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  #1  
Old 06/19/11, 05:45 PM
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Maggots kill chickens?

I have a crazy question. My friend who is just now getting into chickens called me all upset a while ago. Seems like she was cleaning around her chicken pen and found where some feed had fallen into the concrete block that supports her feeder. She turned over the block and found a double handful of maggots which her young pullets proceeded to devour. Her father told her that if the chicks ate the maggots whole, the maggots would attach to her chicks insides and kill them. I never heard of such. I asked my husband and he said Oh yeah, maggots will kill chickens.

When they go through the gizzard, doesn't that grind them up? Once they hit the stomach, don't the digestive juices take care of them? Has anyone else heard of this? I need something to reassure my friend, she is worried sick about her pullets.

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  #2  
Old 06/19/11, 05:51 PM
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thats crazy talk, maggots and other bugs are just extra protien, some people even set up maggot buckets in the pen to feed the birds, a bucket with holes in it and raw meat, flys lay eggs on the meat, the maggots fall out of the holes in the bucket and the chickens eat the maggots, its a nasty idea but it works, you can also hang a whole fish by the tail in the pen, the chickens will eat both the fish and any maggots that develop on the carcas,

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  #3  
Old 06/19/11, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNnative View Post
I asked my husband and he said Oh yeah, maggots will kill chickens.
I've never heard of it either. Let us know in a week or two if your friend's pullets are still alive.
Personally, I wouldn't be too worried at this point. I have my doubts about the maggots killing the pullets.
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Old 06/20/11, 07:13 AM
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Mine eat maggots every chance they get. Lots of good protein.

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  #5  
Old 06/20/11, 07:33 AM
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I doubt it. Like Ksal said, people intentionally rig up maggot feeders for their birds. The only objection to this that I have heard is the slight potential for botulism but even that may not be true.

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  #6  
Old 06/20/11, 07:35 AM
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Some people hang road kill so the chickens can eat the maggots. They were just pulling your leg

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  #7  
Old 06/20/11, 07:43 AM
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After a hatch where one chick made it only out of the egg partially, it brought maggots. When the hen left the nest, her roommates had a nice little snack and are still running around and laying eggs for us. It's funny what folks assume might happen.

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  #8  
Old 06/20/11, 10:05 AM
 
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That misinformation is an indication of an ignorance of the basic facts of biology. Gah.

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  #9  
Old 06/20/11, 10:09 AM
 
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Maybe he saw some chickens die of gluttony after an ecstatic orgy of maggot feasting and mistook what the exact nature of the cause of death was?

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  #10  
Old 06/20/11, 10:30 AM
 
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mine love maggots. They dig through cow manure like crazy looking for them or any other bugs.

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  #11  
Old 06/20/11, 01:45 PM
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They're either feeding you a line and probably having a good laugh about it, or else they are also uninformed about chickens and bugs - maggots in particular. So it's not a crazy question at all because you've learnt something now and can tell your husband too. However there are other worms like tapeworm and roundworm that are eaten and then they become a parasite in the body.
First of all maggots don't live on grain/feed...
Maggots live on decaying rotton meat and leave the good live flesh alone.....that's why using maggots is an alternative treatment for gangrene and other wounds especially for diabetics that don't heal quickly.... The maggots will clean up all the rotton meat and then be crawling around looking for more food if they haven't morphed into flies yet.

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  #12  
Old 06/20/11, 04:16 PM
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Thanks! I didn't think that was right, had never heard of it before. I know when I was growing up, our chickens roamed the yard and woods eating all sorts of insect life and it never harmed them. I told my friend what y'all have said and we decided that it must be some old wives tale handed down in her father's and my husband's families.

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  #13  
Old 06/20/11, 08:05 PM
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We don't call them maggots. On the speisekarte at Lenarz Haus, they're called "Wax Worms" and the chickens (and ducks and geese) LOVE 'em!

