Follow our adventures

Follow our adventures as we raise a tiny flock of chickens in suburban Bexley, Ohio.
Our chicken bloggers include Tami Taylor, a Welsummer, and Tyra, a Jersey Giant.
RIP, Betty, Joan, Sally & Peggy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wild goose chase? Searching for a way to test our eggs for lead. Is it important?

Miss L is 5 months old now.  Pretty soon she'll start eating solid food and we're hoping that Tami Taylor & Tyra's eggs will be on the menu.  A few years ago I read about lead contamination in backyard chicken eggs.  It makes sense that chickens in the backyard of an older house might have gotten their beaks on some lead paint chips, for example.  And we don't want to mess with lead and a developing brain.  BUT... Finding someone who can test our eggs for lead has been tough.  Well, impossible, actually.

I called the OSU Extension office who sent me to another extension office who sent me to the Ohio Department of Agriculture who sent me to Food Safety at ODA who sent me to Animal Health at ODA who sent me to the OSU Vet Clinic who tried to send me back to ODA but instead sent me to the Avian Health Clinic, a private practice vet in Columbus.

It seems nobody tests eggs for lead.  They can test a chicken (preferably dead) for lead poisoning, but not the eggs.  The very nice vet at the Avian Health Clinic said that a chicken who was passing lead in her eggs would be very sick -- sick enough that we'd notice.

So, should I drop it and just trust that everything is a-okay?

This is not our baby.  I don't even think she's eating eggs.  But she is cute, so...


  1. This is a pretty reasonable question. I have a pdf from NY addressing this question with some very rational considerations. For the few years we had our chickens we chose to ignore the topic, though I am certain the soil the run was on was laden with old paint chips. One of the most reasonable actions may be to simply add abundant new top soil to temporarily "clean" the run. This should work for at least a year, and can be repeated again and again (Ship of Theseus). I will email you the pdf.