diet that is appropriate for their age and breed.

If you suspect that your ducks may have a duck worm infestation, it is important to seek veterinary care right away. A veterinarian can diagnose the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Common treatments for duck worms include deworming medication, which is administered orally or by injection. In severe cases, hospitalization and supportive care may be necessary.

It is important to note that some deworming medications can be harmful to ducks if not administered properly. Always consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication to your ducks.


Duck worms are a common parasitic infection in ducks that can cause a range of health problems if left untreated. By practicing good hygiene, avoiding overcrowding, and providing a nutritious diet, you can help prevent duck worm infestations in your ducks. If you suspect that your ducks may have a duck worm infestation, seek veterinary care right away. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most ducks can make a full recovery from a duck worm infestation and go on to live happy, healthy lives.

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