We now know that chickens with high lead levels often lay eggs with excess lead, too. So, how can you help prevent your chickens from ingesting lead?
Start by having the soil sampled — that is, the dirt your poultry can access anywhere on your property. If lead levels are high, either restrict access or add two feet of new soil as cover. And test the soil every year to account for lead contamination from runoff.
Next, test the paint and any other potential lead-containing components on the coop or anywhere else your chickens frequent. Test the water lines for traces of lead, too.
If you’re concerned that your chickens have already ingested lead, ask your veterinarian to perform routine blood lead levels. Remember, some chickens have high lead levels without showing any clinical signs. Also, test the eggs for lead before eating them.