Will slug pellets kill chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Joannalooloo, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Joannalooloo

    Joannalooloo In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2012
    My mu sprinkled slug pellets all over the garden.

    We have a young chicken who is entirely free range. It was bullied out of the cage by our roosterwhen it was a chick and refuses to go back in..

    anyway, i saw it pecking atthe pellets and since it's poison it can't be good for a chicken... i need proof so that i can get rid of it.

    so far i've blocked the chicken off from that part of the garden but would we need to take the chicken toa vet - because i do care about it. :)
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    This is from Toxipedia:

    Environmental Effects

    Metaldehyde does not present a direct environmental risk to water and soil quality; the compound has a half-life of only several days in soil and is soluble in water. Because it rapidly decomposes to acetaldehyde, it is not persistent in groundwater either (EXTOXNET). However, metaldehyde does pose risks to the health of wildlife.
    In addition to laboratory studies on mice and rats, data indicate that the compound is toxic to various other organisms. Although LD50 values, the median lethal dosages, are unavailable for birds, several cases of death have been reported for birds feeding in metaldehyde-treated areas. Likewise, poultry living in exposed areas have shown tremors, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, and diarrhea. Metaldehyde does not seem to affect aquatic organisms (EXTOXNET). Pelleted baits have been reported to be toxic to multiple organisms. Likewise, these baits are appealing to dogs, and therefore numerous agencies recommend that pets be confined during the application of the chemical.
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    (My computer is fighting with me; I'll have to do this as 2 posts.)

    Metaldehyde is the active ingredient in slug baits. Most baits don't contain a lot of it, because slugs and snails seem to be pretty sensitive to it.

    LD50 means, how much of the chemical you have to feed to a group of animals to kill 50% of the animals in the test group. Apparently, nobody has found out how much metaldehyde you have to feed to a chicken to kill it. Generally speaking, it isn't a good idea to feed slug pellets to chickens, but they'd probably have to eat a lot before they'd be at risk of dying from metaldehyde poisoning. Metaldehyde breaks down fairly rapidly, so my take is, keep an eye on the chicken for the next few days, if it doesn't show any of the symptoms mentioned, it's probably fine. You don't have to discontinue the use of the slug bait (I know what a pain in the neck slugs can be!), just in the future, I'd keep the chickens out of the garden, especially during a few days after the bait/pellets have been put out.

    If you want to read the rest of what toxipedia has to say on the subject:

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  4. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    salt will also take care of slugs, with no danger of poisoning to your chicken. Hope the fella's okay.
    Golden Brahma 64 likes this.
  5. Hoffy

    Hoffy Chirping

    Jun 12, 2012
    Check to see what kind of slug pellets you have. If they are iron phosphate, you will be ok (they are pet friendly). We have huge slug and snail problems in our garden and use only iron phosphate pellets. Watch out for metaldehyde, though.

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