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Ok, BB and hen question.......

Posted by tracerracer z7OR (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 23, 09 at 10:40

This maybe a silly question (and one I think I know the answer to, just need to verify).............I have a very lg sweet cherry tree in my garden. Of course the birds (song) LOVE it. I sit on my back patio w/ my BB gun and shoot @ the birds. Now, before you get skirts in a wad,I have done this for 4 yrs and have yet to maim of kill any birds. I have found that if I aim directly @ the birds, I am sure to miss (the trajectory of this gun you must aim high and right of target to actually hit something, lol) But, it serves it's purpose, in that the birds take flight.
It dawned on me today that my girls in their daily rounds are under the cherry tree......My girls will try to eat anything, that said if they eat BBs, will the bbs 'pass' through them? Or am I slowly killin' my girls because they will get 'bound up'? I suspect it's the later (dang it) and if my fears are confirmed, my girls will be cranky because I will keep them in their pen until we are 'done' w/ our cherries...........Thanks.........T


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

They are going to get stuck in the gizzard for sure. Much too large to pass. If they dissolve in the gizzard then the meat or the eggs will get metal poisoning.

That is why the government made lead shotgun shot illegal. the ducks would eat it off the bottom of the ponds and get poisoned.

Those eggs or meat are not organic any more.


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

No lead in my bbs (stainless steel),that I know ....But to be able to have a cherry crop I will be keeping my girls 'inside' (their pen) starting tomorrow (herding them back in after they're out isn't anyone's idea of a good time or productive, lol). I'll have to deal w/ cranky girls, they like being out! It's not like they're cramped either, the pen is 20x 30 (12 hens)....sigh... Thanks for your quick answer.......T

Oh, is there any way to 'clean' my girl's crops of any bbs they may have eaten?


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Stainless BB's

If they are stainless steel you are pretty safe. I doubt that one bird ate that many bb's. I would simply relax and not fill the yard with more BB's.

glad to hear they are stainless steel.

A few BB in the gizzard will simply act as grit to grind up the food.

If one hen eats too many it will slow down its ability to eat food and the hen will get lethargic and weak. You will see something wrong. butcher the hen and check the gizzard for BB's. But mostly they should be fine. I doubt one bird got too many BB's.

Then again over time with lots of chickens in the yard they should clean up most of the BB's.

I would relax and stop worring about it. The chances of a problem are remote.


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

Please call a VET and ask about the dangers of heavy metal poisoning with the BBs. To my knowledge no one here is a vet and simply does not have adequate knowledge to truly answer your question correctly.

Also--sorry, yeah but my skirts ARE in a wad. Surely you have better things to do in life than to sit all day long and shoot at songbirds. Constantly being on guard for the cherry tree sounds exhausting! Have you tried bird netting for fruit trees, reflective tape in the tree, noise makers or some other 'scare' devices? Maybe get an R/C toy that you could hang in the tree (move it every other day or so to a new spot in the tree) and activate by remote control when needed that would scare the birds away...more fun for you and safe for the chickens! Or one that is motion activated, all the better if it moves suddenly AND makes noise. I don't know how long your cherry season is, but I'd think you could find some combination of things that can work. The folks in the fruit tree forum might be able to steer you towards some ideas that could work for you and free up your time for more important things. :)

Besides, shooting at birds that you don't intend to eat is simply freakin' evil and bad karma. Even if you miss. Boo. >:(

Velvet ~:>


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

velvet_sparrow:

Thanks, always wanted to be "freakin' evil" (tough to get a sarcastic tone typing, that's my intent).

Maybe I should have said that the VAST majority of the birds in my tree are starlings, not sure where you live, but here they are rats on wing and 'push out' our native birds, an invasive species. Frankly, I could sit w/ my 22 and 'pick them off' if I wanted to, starlings have no protection in my state. I have had noise makers, cut open pop cans for the shiney side to show and strung them up, silver ribbon, stuffed animals, plastic owls, whirly gig things, jingle bells on string, wind chimes, and for the netting.....It isn't feasible, this tree is over 30' tall and about that wide. It was old and neglected when we bought this place. Frankly, I can't afford the netting it would take to cover it. I also have known of cats that were hurt badly from being tangled up in the netting in trees, thanks, no thanks.....

BBs are nothing but irritants to the birds (although if the crows continue to frequent my tree, that may change, gotta see when the season is for them) They are NOT 'terrorized all day' Good gravy! When I am shooting @ the tree (NOT birds, they would be dead if I did, I'm an excellent shot) that is causing sudden movement and noise to startle them, isnt that EXACTLY what the purpose of your suggestions? Difference is, my way is random takes maybe 2 minutes at any given time. In the 4 yrs that I have been doing this, it has stayed consistent, the birds take flight out of my tree, unlike other methods tried that didn't, because unless I move them frequently (which takes considerable more time and energy) the birds become sensitized to those methods. What I didnt say is every couple of days, I take my big magnet out and pick up my BBs as well (did that before I got my girls) and will continue to do it.

For you to call me evil and sit in some holy judgment is unfair. I have asked some other questions here and have recommended this site to others as very helpful, specifically your answers. Your knee jerk reply is making me rethink my position, sadly.........T


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

Wow, how sensitive you are! *L* I think your humor meter is somewhat broken. But honestly, did you think that 100% of the people on a farm forum would approve of you shooting at animals you do not intend to eat?

I never used the phrase 'terrorized all day' at all and I'm not judging you. Nor did I call you any names. But YOU posted here and asked the questions, no one put words in your mouth. I'm only responding to what you wrote yourself. It's interesting that NOW you say you are shooting at the tree...but look at the third sentence in your ORIGINAL post: "I sit on my back patio w/ my BB gun and shoot @ the birds." You also did not mention at all before that, that you went out with a magnet and picked up the BBs--just that you were concerned about the chickens eating them. Nor did you mention that you had ever taken any other steps to scare away the birds. If you leave information like this out then backpeddle later, don't be too surprised at the responses that you get! All we can do is respond to what YOU post.

Also, if you notice what I suggested in my post, none of my scare methods are harmful or lethal at all. :) THAT is the difference between my suggested methods and yours, since you ask.

By the way, don't plink at the crows without checking your local laws. In a lot of places they are protected under the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. :)

Velvet ~:>


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

Velvet...As Good Job as always.


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

I have a long magnet on wheels. the roofing people use and sell them for picking up nails after the job is complete. It is about 3 feet wide so you can cover an area quickly.

here is a picture to give you an idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: roofing magnet


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RE: Ok, BB and hen question.......

Racer If the BB's are stainless steel they will not poison your chickens but may impact their crop. SS does not leach. The pins surgeons use to pin broken bones back together are SS. You did say you shoot at (song) birds. You never mentioned starlings until Velvet stepped on you. Shooting at birds even if it is a BB gun give gun owners a black eye. It is fodder for the extreme left to use as an example to push their agenda. You said you shoot at them but do not intend to hit them. First rule of handling a gun/firearm. Treat it like it is loaded at all times. Second rule. Never point at something you "do not intend to shoot". I think Velvet came on a little strong but I agree with her. Find another way of protecting your cherries that is less harmful to chickens, song birds and responsible gun owners.


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