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Date Posted: 12:54:19 02/06/08 Wed
Author: Trina
Author Host/IP: 86.137.148.209
Subject: Re: Mealworms vs Earthworms
In reply to: Jade 's message, "Re: Mealworms vs Earthworms" on 02:30:09 02/06/08 Wed

My guys love earthworms too, it's so cute to watch them chase each other around playing tug of war with the poor worm, then the winner slurping it down like a length of spaghetti!!! In fact any bugs that have the misfortune of wandering into the aviary aren't around for long lol Moths have the advantage of being able to fly away, I feel for the poor buttons, craning their necks as high as possible, trying to catch moths & flies!! I sometimes buy them crickets from the petshop for a treat as well, they love to chase them round the avairy.

There is one thing I read last year that has made me a little cautious about feeding them earthworms from the garden. This woman told of her experience hand rearing a fledgling wild bird, she fed him lots of bugs & stuff, including earthworms. He seemed to be doing pretty well, then one day he kept making retching noises & seemed to be coughing & then he died for no apparant reason. I can't remember exactly what happened, I think maybe she fed the dead bird to another of her pets or something =/ (Waste not, want not lol) But anyway, somehow she discovered that his insides were a mass of writhing threadworms, or some similar parasite, & that was what had killed him. She said she'd never seen anything so horrific in her life. It turned out that eggs from the parasites which lay dormant in the ground had infected him via the earthworms & hatched out in his stomach. She warned that if you feed earthworms or anything similar to your birds etc then to rinse them thoroughly first to wash off any residue of dirt that could contain parasitic eggs. Once the eggs get into the digestive system & hatch they can overwhelm the animal & feed off them & can make them seriously ill or even cause death. It's probably treatable if caught early enough, but as it's internal you probably wouldn't realise there were threadworms inside your bird until it was really bad. I looked for the link to this article to post here but I couldn't find it, I'm sure I saved it in my favourites but I can't see it. Well anyway, since I read that I'm always very careful to wash any earthworms I feed to my buttons, I figured although the chance of that happening is probably pretty slim I didn't want to risk it, it sounded like an awful way to die :(

Sorry for the essay lol I tried to explain it as best as I remembered it :) I thought it was worth mentioning though.

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