Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

Friends, I have done something really awful, so embarassing to write about, and it has torn my heart out for three days. 

You know I have written about treating our big tom turkey, Jackson, for CRD, chronic respiratory disease, in this case, MG, Micoplasma Gallisepticum.  He has been coughing and choking for a month now, and was treated individually with VetRX, and Sulmet solution, when Keith held him and I squirted the meds down his throat with a soft pipette.  This was NOT a pleasant task, and Keith was beaten over and over about the head and shoulders by a very strong turkey. 

Last week, I realized we had to do something else, and I ordered Tylan, a broad antibiotic, in soluble form. 

It came Friday. 

On Saturday, I took ten dozen eggs to the food pantry. 

Saturday afternoon, Keith was sitting at the table reading from the label of the Tylan, and I was in the living room watching television and reading.  

I did not pay attention to him. 

He mixed the Tylan up, and went out and put it in the waterers in the old henhouse. 

The label specifically says "Not for use in laying hens". 

I cannot use the eggs, the huge eggs from the eight hens in that henhouse still laying. 

I called Elanco, the makers of the medicine, on Monday morning, and talked to a vet there.  She would not comment on an off-label usage.  It says that chickens can be eaten 3 days after use, and turkeys, five days after use.  She would not make a comment about eating the eggs, even after months. 

I met with my vet today, and he said the same thing, eat the hens after six weeks, don't use their eggs again except for the dogs, in a month or so.  

For those of you who don't know, I worked for six and a half years at for an animal health company, and they were not allowed to comment on off-label use either, but having worked there, I know there are lots of things that happen with animal meds. 

For all the websites for Tylan in Europe that I researched.... the eggs and hens can be eaten after a very short period of time.  Do we want to do that?  Keith and I think no, because we would not want to take ANY chance of our eggs hurting someone inadvertantly.  The USDA obviously has stricter rules, but is it necessary? 

Just now, I came in from the henhouses.  I have at least 4 dozen eggs to throw away, and Saturday and Sunday night, I did not keep the eggs separate, not knowing this was coming, so I am throwing out everything except the eggs I got last night and today from the new henhouse.  I'll buy eggs from the store for the pantry this week. My stupidity has made me sick to my stomach for the last few days,  and I am afraid we are going to have to put these poor girls down to keep them separate from everyone else, in case an egg might be mixed in accidentally. 

Do I think we need to quarantine these eggs forever?  NO, I don't.  I think the meds will go through their system in a week or so.... Do I want to take a chance and make us liable?  NO, I don't.  

Learn from my mistake, please.  

I put a picture on here of some of the eggs I am throwing away tonight, including the green eggs from Chatterbox, my only Ameracauna left.  It gave me such delight to put those eggs in the cartons, for kids to see and marvel at.  These eggs pictured here are being thrown away, along with everything but last night and today's eggs, to be sure we don't send any egg to the pantry that is suspect. 

It's very disheartening, and I have not decided what to do about the hens yet, either. 

Blogger has not displayed my blog roll for two days, until just before I sat down here.  It took forever to add the one picture, too... so I am going to stop here.  

Please, please, learn from my mistake and read your labels fully. 


  1. Oh how sad Mary Ann, what a waste of beautiful eggs......Francine.

  2. How disheartening ;( I would throw them out as well, just to be on the safe side.

  3. I'm sorry Mary frustrating, not knowing! I would also err on the side of caution, but how sad. :(

  4. So sorry for you and for the chickens and turkeys!

  5. Oh we are sorry that happened too!

  6. It doesn't make sense that you can eat the chickens but not their eggs.
    Sorry this happened!

  7. Oh gosh, I'm so sorry. I bet it is so disheartening to throw away all those eggs. I hope you can figure out something with the hens so you don't have to put them down :(

  8. Oh, I'm sorry. That is such a waste. I also hope you can find a good solution with those hens!

  9. Oh no!! Thanks for the warning, it will be remembered here. I'm sorry about the loss of all those eggs.

  10. I'm sorry, this really is terribly sad and to loose all those eggs. I honestly believe also the eggs will be alright again but I understand the concern for sure. It's just too bad.

  11. I am so glad you guys figured it out even tho I know you are also sad and upset about it. I just don't know what else to say to make you feel better. Hugs to all!!
    stella rose and mags

  12. It's a sad day there and here Mary Ann.
    I'm at work, had to take a sedative to quit crying.

  13. Sadly I've had to learn some lessons the hard way too. We all have at one time or another. Now you'll be all the wiser for it. Take care!

  14. I'm so sorry. Dont be so hard on yourself though. Anyone could make yhat sort of mistake.

  15. Mary Ann, sweetheart, mistakes happen. It's what we do AFTER the mistake that is the most important. You did what you could to research your options, and it sounds like you are on the right track. Throwing out eggs must be painful, tho. Can you separate and quarantine the affected hens?


  16. I'm so sorry this happened to you! Well, bad things happen sometimes. Don't be so hard on yourself.

  17. Oh no Mary Ann :-(

    But thank you for posting so we can all learn.

    Amy from Ireland

  18. Aw Mary Ann, what a heart break. It's frustrating because even when we're trying to do our best, mistakes still happen. I have goats and there are very few meds tested for goats, so almost all veterinary meds are given off label. Fortunately my vet is still willing to prescribe.


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