Will plastic kill my chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by driver8045, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. driver8045

    driver8045 Just Hatched

    Jul 1, 2016
    Went out and found 2 of my beautiful girls dead in the corner of the yard, there were no marks or blood nothing, but there were a few pieces of pecked on plastic, could this of killed them? They are all locked in a fenced area.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It is possible that if they ate enough plastic it might cause a blockage that could kill them, but this would generally be a long drawn out process.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    I don't believe it was the plastic. I have had my chickens eat so many different types of plastic and styrofoam. It is really difficult to do projects around them like drilling holes in my worm bin.

    Lots of thing can get inside a fenced area. So did this happen during the day time? What is the size of your flock?

    Many times their can be injuries that don't bleed. I know this because sadly I have had to dispose of cat's my dogs got a hold of. Puncture marks can be very small and hard to see. But necks break very fast. Were there any other signs? Say your flock acting strange?

    Anything new going on in your flock? New feed, bedding material in run, new flock members?
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Mere coincidence is not to be taken as cause. You need to look further. Find more information.

    My chickens have nibbled and consumed bits of plastic and it's passed through their systems and been expelled in their poop.

    It would be more likely that the plastic had some sort of neuro toxin on it or in it, if consuming it did indeed kill your chickens.

    If you really wish to know what killed your chickens, get a necropsy done.
    1 person likes this.
  5. driver8045

    driver8045 Just Hatched

    Jul 1, 2016
    I had 6 hens 1 rooster so small flock, no new members, just trying to figure it out, husband already buried them [​IMG]
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Two out of six seems like quite a large loss to me. I would definitely be watching my others for any signs or symptoms.

    How deep did he bury them? What was their age? Maybe check your feed for any molding?

    If you do have any more loss, it is imperative that you get a necropsy done. It is usually very cheap or free. And you just have to refrigerate the body. Not sure where you are, but birds can catch all kinds of stuff like West Nile virus and others. County or state ag department can usually get you the info. Even the universities have programs that might be able to help out. Here in Ca, I think Davis has a good poultry program. Here is a link to the page.

  7. driver8045

    driver8045 Just Hatched

    Jul 1, 2016
    Hi thanks for the information, there food is fresh plus they get fresh washed raspberries everyday some raisins and a few chicken treats, they are all very spoiled. They were around 5 months old, not sure how deep he buried them I was at work and he took care of it before I got home knowing I would be upset. I will be watching my last ones very close, while working too, We do have west nile in colorado, not sure if still an issue end of nov. Just very odd 2 died same time right next to each other, my husband inspected both for broke necks, wounds and there was nothing, thinking they found something toxic. Checked area only found some pieces of plastic.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    What is your regular feed? Are you getting eggs already?

    Would have had to be something seriously toxic. I don't know if it's possible... and I understand not wanting to, but if you can't dig up the birds to get them tested, you can bet I would be having that plastic tested immediately. Thank you to the Hubbies that try to protect us!

    Honestly, I'm not buying that it was the plastic. I know chickens don't have a gag reflex but surely two of them didn't get it stuck in their throats and suffocate. Unless there was something seriously poisonous on the plastic, would have had to be very fast acting. But really, you don't even know if they consumed the plastic or not without inspecting their digestive tract.

    How long before finding them was the last time they were seen? And have you looked at the poo in your coop to see if there was any thing out of the norm there?

    West Nile isn't usually an instant killer either. When I volunteered at the zoo rehab, one of the falcons had forgotten how to eat (from confirmed WN) so we had to shove food down it's throat. I would think there would have been other symptoms if that were it.

    Just brain storming possibilities to try and help protect the rest of your flock. Not knowing is so hard! [​IMG]

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