http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&cat=1540&articleid=190 Holly Nash, DVM, MS "...We started treating the bird for lead poisoning, which includes several types of therapies. Over the following days we needed to give the bird multiple injections of a chemical called 'calcium disodium versonate' which helps bind the lead, makes it less toxic, and helps the bird's kidneys eliminate it from the body. Surprisingly, another therapy for lead poisoning in a bird is peanut butter! The peanut butter coats the lead and helps it move through the digestive system and be deposited in the feces. We also needed to give supportive care to the bird......"
Water containing physical particles or dissolved mineral material may interfere with automatic drinkers. Particulate material and iron may be removed by a sand filter and settling tank but dissolved minerals and algae growth in the system are more difficult to control. Regular cleaning and flushing may be necessary. Copper sulfate solution may control fungi and algae growth, but it can be toxic for poultry.
Poultry may be poisoned by minerals or chemicals in the water. The sodium in saline (NaCl) water is the most frequent problem. Young birds are very susceptible to sodium toxicity. Sodium above 500 ppm (0.05%) in the drinking water may cause death in young chickens and turkeys depending on the sodium level in the feed. The young birds usually die from oedema and ascites syndrome. Wet droppings or diarrhea would also occur. Salt in the feed can be reduced to avoid disease from salt in the water up to about 1000 ppm (0.1%) of sodium in the water. Saline water above 1000 ppm should not be used for broilers up to 21 days of age even if no salt is added to the feed. High levels of sodium will kill adult chickens by causing diarrhea and dehydration.
Sodium may be present in water as sodium sulfate (NaSO4) or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Sulfate may be present as magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) and cause diarrhea and death. All sources of sodium in the feed, whether added as salt or present in the feed ingredients, (particularly animal protein) and water are additive in causing sodium toxicity. If sodium is too high in the feed it will cause disease as it does in the water. Sodium, however, is an essential nutrient and poultry require some sodium to grow and produce eggs. Nitrate in feed and water may be toxic at high levels but can reduce growth at 50 ppm in water. A variety of other naturally occurring minerals and chemicals may be present in water and may cause problems. Surface water may be contaminated by farm pesticides, fertilizer or by industrial chemicals...."