FLYSTRIKE- cautionary tale

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mh123, May 21, 2016.

  1. mh123

    mh123 Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2016
    WARNING, very gross topic but very important
    This is a cautionary tale to all poultry owners who may not have heard of or know much about flystrike and its devastating effects on a chicken. Flystrike is the term used when flies lay their eggs on a chicken and maggots begin to wreak havoc on the the birds body. I had an Americana hen who had vent gleet, a bacterial imbalance which is not very serious and can be treated with certain foods etc. I realized what she had and began to take the necessary measures of treatment but i had never heard of flystrike. (mind you this was in summer and flies were definitely present all around the chicken run) Soon she became ill and I decided to clean her rear which had been dirtied from her vent gleet. To my horror i found maggots crawling all over her behind. After trying to pick as many as I could off, we prepared a warm bath of saline (salt water to kill the maggots) and bathed her in it several times. Because we caught it quick we were able to rid her of the maggots. Sadly, not long after she got flystrike again and this time we did not catch it in time I believe because she hid that she was unwell and also because these maggots worked very quickly. She passed from this second flystrike and I cannot stress how horrifying this is. It is the most devastating thing your chicken can get because maggots, if left to live on the chicken, will eat it until it dies. Please keep your chickens rear's clean however nasty it may seem it is nothing to clean a poopy butt with a bath than to pick maggots off of a festering wound. I would also like to say that if the chicken has reached a point where you cannot see yourself ever curing it or the maggots have gotten inside its body, the most humane thing you can do may be to put it out of its misery. Please, keep your chickens clean so that they will not attract flies looking for a place to lay their eggs. I cannot stress how absolutely terrible this is for a chicken and even to some extent, it's owner.
  2. QuailsnestKelly

    QuailsnestKelly New Egg

    Apr 5, 2016
    Oddly enough, sometimes maggots are not a bad thing to have on a wound (in general). They eat the necrotic (dead) tissue and in warm weather become flies and move off the wound in a matter of hours.They, like leaches have historically been medically used. I did not know they would enter the vent. Last winter I had an Americana who also developed chronic vent gleet and I treated her with diet and probiotics. She seemed to get better, and then suddenly took a turn for the worse. As soon as she "didn't look so good" today, it was less than a day until she died. Fortunately it was pretty cold and no flies were involved, but I found myself wondering if Americanas are very prone to such problems...
  3. mh123

    mh123 Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2016
    I am not sure exactly how far the maggots had affected her but they had caused very extensive damage
  4. JadziaDax

    JadziaDax Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2015
    Georgia, USA
    The maggots did not cause damage. They only feed on dead tissue - her problems were from whatever ailed her, not the maggots. They were nothing but a symptom of a larger problem.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Not true! Maggots will invade injured/ wet/ dirty skin or tissue, and eat right to the bone, while producing nasty toxins and causing death. One day for the fly eggs to hatch, and maybe two days to death/ disaster. Awful! Mary
  6. redguinea

    redguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2015
    Land down under

    Maggots are bad news on any animals, have look at flystruck sheep. Its terrible.
  7. chunkyonchia

    chunkyonchia Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 4, 2016
    Western Australia
    My Coop
    I can vouch that maggots will eat live flesh! I just lost a chook to it last week. I felt very guilty but it happened so quickly. A hard lesson, but I agree with your sentiment - clean those butts!
    All the best x

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by