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  #14  
Old 06/20/11, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pony View Post
We don't call them maggots. On the speisekarte at Lenarz Haus, they're called "Wax Worms" and the chickens (and ducks and geese) LOVE 'em!
Wax worms are moth larva and are entirely different critters (good bluegill bait in the winter).
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  #15  
Old 06/21/11, 02:59 AM
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maggots can kill birds, but not for the reason you where given.
botulism is the cause,also known as "limber neck" not a guarantee that the maggots are harboring the bacteria but it is a risk. more so from spoiled grain then meat.

I posted a while back about losing some of my skovys and I'm under the impression that was the cause. I moved them all to a different area and a day later lost two more but none after, shortly after moving them I found under a bulk feeder in the old area, spoiled grain infested with maggots.

by the way botulism can kill you to if you ingest a sick bird, happens to a few waterfowl hunters every now and then.

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  #16  
Old 06/21/11, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
Wax worms are moth larva and are entirely different critters (good bluegill bait in the winter).
Wax worms are considered a pest by beekeepers, as they destroy honeycomb. You wouldn't find them in rotting meat or vegetables, because they eat beeswax. As Tinknal said, they are a moth larva.
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  #17  
Old 06/21/11, 10:41 AM
 
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My better half was telling me about a Martha Stewart show where they had suggestions on how to get maggots into the chic pen. Can't remember what they were, but if Martha said it, it must be true :-).

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  #18  
Old 06/12/12, 09:23 AM
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maggots do indeed kill chickens!

You need to understand that there are many different kinds of flies & they have different life cycles. The maggots of the common house fly, & many other flies are fine for chickens to eat. But there is a category of flies, variously named: bot fly, gad fly, whose larvae burrow into the skin of animals and feed on their blood & body secretions. Some of these flies enter the digestive system & exit through the skin. These flies can, and do, kill chickens in an especially gruesome way--basically by eating them up alive.

It is difficult to find reliable information about the life cycles of these flies when they attack chickens. From my own limited observation, I think that the flies lay eggs on the chicken feathers--either directly or via another insect, including other flies. The eggs are laid in yellow masses. The tiny larvae then migrate to the skin & burrow under, creating a sort of bloody pouch. Then they begin to eat their way out & that is when the chicken seems most affected & dies without help. If you find a chicken so attacked, it will be covered with masses of writhing maggots.

I have saved a rooster twice who was so attacked by smearing vaseline, &, when I ran out of that, olive oil, and then, finally, neem oil on the places where the maggots were emerging. The oil slowed them down & even killed them, & I was able to pick them out with tweezers. This task is both laborious & horribly gruesome.

One of the difficulties is that it is very, very difficult to see this coming because chicken feathers mask the early signs of the infestation. When the symptoms become obvious, the chicken is anemic & near death, & it happens very quickly.

I don't know if chickens can get internally infested by swallowing the eggs or the larvae. Mammals -- horses & rabbits & dogs & cats do get infested that way.

Various parasites do enter the digestive systems of chickens, so it is naive to think that the grinding action in the crop will kill any & all larvae or eggs.

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  #19  
Old 06/12/12, 07:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Elena View Post

I don't know if chickens can get internally infested by swallowing the eggs or the larvae. Mammals -- horses & rabbits & dogs & cats do get infested that way.
In a word, no. What we commonly refer to as "maggots" (fly larva), are totally different critters than internal parasites. While bot flies will lay eggs on a chicken and the larva burrows in, feeding maggots will cause no internal infestation.
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  #20  
Old 06/13/12, 05:22 PM
 
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We are getting maggots everywhere right now! Rained on rabbit food, anywhere the chickens cant scratch up, under the rabbit cages, in the cat food when the cats are slow to eat, in the ferrets cage when we put it outside..................

HATE THEM!!!

But the chickens love em! They eat them any chance they get and so far, so good lol.

Wax worms are trying to take over our hives right now, just refilled the SHB traps as they were full of drowned larva. The chickens love them too.

