Mysterious deaths - goats, chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aladatrot, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. aladatrot

    aladatrot Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Is there anything wrong with feeding corn tortillas to chickens and goats? That is the ONLY thing that has changed in the last week, and in the last two days I have lost two "healthy" goats and two laying hens. The goats were young but vibrant, and I don't just commonly lose a six month old kid. It's somewhat common to lose younger ones, but by 6 months, they are pretty well established.

    The two hens I lost were layers, one that had just begun laying in the last month and one older hen who had stopped laying.

    Everything has been going just as normal with the exception of my recent purchase of a 55 gallon drum of folded tortillas from the tortilla plant. These are the ones that get folded over when they are half baked and are therefore not packaged up for human consumption. They are like "factory seconds". Anyway, I got a drum of them and began feeding them to the goats and layers (as treats to their laying pellets) upon the recommendation of a local goat farmer. His goats have been eating from the same source since he started this little tortilla gig 15 years ago. I just find it odd that in two days, I have lost two hens and two of the best fainting goats I have ever bred. I'm sickened.

    Am I wrong to think it's the tortillas?


    PS on a side note, I did not give any meat birds the tortillas, and did not lose any meat birds either.
  2. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Maybe, but it is hard to say. Perhaps something made it into the factory seconds that was toxic?

    We feed our chickens corn tortillas sometimes, but no problems. I would think if it was the tortillas, it was the batch you received.
  3. aladatrot

    aladatrot Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Possibly. I didn't think about that. At any rate, I'm scared. No one is getting any more tortillas.

  4. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Oh no! I am so sorry! I wouldn't think it was the tortillas either. Have you maybe sprayed for weeds or bugs? Or maybe sprayed fertilizer? I have heard of those things making animals ill.
  5. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Sounds like maybe something in the tortillas like you suspect, but really no way to know for certain with having a necropsy done. And even that could turn up inconclusive. It could just be coincidence. I know I don't feed anything but grain and hay to my goats because of the possibility of bloat from anything unknown. But I can't see how it would kill the chickens. [​IMG]
  6. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Ugh! I'm sorry for your loss. I definitely wouldn't be feeding them anymore tortillas either!! :eek:
  7. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    I'm so sorry for your losses. It's so hard to lose a pet, and especially when they've seemed healthy.

    I feed both flour and corn tortillas to my chickens all the time (my brother has a tortilla route and I get the out-of-code ones for free), and I've had no problems. It does sound odd that you would begin feeding the tortillas and would begine losing animals, though. As others have posted, I would wonder if there was something in the tortillas, i.e., mold, that would have caused their deaths. Mine come wrapped as for sale, but if they get moist, they can mold pretty quickly. You might want to examine the tortillas to see if you can see something, but I would definitely stop feeding them, just in case. Good luck, and I hope you don't lose any more.
  8. I'm so sorry and I'm glad you're discarding the bulk tortillas. It's possible they were contaminated, or that they upset the metabolism of your animals because corn digests so fast in the gut when it's hot. Like many changes, it can trigger electrolyte imbalance in the blood and trigger changes resulting in death. If you noticed any bloat this is most certainly the cause. It's also possible that when the new food was introduced that certain animals gorged on it, making them the vulnerabe ones. Again, I'm so sorry about this.
  9. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Songster

    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    It could be the tortillas. Maybe salmonella??

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