You probably saw the news about the new study that found high levels of lead in backyard chickens and eggs in our biggest cities – and Darebin was flagged to be a higher risk.
Older homes are most at risk of contamination from the past use of lead-based paints, leaded petrol and lead pipes. Lead gets into the hens as they scratch in the dirt and peck food from the ground.
If you’re a backyard chicken keeper or veggie grower, there are lots of actions you can take to keep yourself and your chooks safe:
• Get your soil tested. Macquarie University’s VegeSafe program aims to inform the community about metal and metalloid contaminants in their garden soil through free soil metal testing. Check it out here – https://www.360dustanalysis.com/
• Areas of soil identified as a problem can be replaced and chickens kept to areas of known clean soil.
• If you can’t keep chickens safely, purchase free-range organic, pastured or regeneratively produced eggs
• Grow food in raised beds or other containers