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.