Coyote attack! Chickens and rabies??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chantald, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Quote:I'm not so sure about that. Viruses die when they dry in air. If still wet, they can still be caught. Rabies can be caught through an open wound or a through a scratch that you can't see. I know of a man who died after chasing a bat out of his home. He was not bitten, but obviously he was scratched.

    Always call your local health department if there is any question about rabies. The shots are free and not a big deal. My DS had a series at 8 when a bat flew into the side of his head. No sign of any scratch, but the ER and health department agreed that the vaccine was warranted.
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Rabies does not die when exposed to air.

    Someone here was exposed to a nest where skunks (known to be carriers in their area) had been eating eggs. They recieved treatments for the exposure and were warned that the virus can live for as long as 6 months or more in a dormant state in areas where the skunks traveled.
  3. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Bats have very tiny, very sharp teeth, and it's possible to be bitten without knowing it or even being able to see the puncture. It's also possible to contract rabies by inhalation, although that's extremely rare.
  4. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    I would say it's better to be safe than sorry and seek treatment.
  5. From the CDC
    Contact such as petting or handling an animal, or contact with blood, urine or feces does not constitute an exposure, and therefore no postexposure prophylaxis is needed in these situations.

    I held the chicken.. I cannot say it was slobered on.. most likely it was wet from running into the swamp.. there were no teeth marks or puncture wounds..I thought that if the chicken had been bitten enough to have been slobbered on there would have been injury..this dog wasn't playing with the chickens.. he wanted to eat them..

  6. Ok.. I called our local Health Dept and spoke with the people in the rabies dept. The man was very nice and had me tell the whole story, asking lots of questions. In the end he said the risk was next to zero and he would not suggest vaccine. There have not been any documented cases of a rabid animal coming into contact with another animal and then a human touching the second animal contracting rabies. With no open wounds that have bled in the last 24 hours, he said that he was not worried and I should not be either..

    He also said that in all likelyhood, any dog that would bite enough to leave slobber would also leave wounds.. since the chicken was not injured, he felt it was swamp water..

    so.. I am going to stop worrying now..
    1 person likes this.
  7. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    Great! Glad to hear it. Always good to hear from the experts.
  8. friendlyearth

    friendlyearth Songster

    May 16, 2008
    near Olympia, wa
    Coyotes seem to be out during the day a lot during this time of year. We lost 3 chickens at noon a few weeks ago. The neighbor almost theirs about 2pm last week - the neighbor was actually kicking the coyote. I wouldn't assume a coyote out in the day is unusual behavior. An animal with rabies typically is behaving strangely.
  9. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Really, if it was saliva, it would have probably seemed thicker and nastier to you than just her feeling wet, too. Glad they were able to put your mind at ease. I am glad most of your chickies are safe and hope your last one returns unharmed.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A coyote organized enough to mount the attack you describe is unlikely to be rabid - they can and will hunt in daylight if hungry.

    Just FWIW, all of the recommendations I have ever seen, and technical papers I have read, indicate that the rabies virus survives very very poorly outside the living animal under 'normal' environmental conditions. The advice that MissPrissy has seen is certainly not the conventional wisdom among rabies researchers ( I am not saying that I know that it is *wrong*, just that I've done quite a lot of reading and talking to people on the subject and never run into that...)

    It is actually exceptionally rare for someone to contract rabies without a bite or *major* contact between saliva and an open wound (like putting a cut hand into a rabid cow's mouth to feel around for a foreign object, that sort of thing).

    Always good to be aware of and ask questions about these things, though.

    Hope your other chickens turn up ok,


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: