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My Chicken Ate Glass: What Should I Do?

my chicken ate glass

So you just watched, in horror, as your chicken blissfully pecked at some broken glass; now what?

Chickens are curious creatures who hunt and peck for anything dime-sized or smaller.

And if that object is shiny or different, they are likelier to spot and try it–glass is no exception.

In this article, we’ll understand the implications of a chicken-eating glass and offer guidance on handling this situation.

My Chicken Ate Glass: What’s Going to Happen?

Breathe. Most of the time, nothing bad will happen.

Chickens need to eat rocks and coarse bits of sand (often called grit) to fill their crop, help them grind down, and process their food for digestion.

According to this Pontotoc farmer, the glass will live in the gizzard without harming the chicken and become smooth over time, ‘as slick as a button,’ he says.

With all this said, I would not recommend intentionally feeding your chicken glass.

It could be lodged in the lining of their esophagus, gizzard, or stomach– which is deadly.

If your chicken ingests glass, you’ll probably know if they will be okay within a few days.

chicken ate glass

Should You Eat a Chicken That Ate Glass?

Technically, whatever your chicken eats should stay within their digestive system, meaning it will not migrate to the meat of the bird.

So, if the glass is deadly, it could work its way into the lining of their digestive system.

It may either be lodged into the lining or through the lining and into their muscle, which we know as chicken meat.

Of course, the glass could migrate into their organs, too.

Because of these possibilities, I would not eat a chicken who ate glass (at least not on purpose).

Can Chickens Be Okay After Eating Glass?

Contrary to initial panic, chickens can sometimes use (in the crop) or pass small glass fragments without serious harm.

The digestive system of chickens is designed to handle a variety of materials.

Still, the extent of potential harm depends on factors such as the size of the glass pieces ingested, the chicken’s overall health, and the promptness of intervention.

What To Do With a Chicken That Died After Eating Glass?

In unfortunate cases where a chicken does not survive after consuming glass, proper disposal is essential to prevent potential health risks to other animals or even humans.

Either bury the chicken deep enough in the ground so other animals can’t dig it up and eat it, or wrap it up in a waste bag and dispose of it with your trash (if it’s legal in your municipal).

Do not allow wild or domestic animals to eat this chicken because they may also ingest the glass.

My Chicken Ate Glass: FAQ

What Happens If My Chicken Eats a Small Piece of Glass?

Most of the time, your chicken will be fine after ingesting glass.

It will either stay in the crop and help the chicken break down food or pass through the bird without issue.

Glass can potentially be deadly in chickens, but it is not as much of an issue for birds as it is for most other animals.

Is Glass Good for Chickens?

While some farmers claim that glass is beneficial for chickens to ingest (and have even had positive experience with feeding it to them), and it might be in some circumstances, it is not recommended.

It’s much better to offer your chicken a more natural grit like fine gravel, coarse sand, or small smooth pebbles.

These substrates are far less likely to puncture or rupture parts of the digestive system accidentally.

Do Chickens Need Glass?

Chickens do not need glass; they need grit like rocks and sand to work in their crops and grind down the food they eat.

What Foods Can’t Chickens Eat?

Chickens can’t safely eat chocolate, coffee (high levels of caffeine), mold, excess salt and sugar, green potatoes, green tomatoes, onions, garlic, and large quantities of citrus.

You can check our complete list of chicken treats, which includes what chickens can’t eat.

Will Chickens Eat Anything?

Chickens will eat just about anything and everything–whether it’s good for them or not.

They will eat glass, styrofoam, poisonous foods, small bits of metal, and just about anything else that catches their eye and will fit down their gullets.

Because of this, you need to watch out for them and do your best to reduce their exposure to dangerous food-like objects.

Will Chickens Stop Eating When Full?

With the exception of meat chickens (often called fryers or broilers), most chickens will stop eating when they are full and will not over eat.

Most chickens need to eat twice to four times a day– if they are not allowed on pasture or free-range.

What Is Hardware Disease?

Hardware disease is when an animal eats a metallic item that punctures the wall of their reticulum (digestive system). This can be mild or severe.

Some animals will survive it, while others will not. Symptoms of hardware disease include a decreased appetite, signs of pain, odd posture, or signs of depression.

Chicken Ate Glass: Final Thoughts

Dealing with a chicken that has ingested glass can be a challenging and distressing experience for any poultry owner.

There is little you can do to help your chicken besides offering supportive care and hoping they are unharmed.

That isn’t the most helpful answer, but it’s about all you can do for them.


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