Maggots kill chickens?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by TNnative, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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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. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Mine eat maggots every chance they get. Lots of good protein.
     
  5. kirkmcquest

    kirkmcquest Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    Some people hang road kill so the chickens can eat the maggots. They were just pulling your leg:)
     
  7. Rechellef

    Rechellef Show us your teats!!

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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.
     
  8. Millroad

    Millroad Well-Known Member

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    That misinformation is an indication of an ignorance of the basic facts of biology. Gah.
     
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  9. Beowulf

    Beowulf Well-Known Member

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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? :runforhills:
     
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  10. trbizwiz

    trbizwiz Well-Known Member

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    mine love maggots. They dig through cow manure like crazy looking for them or any other bugs.
     
  11. Sanza

    Sanza Crazy Canuck

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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.
     
  12. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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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!
     
  14. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wax worms are moth larva and are entirely different critters (good bluegill bait in the winter).
     
  15. ||Downhome||

    ||Downhome|| Born in the wrong Century

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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.
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. HeelSpur

    HeelSpur Well-Known Member

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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 :).
     
  18. Elena

    Elena New Member

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    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.
     
  19. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  20. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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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!