Auto glass and free range chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Knittycat, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Knittycat

    Knittycat Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bay City, TX
    My back yard was home to Bay City Glass from the 40's to the 90's. The building is gone now, but the detritus of 50 years of glass sales and installation litter my back yard. I've got as much of it up as I can but we are still constantly finding bits of auto glass all over. Regular glass isn't as frequent, but it's still there too. We sweep it up whenever we find any.
    Would it be terribly dangerous to my chickens to free range them? I wasn't planning on it originally, but then I caught the chicken math bug. My run and coop is going to house 4-5 chickens, and I've got extras. (I bought extra in anticipation of death and roosters, but I've only got two roos and the pullets are all happy and healthy. go fig) I don't want to get rid of them if I don't have to, but I also don't want to shred my chickens innards!
  2. chickenX

    chickenX In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2011
    Long Beach
    wow! interesting question.

    now, i'm no auto-glass expert. at all. but isn't it true that auto glass is manufactured to break in such a way that it does not create sharp edges, but rather, more pebble-like bits?
    in that case, i would imagine that the glass, if ingested, would pass through the chicken.

    the bits of glass that you do find - do then tend to be sharp or more rounded?

    at any rate i am glad that you are giving this careful consideration. i predict you will be an excellent chicken guardian!

    good luck and do let us know how you resolve the issue.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Gosh...that's tough. There seems to be no rhyme or reason when it comes to what chickens will eat. I'm very paranoid/careful when I work on outdoor projects, about picking up anything metalic that I drop (wire clippings, screws, etc.) because I always worry that they WILL eat it. And those daggone chickens have eyes like hawks - you can think you have it all up, then you watch them zero in on the one thing you missed. Mine were worse about picking at bad stuff when they were younger for some reason. Of course pecking to see what the heck it is and actually eating it are two different things. I'm not sure what I'd do in a case like yours, which of course is no help to you. I don't know how big the shards/pieces of glass are around your property, but potential foot issues actually popped into my head more than eating the stuff for some reason. I hope somebody can give you some good advice...
  4. Knittycat

    Knittycat Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bay City, TX
    The auto glass bits are pebbly and about the size of my pinky nail. Not particularly sharp, but still glass.

    I'm half tempted to let them out and clean up the glass for me...NOT [​IMG]
  5. GarlicEater

    GarlicEater Songster

    Feb 23, 2011
    Gilroy, CA
    If it was a big problem, we'd never have kept chickens alive when they were free ranging here. This land actually has placer glass deposits. It's hilarious, after every rain storm all kinds of stuff comes out. It's a junk yard, I mean, it really *was* a junk yard for years before we got it. I don't like it when I think of animals like our geese eating junk, but I can't rake it all up, and the animals will just have to try not to eat anything too dangerous - the geese do like styrofoam though. And it sounds really funny when they eat it!

    I'd say just try to rake up, sweep up, etc what you can.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I know my chickens have had the opportunity to eat glass but I don't think they have, and I've not had any unexplainable deaths during the times they could have eaten it. They'll probably pick it up, check it out, and spit it out.
  7. Paraclete

    Paraclete In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2011
    Quote:Yeah I'd have to agree with that, building in my back yard or what have you I'm always dropping a nail or screw here or there, and where I live we get strong winds that bring in lots of random junk, bits of shingles and what not. I've seen my birds pick something up, realize it's not eatable and then drop it and move on. No expert here but I think your birds should be ok.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  8. Knittycat

    Knittycat Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bay City, TX
    Wonderful. I'm free ranging! [​IMG] Now the biggest issue will be birds of prey and neighbor dogs. Our fence should keep the dogs out, and I'll figure something out for the hawks. This will really help with our bug problem!
  9. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Songster

    Nov 8, 2010
    Doing research, we found out that some of the old-timers used to break up ceramic plates etc and let the chickens use it for grit.

    We've noticed what looks like polished bits of glass in a chicken gizzard now and then when butchering and it appears to have not harmed the chicken at all. Not even real sure where they found it, but when a window breaks it's hard to find all the pieces.
  10. nicktrkula

    nicktrkula Chirping

    Jul 18, 2013
    My neighbor has a small lot where my chickens free range and the old shed on his property is surrounded with glass and scrap from like 100 years of tinkering and the chickens eat there fill of glass and they have been doing it for a year and there's been no injury

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