Pickled beet root juice with two drops of dawn is proving a cracking fly killer but the numbers just keep climbing.

Bot fly larvae or wolf larva are another story all together. Evil things! We have twice found fresh dead rats with bots coming out of several places. Large grey maggots.

We poured boiling water over them when we find them.

As far as I know bot flies hitch a ride on stronger flies and when the fly bites it victim, the bot lays its egg in the hole.

Nasty!

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  #21  
Old 06/13/12, 06:43 PM
 
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There are several different types of larvae and most are harmless for a bird to eat. Mealworms have very strong jaws for eating grain and they can chew a hole in a bird's crop if it survives long enough.

When you find a mass of maggots all over a carcass, those aren't bot fly larvae (or at least not according to the vet), they are blow-fly larvae. The ones used medically do not eat healthy tissue, but the ones most commonly found around here are not the medical ones. They can and do kill animals that would have survived otherwise.

However, healthy chickens clean any maggots off poopy feathers or whatever without a problem. I would not worry about a healthy chicken. Also, like someone said, the maggots that eat meat do not eat rotten grain. Hers should be fine unless the bacteria gets them

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  #22  
Old 06/14/12, 04:24 AM
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My chickens love any worms at all. The game of keep away is fantastic if it's a long worm that two can grab at the same time.

Maggots are worms like any other. Chickens love them, even though we humans find them rather gross.

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  #23  
Old 06/14/12, 04:51 AM
 
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When I skin a hog I make a "maggot farm". Lay the hide out in the sun, leave sit for a couple days, then turn over. The underside will be covered with maggots. Turn the hide over every few days until it disappears.

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  #24  
Old 06/14/12, 05:50 AM
 
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He was probably talking about GAPEWORMS ... which can kill chickens, and other fowl.

Gapeworm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 06/14/12, 09:40 AM
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Years ago maggots were used to make up for the low protein in chicken feed. People would hang a dead animal up in their chicken yard and let nature do the rest. The maggots would fall to the ground and the birds would eat them.

Every once in a while someone will read about that or come up with the idea maggots make good bird feed. They forget or do not know that people found out a long time ago that many birds were killed this way. Back then they called it limber neck.

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  #26  
Old 06/14/12, 09:52 AM
 
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I do not feed my chickens meat fed maggots due to botulism. I have found that Black Soldier Fly larvae are he way to go. My chickens go crazy over them and they are ez to farm. I have a couple hogs I feed the hogs scraps. I shovel the hog poo into a bin, dd water and the BSF larvae eat well. THen my chickens eat well. Looking up the BSF information was the best thing that I hve done lately for my chickens, and they are easily added to vermiculture composting if you are into that.

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  #27  
Old 06/14/12, 08:21 PM
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In a word, no. What we commonly refer to as "maggots" (fly larva), are totally different critters than internal parasites. While bot flies will lay eggs on a chicken and the larva burrows in, feeding maggots will cause no internal infestation.
In a word, we don't know. Bot flies enter an animal's digestive system when an animal licks itself & swallows the eggs (or larvae?). The maggots then do not become internal parasites which live inside the animal. Rather, they exit through the skin.

Whether this also happens in the case of chickens, I simply don't know, & I have found no reliable authority on the internet with an answer.

Nor is it true that a healthy chicken can pick off maggots. Whoever wrote that has never seen this kind of an infestation. It is enormous. My husband estimated that at one go, I picked off 1500 maggots off our poor rooster. The maggots do not attach themselves to the skin. They have burrowed under the skin & when they exit, cause a great deal of damage. There is no way that a chicken can pick them off when they are underneath, & to pick them off as they exit is too overwhelming a task for a chicken, healthy or no.

