3 or more hens ate metal!

Jul 13, 2018
Southern California
Hi, guys. I know recently that my hen died from eating a small piece of metal. Now, I think my naked neck and 2 barred rocks ate the same metal peices. This metal is small degree left behind from nails that have been cut in half. So it might go into their gizzard and cut it and they die. I do not want to repeat what happened yesterday. So, I need help. If there’s anything you think might help survive, please feel free to comment. Thank you.


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
There is a disease from swallowing metal called hardware disease. We all have to make sure that we pick up any leftover hardware, staples, screws, jewelry, etc from our chicken areas. I staple plastic to the interior walls as a wind break in winter, and have to be carefull when removing it in spring. My ground is on an old farm and there is a lot of glass in the soil that hooves up to the surface in freezing weather. Chickens will peck and eat most anything shiny or that fits into their beaks. Many who butcher chickens will find a lot of debris inside the gizzards, and some of that can shred crops and intestines, and damage the gizzards.


Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2015
North Florida
If they are very small pieces they may pass. If something were stuck in the crop it could be removed with crop surgery. If it's past the crop then there is really nothing that can be done except to hope it passes. Hardware disease often shows no symptoms until the bird dies from sepsis. Prevention really is the best thing you can do, and it's not always easy, we all know how quickly a bird can swoop in and grab something. I think using the magnet and raking is probably your best bet to try to find it all and get it picked up. Like @Eggcessive my ground is also an old farm and I have lots of glass and other garbage that comes up, I rake and pick up what I can, it's a never ending process. I do the best I can, it's always possible that I could miss something and have a bird find it.
Jul 13, 2018
Southern California
It looks like this. One of them threw one of these up:

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