An unwanted bonus in your urban chickens

Longtime reader Ray Eckhart sent me a NYT story on urban chicken eggs and lead contamination.  As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, urban gardeners should have their soils tested for lead, arsenic, and other commonly found heavy metals before they plant edibles.  Chickens that are allowed to peck and scratch in metal-contaminated soils will pass that unwanted load on to you via their eggs.

So test your soils!  It costs a bit of money, but then you know exactly what’s lurking in there.  If your soils have significantly high levels of lead or other contaminants, you can still raise chickens as long as they don’t roam your garden.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

4 thoughts on “An unwanted bonus in your urban chickens”

  1. Angelo, it’s the miracle of photoshop. But it does put a new spin on the goose (or chicken?) that laid the golden egg!

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