death of flock - poisoning?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pamkerley, May 16, 2010.

  1. pamkerley

    pamkerley New Egg

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    I came home from church last Sunday to find all 4 of my chickens dead or dieing. We decided they must have gotten into something and were poisoned. Yesterday I was sitting in the yard and noticed the Juniper bushes had berries. The chicks were still contained in their box this time last year. I was wondering if anyone knew if Juniper berries or cedar tree berries or holy tree berries were poisonous to the chickens?
     
  2. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here is another verifying it is toxic to chickens.
    http:// www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-health/plants-that-are-toxic-to-chickens/
    Sorry
    for the loss of your chickens it's always devastating especially when you lose the flock and not just one due to illness.

    please replace "backyardchickens" with "chickenkeepingsecrets" don't know why it changes that on you when posting chicken links, competition I suppose.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  4. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am so sorry for your loss [​IMG] You must be devastated! [​IMG] My condolences go out to you!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  5. pamkerley

    pamkerley New Egg

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    Why wouldn't the chickens naturally avoid these items? I have a lot of those things on this list in the yard. Is it better to keep them cooped up instead of free range? I have 6 babies right now and I am not sure if I should be cutting down all the cedar, boxwood and holly trees to protect my free range birds.............
     
  6. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know why they wouldn't avoid it naturally, maybe they were just hungry and the berries looked appetizing or maybe there was some bugs on the berries they wanted?? [​IMG]
    I guess you will likely have to make a decision of whether to take out the bad plants or section off an area away from them for the chickens. I feel for you, but just as with predators, alot of times we have to make new arrangements to protect our chickies. So sorry you had to deal with that. [​IMG]
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. The chooks were one year olds, or this year's chicks/pullets? They had access to the area for an extended period prior to their deaths?
     
  8. pamkerley

    pamkerley New Egg

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    The one's that died were a bit over 1 year and have had access to the whole yard since they were old enough to leave the heat lamp. The berries just showed up and it made me wonder.......
     
  9. pamkerley

    pamkerley New Egg

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am not sure that the berries are the culprit but it sure seems likely. Anyone else with free range chickens and juniper or cedar trees in the yard? The cedar trees have berries too and the chickens would spend part of the day under the branches. I wonder if those are deadly as well?
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry, had to run for a minute.

    Yes, this is why I asked. We have a lot of deer proof ornamentals, e.g., Castor Beans, Wisteria, etc. Have big Red Cedars that berry out. Our chooks and turks hit the 5yr. mark this March, they range around these, but none of this vegetation is near the runs. The only plant related injuries were due to thorns from Osage Orange tree saplings (about as bad as Honey Locusts).

    Without performing necroscopies it is difficult to ID the culprit. The sudden death of a flock that appeared to be perfectly healthy the day before, and had already had access to the berries (or is this the first time they've berried out?) would make me wonder.

    The course certainly seems to suggest a toxin and, if a flock was penned with the offending plant as one of the only available bits of green forage available then, yes, that might have resulted in some deaths. Since you were free ranging I'd probably be looking further (has it been extremely wet, lately - old compost heaps/droppings/wet/moldy food, etc.).

    Is there anyone who would want to intentionally poison your chooks? Any novel treats or leftovers in the 24hr. prior to the loss?

    Sure hope you can positively ID the cause!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010

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