Hen mysteriously died. Can mold contaminate a 50lb bag of corn?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kuntrygirl, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    620
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I purchased (2) 50lb bags of chopped corn at Tractor Supply. When I opened the bags and poured the bags in the 55 gallon drum, I noticed that there was a little mold on some of the corn. I took out the mold and it was only about a handful of mold from the entire bag. I threw the molded corn away. I put some of the chopped corn out for the chickens to gobble up but there was no mold (or I thought there was no mold) on the corn that I put out for them. This morning about 6am, I went to the coops to let the chickens out and noticed that 1 of my Buff Orpington hens was dead. She had fallen off the roost and was just laying there. There was no visible signs of trauma and no signs that a predator had gotten in to the coop. The only thing that I can think of was maybe she ate some of the molded corn and died. How much of the corn would she have had to eaten to die? I know that there wasn't any more mold in the corn. Would a VERY small amount of mold possibly kill a chicken within 24 hours? She was the only hen that died and I have over 100 chickens. Could the entire bag have been contaminated?

    PLEASE NOTE: When I called Tractor Supply they did tell me to bring in my receipt and they would refund me the money for the feed. I got to the store and I got 2 more bags of corn but before I left they opened the bags of corn and both bags of corn had mold on the bottom. They opened more bags of corn until they found 2 bags of corn that had no mold. Please make sure that you check your feed before feeding it to your animals.
     
  2. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    From what I've read, I think you'd have to assume the whole bag was contaminated because beyond the mold you see are the spores you don't see and the toxins that are produced by the mold. I believe this type of poisoning can cause death, but I don't think it does so quickly (like within a day) unless a bird was already sick and in a fragile state already. This type of poisoning attacks the liver, so as the liver function fails, the chicken fails and can eventually die. You don't say how many days moldy feed was given before this hen died or if you saw any other symptoms with her or the rest of your birds leading up to the death.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  3. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    Nebraska
    I had a hen die like yours, she looks like she died in her sleep and just fell off her roost onto the floor. I don't think the corn is the cause, their are alot of reason it could have happened, but yes get rid of the corn, don't feed it to them and check your bags good for mold. Sorry for your loss, but thankfully it wasn't the whole flock!!
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    122
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    So did you feed her the feed from the moldy corn bag?
    If so..then thats what probably did it.
    If you ever see mold in feed.. throw it ALL away...
    Sorry about your bird.. [​IMG]
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    13,295
    18
    291
    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Quote:Yes. It does slow neurological damage as well, but takes time. Paralysis is often the first symptom. I lost a roo that way last year.

    I now only have and feed scratch during the cool months, because it does mold so fast. And I only get the small bags, checking them before I leave the feed store. Just last week I got a bale of straw that was moldy. It's now mulching the garden.
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    620
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:I purchased the feed on Friday, June 4, 2010. Opened it on Saturday, June 5, 2010 and noticed some of the corn had green mold - about a handful. Took the molded corn out and threw it away. I gave what I thought was good corn to the chickens on yesterday, Monday, June 7, 2010 @6:00 PM. On this morning, Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 6PM, she was dead. None of my birds showed any signs of being sick. I make a conscious effort to look at every single chicken that I have to make sure that none of them look or act sickly. I did not see any other symptons from her or any other birds. I'm anxious to see if anyone has died today when I get home from work. I'm so worried.

    I'm not sure how long the feed was moldy before buying it from Tractor Supply. It could have been on their shelf for weeks.
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    620
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Thanks.

    Yea, looked like she just died in her sleep. Im not going to feed it to them anymore. I didn't think that it could kill them so fast but I guess I was wrong. I should have followed my first mind and just threw it away but I assumed that since the entire bag wasn't full of mold, then it would be ok. I feel so bad. [​IMG]
     
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    620
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:yes I did feed from the moldy corn bag but i didn't feed them the molded corn. I will certainly throw it all away next time.
     
  9. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    Kuntrygirl....have you ever thought of going to Atlas...they make their own food...and everything is fresh...and actually cheaper...you can pick how much protein you'd like...etc.....
     
  10. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

    889
    3
    131
    Feb 1, 2010
    Reno Nevada
    I don't think the mold had anything to do with it. But for future information if you see mold consider the entire bad contaminated. most of mold is actually invisible to us. What we do see is the advanced growing stage.

    As for the hen it sounds more like a heart attack or something. No symptoms that where noticeable even to an intent keeper and a sudden quiet sort of death. I know I have a small flock and watch each bird individually and I know how much even little things stand out to me. So I consider there where no symptoms visible for you to see. Basically pointing at some sort of sudden death situation. I don't think your entire flock is in danger.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by