I was looking for others opinion. We have had our flock of 9 chickens for almost a year now. Last year, we would free range the chickens in the fenced-in backyard. Honestly, it was less than ideal. There were chicken bombs that rivaled the size of my 10 lb dogs all over the yard. We have a small piece of land (1/3 of an acre). They also attacked my raised bed gardens which i will be expanding this year and will need to come up with some sort of fencing option.
But, I do have a wooded area behind my fenced in backyard. Thats actually where i built the coop and run. so, my thought was to give them the area back there to free range. HOWEVER, we used to have a massive poison ivy problem back there. We hired a landscape company to come out two years in a row to chemically treat it with a "kill-all" herbicide. The poison ivy was actually vines that were 2" in diameter which were climbing the trees and strangling them. They were also dropping seed so there was ground vines also. im terribly allergic to poison ivy, so we had it done. it was treated in july of 2008 and may of 2009. so, it has been 7 years.
i am concerned that it could still be in the soil and could sicken the chickens, or trace amounts could end up in the eggs i feed my kids (and others). i actually built the pen on top of a 6" raised bed to keep it off the ground back there. but, i feel like i am probably being paranoid. i have reached out to the landscaper to ask what they used, but they do not keep records beyond 3 years. they believe whatever they used would be long gone out of the soil by now. but, i have no concrete evidence.
what are others opinion on this? i am heavily leaning toward not risking it and keeping them in the backyard for ranging. but, i also feel i am being overly paranoid.....