BSF Larvae

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by famousromang, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. famousromang

    famousromang In the Brooder

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    I've recently started a small BSF larvae bin and have been feeding them to my chickens for some time now. Yesterday one of my polish was in the coop laying down with her head down and her neck seemed limp. My two polish are never too happy to be held so I knew something was wrong when she let me move her around. She seemed almost paralyzed. I started researching botulism which leads me to the question, what are the risks feeding BSF larvae to chickens? I feed the larvae all kinds of crap that i can't feed the chickens from oleander cuttings to rotted meat, so now im kind of scared that I've just screwed my chickens. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

    Seems to me like botulism is a much faster and serious issue that would be wide spread among the flock. :hmm

    Sounds like possible wry neck also known as torticollis... a vitamin deficiency... Do you have any other symptoms? What is the age, how many birds in the flock total? How long have you had them, been feeding the BSF, what else is fed including treats and supplements? Did they have any vaccines as chicks or ever deal with coccidiosis when younger? Does the crop appear to be functioning properly still... no food if they haven't eaten, any squishyness?

    https://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/wry-neck.html

    http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/wry-neck

    I would however lay off the Oleander and not feed it top anything you want alive. :confused:

    :fl
     
  3. Peepsi

    Peepsi Songster

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    Sounds like the oleander is the problem. Insects become poisonous when they feed on toxic plants. The plants won't hurt the insects, but the insects then become poisonous to other creatures when eaten. Same as poison-arrow dart frogs. The frog's diet in the rainforest is what makes them poisonous. When you keep a dart frog as a pet on a different diet, it ceases to be poisonous.

    Therefore, do NOT feed the larvae poisonous plants if you plan to feed the larvae to the chickens.
     
    MarilynHukill likes this.
  4. famousromang

    famousromang In the Brooder

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    Hi, thank you so much for the fast reply! So she's about 6 1/2 months and has never had vaccines along with her sister who seems healthy btw. I have 13 other chickens who seem ok. Those HAVE been vaccinated for mareks. All are on layer feed and I give them scratch that has whole corn, whole oat and black oil sf seed dusted with a bit of DE. Occasionally for a treat I give them plain yogurt with oregano mixed in. Her crop seems empty. I suspect it was emptied last night and she hasn't eaten.
     
  5. famousromang

    famousromang In the Brooder

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    Man I feel horrible....I thought that might be it. I just thought maybe the larvae would be able to neutralize the poisons but I guess I was wrong.
     
  6. Peepsi

    Peepsi Songster

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    Don't beat yourself up over it. It's a learning process. Here is an article on plants that are bad for chickens, just so you know. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden...ickens/plants-that-are-poisonous-to-chickens/

    Here's a thread about caring for a chicken that ate a poisonous plant: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/sick-hen-probably-ate-poisonous-plant.1081847/

    I bet if you search the forums, you might find other threads talking about how to care for a chicken that ate something poisonous. Good luck!
     
    EggSighted4Life and famousromang like this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Cut out some of those treats... corn is only 8% protein but very deficient is in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are added into our formulated rations which are often made from mostly corn. Raw oats have some sort of inhibitor in them and not *idea* for chickens. BOSS is very high in fat. And no clue as to what dusting with DE will do for them... as that stuff is irrelevant in my location and not welcome at my house. I find it to be an over rated, over used, false sense of security. I see that is a scratch mix you are using.. Just be sure it is kept to NO more than 10% of their total daily intake to maintain nutritional balance. "Layer feed" is usually around 16% protein... which is essentially the minimum to maintain a light bodied bird in laying condition.

    FWIW... Many plants are classified as toxic or poisonous, even if the side effect is as mild as an upset stomach or headache or even euphoria. I have so many of the plants listed in my pasture... and most will never become a problem, as long as the chickens aren't kept locked in with it an nothing else available. So please don't panic if you have buttercups in your lawn! But avoid the oleander at all cost. Chances are even if the chickens had access they would not eat it. They never touch my butterfly bushes, bracken ferns, or tansy ragwort... or the buttercups.

    Interesting... yes, good information on the flush... but also by reading through that thread I see that poisonous plant likely had nothing to do with the behavior and that chicken had Salpingitis. You have to look at all the clues and not just one. People will assume the birds ate something poisonous with no indicator to such. Or when sudden death occurs they say heart attack... which is very rarely the case. We all do our best... I try not to throw random fixes if I haven't yet identified the cause as we can mask the real symptoms and make things worse.

    With regards to one hen being off and other not... I have to wonder if she might be snatching more corn or oats type stuff when the treats are offered... as some hens have been known to pick out only their favorite parts and could cause more unbalance for the individual than the flock. But also... they all have individual immune systems, reproductive system, digestive system, etc... and even under the exact same condition... not all things will be equal... and most things will attack the weakest link first.

    I agree with the other poster... don't beat yourself up! We all do our best until we learn something new. We switch it up if we need to.

    Hope she recovers quickly! :fl
     
    famousromang and Tesumph like this.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I may not know much, but we may be jumping the gone attributing health issues to the use of an insect culture as a supplemental food source. Especially if only one bird is affected.
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.

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