It is wrong to tell someone whose chicken has suffered so horribly--I lost a hen this way & am still feeling guilty about it--that it is because the chicken is not healthy or clean enough or whatever. The infestation can happen to a perfectly healthy chicken, in clean conditions, & I know of no way to prevent it. The rooster we saved last year was on his last legs when we began to help him. It took us 2 days to rid him of the maggots, & when we did, he recovered from his anemia & weakness by the next morning. If he had not been healthy, he would not have recovered so quickly!

It is more useful to warn chicken owners of this dangerous and awful possibility. The symptoms come on very suddenly, the anemia appears suddenly, & the chicken can die in a matter of hours. We now inspect our chickens as well we can every day. Even so, we missed the early sign of infestation on our poor rooster. It is difficult to see past the feathers.

And, the bot fly does not hitch a ride with other insects. It lays its eggs on other insects. Then, when the insect lands on he chicken, the eggs stick to the feathers, hatch, & the larvae migrate to the skin & burrow under. I don't rightly understand exactly how this process occurs.
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  #28  
Old 06/14/12, 08:40 PM
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When you find a mass of maggots all over a carcass, those aren't bot fly larvae (or at least not according to the vet), they are blow-fly larvae.
Blow flies can be a terrible pest to livestock . I have never seen their maggots on any of our animals. However, during an attack of bot fly, I should think that blow flies would be attracted, presenting a greater danger to the animal.

Blow flies maggots feed either on dead bodies or on wounded or soiled areas of the animal. They look different from bot fly maggots. To my knowledge, they indeed do not attack a healthy animal. Nor do they burrow en masse under the animal's skin.
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  #29  
Old 06/14/12, 09:22 PM
 
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Monsters Inside Me : Human Botfly, Dermatobia hominis : Animal Planet Found this about bot flies. Yuck! But my bad, I thought they hitched a ride themselves, not laid their eggs on the bloodsuckers. Good catch!

And fly strike is a nasty way to go too. An ill, old, very young, matted up fur or filthy matted feathers animal can have fly eggs laid on them and the blow fly - I think its blow flies that do this - maggots will eat the animal alive.

We use to check our old collie dog every day each summer for fly eggs as he was a prime candidate for fly strike. All he did all day was lie about the place.
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  #30  
Old 06/15/12, 09:13 PM
 
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In a word, we don't know. Bot flies enter an animal's digestive system when an animal licks itself & swallows the eggs (or larvae?). The maggots then do not become internal parasites which live inside the animal. Rather, they exit through the skin.

Whether this also happens in the case of chickens, I simply don't know, & I have found no reliable authority on the internet with an answer.

Nor is it true that a healthy chicken can pick off maggots. Whoever wrote that has never seen this kind of an infestation. It is enormous. My husband estimated that at one go, I picked off 1500 maggots off our poor rooster. The maggots do not attach themselves to the skin. They have burrowed under the skin & when they exit, cause a great deal of damage. There is no way that a chicken can pick them off when they are underneath, & to pick them off as they exit is too overwhelming a task for a chicken, healthy or no.

It is wrong to tell someone whose chicken has suffered so horribly--I lost a hen this way & am still feeling guilty about it--that it is because the chicken is not healthy or clean enough or whatever. The infestation can happen to a perfectly healthy chicken, in clean conditions, & I know of no way to prevent it. The rooster we saved last year was on his last legs when we began to help him. It took us 2 days to rid him of the maggots, & when we did, he recovered from his anemia & weakness by the next morning. If he had not been healthy, he would not have recovered so quickly!

It is more useful to warn chicken owners of this dangerous and awful possibility. The symptoms come on very suddenly, the anemia appears suddenly, & the chicken can die in a matter of hours. We now inspect our chickens as well we can every day. Even so, we missed the early sign of infestation on our poor rooster. It is difficult to see past the feathers.

And, the bot fly does not hitch a ride with other insects. It lays its eggs on other insects. Then, when the insect lands on he chicken, the eggs stick to the feathers, hatch, & the larvae migrate to the skin & burrow under. I don't rightly understand exactly how this process occurs.
You really didn't read what I wrote, did you?
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