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Hens have ingested lead paint; what now?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Our birds are seemingly perfectly healthy, but I want to prevent any possible illness. We have several buildings and barns on the property that have been tested and show traces of lead, but unfortunately, it's rather unaffordable for our family to pay to remove it at the moment. Worst part is, this paint is in bad shape and flakes off onto the ground continually. Recently, several of my hens have been caught eating small amounts while free-ranging, but it's the White Rock who has ingested the most of anyone. I've been considering providing an Epsom salt flush for all 38 chickens and ducks to head lead poisoning off with a pass, but if you have better suggestions, please feel free to share. If the flush is the way to go, I cannot tell from the informative thread concerning flushes whether to offer electrolytes/vitamins after all three days of treatment, or if it's after each day's flush. Thank you!

 

-Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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post #2 of 9
I would also be asking if the lead will end up in their bloodstream and or eggs meaning you shouldn't be eating them?

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appps View Post

I would also be asking if the lead will end up in their bloodstream and or eggs meaning you shouldn't be eating them?

Quite true, I actually hadn't thought of that. What confuses me is that so many around here have both chickens and barns with chipping lead paint, and it doesn't seem that they have trouble. I guess the difference is that our birds are actually family pets, so that means that I want to minimalize the chances of anything happening to them.

 

-Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra33 View Post
 

Quite true, I actually hadn't thought of that. What confuses me is that so many around here have both chickens and barns with chipping lead paint, and it doesn't seem that they have trouble. I guess the difference is that our birds are actually family pets, so that means that I want to minimalize the chances of anything happening to them.

 

-Alex

 

I am not all that paranoid about lead but I wouldn't be feeding those eggs to any small children or pregnant women. There are enough stupid people in the world already. :)

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonya9 View Post
 

 

I am not all that paranoid about lead but I wouldn't be feeding those eggs to any small children or pregnant women. There are enough stupid people in the world already. :)

Hmm.....that is definitely a concern, then. I have two little brothers who are 2 and younger, one of whom loves our eggs.

 

-Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra33 View Post
 

Hmm.....that is definitely a concern, then. I have two little brothers who are 2 and younger, one of whom loves our eggs.

 

-Alex


Might want  feed him store bought eggs instead. Perhaps the amount of lead is so low it wouldn't matter but if it were my kid I would error on the safe side.

 

It probably isn't much of a risk for grownups, heck even albacore tuna has a lot of lead in it and people eat that all the time.


Edited by Sonya9 - 11/5/15 at 5:54am
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonya9 View Post
 


Might want  feed him store bought eggs instead. Perhaps the amount of lead is so low it wouldn't matter but if it were my kid I would error on the safe side.

 

It probably isn't much of a risk for grownups, heck even albacore tuna has a lot of lead in it and people eat that all the time.

You're absolutely right about that one, not to mention that canned seafood contains respectable amounts of mercury as well. I think for now we just won't let the birds free-range the yard, since the bulk of lead paint is around the buildings elsewhere on the property. :) I'm still going to prepare a flush for all 38, but that all is postponed until I find out just how often to give them electrolyte solution.

 

-Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

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Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

Reply
post #8 of 9

Hi, can you put soil on top of the soil that your hens are walking around on?  And remove the paint chips and the source of the paint chips?  I have 4 hens that have high lead levels in their blood that they picked up from our backyard soil.  I had the soil tested (lead in the soil is common in metro Boston) and it is around 600pm.  I think I am going to build them a raised bed and put in new dirt for their "free" ranging because it is simpler than taking out all the soil in the entire backard.  I already put a bunch of playground sand in their run.

From what I understand lead will always stay in their bodies once ingested and the only solution is chelation treatments (calcium shots) or surgery if they swallowed  buckshot or other item with lead in it.  I am not sure about the epsom flush, but if it works it would certainly be cheaper than what I am doing. :)  I think the vet is buying a second home with all the $$ I've been giving her recently.   Lead is also passed on to the eggs, so I agree with what Sonya9 said above.

Although I found out that they had high lead levels in their blood a few months ago, they seemed fine so I didn't do anything about it.  But then 2 weeks ago, my Orpington started staggering like she was drunk and had an enlarged crop.  Prior to that she had about 3 weeks of extremely watery poop.  Lead causes neurological problems and according to the vet the crop and the poop issue could be neurological digestive problems.  The Orp stopped staggering shortly after starting the injections but is still loosing weight with a (less) enlarged crop and watery poops.  Hopefully she is on the road to recovery.

Good luck with your coop and hens!!  Let me know what happened with your lead situation.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am incredibly sorry it's taken this long to reply to you, @TheresaM ! Unfortunately, we've got a large yard that would be very difficult to cover with new topsoil. I did know that chelation treatments were the way to remove lead from the system of a human, so it makes sense that the same would be true for poultry. However, I also have read books from a famous British vet who cured severely ill, lead-poisoned calves with simply a certain amount of Epsom salts three times a day. I ended up doing the flush a couple weeks ago when my White Rock (who was consuming the most paint chips) suddenly was unable to see the roost properly and kept hitting her on the bottom. What I did seemed to work well, and she's completely normal again. For now, the solution is not letting the chickens and ducks free-range where the gist of lead paint is located. Thanks for checking up on our situation! :)

 

-Alex

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

Reply

Alex the Golden Campine- talented flier, mischievous little busybody, crackly-voiced conversationalist, loyal sidekick, and my sociable, cuddly sweetie.

 

"But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

Reply
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