Hen ate a staple!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bawkbawkDMV, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. bawkbawkDMV

    bawkbawkDMV New Egg

    Dec 29, 2012
    I was working in the new, expanded coop (Cluckingham Palace) when I thought I saw one of my ladies eat a 6mm narrow crown staple. I jumped at her, and she dropped what I think was the second staple she was trying to eat! I'm afraid she managed to eat one, though. I gave her some bread a little while later, but I'm wondering what I need to look out for and what the chances are that she will be injured from this. Any guidance would be most appreciated! Thanks!
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. I had one of my meat chickens eat one of those big pushpin thumbtacks before. I never knew it. However, on butcher day, there it was, in her gizzard. She was just fine, it just could never get broke down, so it stayed in her gizzard. She ate just fine.
  3. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Was the staple made of galvanized metal, or of copper? Either one can be toxic, especially galvanized metal. Other possible effects would be for the staple to poke a hole in the digestive tract and cause inflammation/infection in the abdomen.

    Metal does show up really well on X-rays. Any chance you could get her to a vet? It's not an emergency, really, although if the staple were still in the crop then they could maybe get it out without surgery. If it's gotten down to the gizzard then it'd be harder to get at. And of course, if the X-ray shows more than one staple, or better yet no staple, then at least you'd know. Because chickens are designed to eat small rocks and carry them around in the gizzard to grind their food, they aren't very good at pooping out small pieces of metal: the body thinks it's just another rock, and keeps it.

    Signs of galvanized metal poisoning (it's zinc poisoning) are weakness and loss of appetite, followed by seizures. It can and does kill. The signs can take several days to appear. There is an antidote, although it can be a little hard to get a hold of, and the vet would have to hunt it down for you. I forget what copper poisoning does, but I think it ticks off the liver, which would also cause weakness and loss of appetite. Copper can also be fatal. Sorry to be the bearer of news like this. [​IMG]

    I'm really sorry your girl got hold of the staple. They just do things that turn our hair sometimes! Best of luck to you!
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Last xrays I had (of my peahen) cost me $150. Just sayin'
  5. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know, it's really expensive. [​IMG] Not for everyone. But it's an option. I would say that if the staple is not galvanized and not copper, then maybe it will behave itself, just like the pushpin did on your bird. I'd be less worried about the possibility of a puncture--the gizzard is super tough--than I would about the possibility of zinc or copper poisoning. So a lot depends on what the staple is actually made of.
  6. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Well this is interesting...Now I know where my green 6mm glass crystal is after I saw my 5 month old banty roo eat it! Guess I will never get it back...dang
  7. Dang!

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