chicken eggs & wildfires
I moved my chickens indoors when the smoke was bad, but I need to move them out again soon. The soil now has been contaminated w/ ash, and chickens peck on the ground all the time. Their run is covered but open on 2 sides. I had planned to get some fresh top soil from the garden center to replace the soil in their run, but organic top soil is sold out in all the places near where I live. How concerned should I be about ash/wildfire contamination that ends up in the eggs?
Multnomah County Oregon
Thank you for reaching out to Extension. Research on the impact of ash and wildfires on chickens has only recently begun. Below are resources that are available, the assessing risk will help you to make your own determination. Add clean soil, mulch, or other clean cover material to existing chicken runs to help reduce chickens’ contact with and ingestion of contaminated soil. Use clean soil when constructing new chicken runs. Provide your chickens’ regular feed in feeders and avoid scattering feed (including scratch grains and food scraps) on bare ground.
How are my backyard poultry affected by nearby wildfires? https://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/files/294462.pdf
Understanding and Communicating the Risks of Urban Fires on Eggs Produced from Backyard Chickens in California