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Chickens ate Cedar Apple Rust. Harmful or not?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katiedarling, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. katiedarling

    katiedarling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have Eastern Red Cedars all over our property. 2 are right along the fence line of the chickens' yard. Which provide a source of shade. A few weeks ago, after our first windy spring storm, the wind blew little chunks of the rust all over the ground inside the yard. Kinda looked like someone threw diced carrots on the ground. Well, I had no idea what it was(at the time) and tried to get as much of it off the ground as I could. Apparently, I missed quite a bit of it and I know for sure at least my 2 roos ate a bunch of it and possibly the hens.

    Since I can't seem to find any info online about whether it's toxic to animals or not, I figured I'd ask here. The only mention of this rust in these forums were more in relation to gardening questions, not chicken specific. It seems a few have dirty butts last few days and the egg shell color isn't what it should be, maybe? Orpingtons and a Marans. The Orpingtons usual mid-tone brown colors look almost pink instead. This could be because I just did a deworming on the flock after the winter wetness, or is there possibly something more sinister going on with that rust stuff?
    If it is related to the rust, how on earth do ya treat something like that?
    Also, I just did a major cleanout of the run and coop. It was time for the seasonal change of bedding & deep cleaning.

    No one is sneezing, coughing or acting any kind of sick. Just dirty butts and a couple with runny poo. The rooster that got the most of the rust is barely pooping. He's a big boy, but pooping like a 3 month old. LOL

    I love all my birds and want to see them thrive. If necessary, those trees will be taken down. I like them, but I love my chickens more.

    Any advice or input is much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  2. katiedarling

    katiedarling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I swear I'm not making it up. Does anyone know where to find this out? Thanks in advance.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I suggest you contact your county extension agent and ask. The agent should be able to hook you up with an expert, probably someone from the University of Georgia Poultry Science department. You’ll probably get an answer form someone you can really trust there.
     
  4. 5AcresFarmGirl

    5AcresFarmGirl New Egg

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    I'm following this because I have the same exact question. We just lost our 1 yr old roo ALARM & our girls are laying weird, off colored eggs as well. We have Cedar Trees all over our property & this is the 1st spring we've had Cedar Apple Rust on our trees. I fear the answer is that it is poisonous.
     
  5. katiedarling

    katiedarling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sure hope not. I contacted my county agent as suggested by Ridgerunner. The agent emailed me back and said this was the first time they'd ever heard of a chicken eating it. They couldn't tell me whether or not it was. She consulted with one of their vets and this is a copy of what the doctor's response was:


    This is the first I have heard of chickens eating the rust and the first concern that has been expressed with it. I wouldn't think there would be a problem with the consumption of it by the chickens, though I wouldn't make it a common food item for them. If it makes them sick or tastes bad to them, they should back off from it. I am not aware of nor have heard of any chemical toxins in the rust that would poison the chickens outright. If your client has food safety concerns with the eggs, a 5-7 day withdrawal should be sufficient for anything that may have been in the rust that is toxic to humans.

    Hope this helps. Keep me posted if anything changes.


    They do seem to have dirty butts lately, but not really any significant diarrhea. 2 of my Orpingtons have recently stopped laying as regularly but I also suspect it has something to do with the sudden high temps(?). I don't recall having 80 degree temps in April on a regular basis. The color is off also, they're much lighter, not so brown but almost pinkish.They were also in the process of being de-wormed around the same time as having eaten the rust. I'm pretty sure there had been a roundworm attack and I wonder if they are perhaps anemic from that (?). They are all pretty skinny looking as far as I'm concerned. I'm not even sure when exactly they ate it, either. I didn't think to note the date. I wish I had. If anything major does happen I will keep you posted. In the meantime, maybe you can contact your local Extension Agent and see if they may have encountered it. And keep me posted, as well! I would think that we can't possibly be the only 2 people on the planet who've had chickens eat this stuff.Somebody has to know something.
     

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