Hen had half eaten mouse in beak that died of Rat Poison-**UPDATE**

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JLS, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    As my post title states, my hen had a 1/2 eaten mouse that was killed by rat poison in her beak (the mouse's abdomen was ripped open, blue, and filled with dead maggots). I took it from her which was NOT easy! She did not want to let go of her prize.

    I have had rat poison bait in my bulkhead doorway for years. That always kept the mice from entering my home. I never thought that the chickens would find one of the poisoned mice. So now I am concerned. Will the chickens die if they eat a mouse that died from rat poison? If so why do the farm catalogs sell the stuff? Please let me know.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

  2. viktoriacl

    viktoriacl Songster

    Jun 23, 2010
    Yes rat poison is an anticoagulant. It causes them to bleed out. The antidote is vitamin K.
  3. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:What happens to your bird will depend upon how much and exactly what the poison was that was still active when your bird ate the mouse.

    You need to look that information up and act upon what is there.

    When using poison you need to exclude all other animals from contact with the poison and any of the animals that get poisoned.

    You are responsible for the proper use of the poison.
  4. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I have researched the product. The company doesnt really say whether or not secondary poisoning is possible. It says that it is approved for home, commercial, indoor, and outdoor use. It doesnt state anything on the box about secondary poisoning.

    Oh, if anything happens to my babies I will be crushed. As long as I got the mouse from my hen (most favorite one at that!!) before she ate it I hope she'll be fine. [​IMG] I searched the yard right after catching her with the mouse and didn't find anymore. I will be removing the bait asap and not allow my birds to free-range for quite awhile. It says it takes 3-4 days before the mice die [​IMG]

    I feel so bad! I hope I learned this lesson before any of my babies suffer.
  5. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Songster

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    Get one or more cats. They will keep the rodent population down. I saw one of my hens with a dead mouse I assume one of the cats left behind. I just have to hope the neighbors don't have a rodent problem. I can understand your anguish.
  6. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have heard that the poison gets metabolized by the mice.

    HOWEVER, I have also heard that a decrease in the owl and predator population is due to eating mice that have rat poison in the bodies, but owls eat mice and voles almost exclusively.

    I wouldn't think there would be enough non-metabolized poison in half a mouse to kill a full grown chicken.
  7. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I contacted the company that makes the bait. I asked about secondary poisoning , explaining my situation and the type of pets I have. This was their response:

    "Secondary poisoning with anticoagulant baits, like Tomcat, is possible…but it is extremely unlikely primarily because of the size difference, but also especially in domestic situations because it would require far more rodents ingested than a domestic animal would reasonably eat.

    Let’s look at the dog first:

    Let’s say your dog is 65lb, this translates to approximately 10.1 oz (290g) of bait needing to be directly consumed (not secondary) for any possible effects.

    A mouse may eat about 2 - 3 grams of bait in a day, and thus may have that amount in its gut. There can be some accumulation of the poison in the organs prior to death but total bait consumption rarely exceeds 5 grams.

    Now, assuming that your dog, at 65 lbs., ate the entire mouse (which we know is unlikely), it would take 58 mice to reach a lowest toxicity level (290g bait needed divided by 5g per mouse). Is this possible? Yes. Is it probable? Of course not. If my dog were eating that many dead mice I would be far more concerned about disease or parasites from the mice than from the bait.

    Similarly with cats; your cats would need to eat a dozen or more mice that had just eaten the bait and essentially eat the bait that is actually still in the mice to even reach a lowest level of possible toxicity.

    And with chickens we are still looking at dozen or more mice needing to be consumed."

    I am sooooo relieved!! And I am very thankful that the company reterned my email, very kind in deed! Thanks to everyone on BYC who talked me through this drama [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
    1 person likes this.

  8. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    This is extremely useful info! Thank you for including the cat and dog info. also!
    Called my daughter to share this because we have always hesitated in using mouse bait in the house because of our cats and dogs and this very subject.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    So glad your hen will be ok also!
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    What brand of poison did you have out?
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    That's why I use Just One Bite. Not an anticoagulant and does not harm any animal eating the dead rat.

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