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They ate a dead flock member!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Oh, why are chickens so gross sometimes?  One of my hens was sick (lethargic, with green diarrhea) so I separated her from the flock, putting her into a dog kennel in the corner of the barn with a heat lamp. I gave her some electrolytes in her water and oatmeal with some DE and cayenne pepper (how I treat for worms).  She got better for a couple of days, but then sadly, she did not make it.  When she passed overnight, she fell up against the cage she was in, exposing her neck and side...and what did the other hens (who previously ignored the whole completely sectioned off corner) do?  Pecked at her.  That's right, they ate part of her!  ACK!  :sick

 

Now I am worried about disease transmission, or even eating the eggs from the little cannibals.  Should I be?  Is it as bad as I'm making it out to be?  My husband says the chickens were only doing what chickens do: eat and survive.  Well, the human in charge of the little feathered monsters still thinks it's disgusting.  

 

Any recommendations?  Will the other birds be OK?  The eggs?

 

...and from now on, if I have any other sick birds in the future, they will be brought out of the barn and into the garage, so if they unfortunately pass, they will be SAFE, which is a better practice anyway!

 

Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.  :) 

Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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post #2 of 3

They were doing what chickens do. They aren't humans and their behavior shouldn't be expected to be the same.

If you had kept her with the flock, they would have killed her and eaten her. That's how they eliminate threats to the flock.

 

The eggs are likely OK. If it was a disease, the other birds could be affected.

 

If you have another sick bird that resembles the symptoms of the last one, the best course of action will be to get lab work. When chickens are dying is not the time to guess what's wrong.

Here are two labs for you.

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture, Galesburg Animal Disease Laboratory

Animal Disease Lab

2100 S Lake Storey Rd

Galesburg, Illinois 61401

Phone: 309-344-2451 Fax 309-344-7358

AI, CSF, CWD*, ND, FMD, PRV, SCRAPIE, IAV-S*

 

University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

2001 S. Lincoln

Urbana, Illinois 61802-6199

Phone: 217-333-2123 Fax 217-244-2439

AI, CSF, ND, FMD, IAV-S*

 

 

 

 

 

On another note, DE and cayenne won't eradicate worms. First of all, most chickens allowed to free range will have a light load of worms, as will all grazers. Healthy chickens can do just fine with a light load. If they are less than healthy, the worms can get out of control. If that happens, they need a real anthelmintic.

 

I've been free ranging chickens all my life and after thousands, I've only had to worm one.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your reply, ChickenCanoe, and for the resources.  I will heed your advice!

Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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