Chicken Ate Rat Poison

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ethlin, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Ethlin

    Ethlin New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2016
    I apologize about not doing an intro post or anything, but I signed up to ask for advice since this was an emergency.

    Let me start by giving a brief story behind this to get an idea. Every year we get a rat infestation around fall, I honestly wouldn't mind them if they were not dirty or destructive, like a chipmunk or something, but they are not. Anyway each year we put out poison as a last resort because no other methods kill all of them, I am very very careful about poison as it's dangerous to anything, not just rats.

    My setup is, I have a barn, and a big room inside the barn is a chicken coop. Usually in the morning I open the door and let them outside. However this morning when I opened the barn door (But not yet the coop one), one of the chickens was loose inside it, get this, in the 3 years we have had the coop room, there has never been an escape, and now it just happened to be the night I put the poison out (Basically the planets aligned). At first I didn't think of it since normally the rats eat it all up at night, but I encountered a poison dish pulled out from it's hiding place that had some dust in it and was upset at the idea she might of eaten it (Rats often don't leave dust as they lick it up). My fears were realized when I saw her droppings were a teal color, the color of the poison, which I have never seen normally before. I know they were hers since they were in the barn, but not the coop. Each night I put the birds away and count all of them, she was inside the coop and it was dark so she likely didn't escape until morning where I found her outside the coop.

    So I have given her a dose of vitamin K (The poison is a blood thinner, we don't use other ones so the ground doesn't get polluted when they decompose), and have isolated her (in case the other birds get interested by the unique colored droppings). and plan on periodically giving her more vitamin K. There is no vet that handles birds anywhere around here (Only one very very very small one that only does dogs and cats). I am looking for any advice so nothing is overlooked. I don't think she ate too many as each bag had maybe 40ish pellets in it, and seeing as it was pulled out from under, it means the rats already ate some of it.

    I heard putting charcoal in food helps pick some of it up. Should I not feed her for a bit and let it pass through and the crop empties out? Should I give her food? I am not sure what to do other then vitamin K periodically, and with that, what is a safe dose? Performing an OD would be just as bad as the poison. I caught it early and we have vitamin K ready to go, so I am hoping there is a slight chance.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Call the CDC Center for Disease Control. Have the name of the poison ready.
     
  3. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    I have heard stories of dogs who got into large quantities of rat poisoning, and as far as I remember, the only thing the vet did was hook them up to an IV to get it out of their system. I would let her eat as much as she wants, to push out anything bad quickly.

    If she does get really bad, then I would just take her into that office un-announced with the box/bag or whatever of rat poison so they can see what they are dealing with; any good vet will just treat her as well as they know how. It's not like you wouldn't pay them for it! If you have a copy of the chicken health handbook take that. They should have all the knowledge nescesary to treat her as well as a dog or cat.
    Hope this helps and that she makes it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Ethlin

    Ethlin New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2016
    It's hit day 3 and the rats are starting to kick the bucket, but she seems ok so far (Acting normal), but she is bigger then rats so it might take longer to work, hopefully it doesn't. Been giving her vitamin K and some of that charcoal stuff, so I am hoping that works out. Her dropping have had no trace of the teal whatsoever so she is back with her friends, though she still gets her own cage at night (Much to her dismay). Egg laying is continuing as normal (Though I am throwing them out, just to be safe).

    Also another question about one that died 2 weeks ago. She just kind of keeled over randomly, I inspected the corpse and couldn't find anything wrong whatsoever (At least on the surface, can't bring myself to open them up). Prior to that there was no sign at all, she was full of energy, ate and drank like normal, no woulds or anything I could find. She was only 2.5 years old (Too young for old age). No poison as it wasn't put out yet, I don't think there was any plants that cause illness, as there are none I could find, and no other ones got it. I just don't know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When some friends had a big Golden Lab eat rat poison they called the CDC. That’s why I recommended the CDC. They had to answer three questions, which poison was it, how much did the dog eat, and how much does the dog weigh. After they got that info the CDC said to not worry about the dog, it would be fine. It was.

    You are correct, the chicken weighs more than a rat so it will take a larger dosage. That’s working in your favor. Also a rat usually doesn’t die after one feeding, it takes a bit of a cumulative effect. Your chicken only ate it once so that is working in your favor. I sure wish you luck.

    I’ve had a few die for no apparent reason. When you deal with living animals you sometimes have to deal with dead animals. That’s nature. I think you understand that. But why would an apparently healthy chicken just die? Maybe it had a bad heart and the heart just quit. Or a stroke. I suspect one of mine banged into something when it flew down from the roost and broke its neck. I think another one may have also broken its neck trying to get away from an amorous rooster or it was losing a pecking order fight. They can get pretty wild when trying to get away from another chicken.

    Unless you know what to look for opening it up yourself might not do any good. I butcher a lot of chickens, put five in the freezer today. I would have no clue what to look for related to a heart attack. If you are in the US you can contact your county extension agent and see what it takes to get a necropsy in your state. In some states it is free or a pretty small charge, for some it’s more. And find out how to store the animal until you can get it to them. That usually means refrigeration or an ice chest but don’t freeze it. You can probably get a professional that does it for a living look inside and tell you what happened.
     
  6. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    It like she will be ok! If there aren't anymore traces of teal in her droppings, then it is all out of her system. I'd keep tossing the eggs for about a month after she stopped pooping funny colors, like you said, just to be safe. I would let her go hang with the flock again, since Rat poison isn't contagious or anything.
    Glad she made it!
     
  7. Ethlin

    Ethlin New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2016
    She passed yesterday sadly. I kind of expected it, but since she seemed ok with no more teal and she was on vitamin K, I thought she might have a shot. At least it was in her sleep since yesterday morning I found her and she was in her sleeping position, not sprawled out on the floor like most of the others who die. Thanks for the advice though, it gave a chance at least.

    If he rats like to move the poison containers, next year I will need to think of another way so that some freak occurance like this doesn't happen again.
     

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