Can I let them free range in grass that's been given fresh seed that's mixed with fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Carolyn252, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Can the fertilizer hurt the chickens if they decide to eat some of it? DH decided to toss some grass seed into some bald spots in the backyard lawn. He used the kind that's already mixed with fertilizer to help the grass seed grow. The fertilizer looks like tiny green gravel kind of like what you see in home aquariums. There are no weed-killing chemicals in the seed/fertilizer mix. Just grass seed and fertilizer and some moisture releasing gel particles. He put it down about a week ago, and we watered every day and it rained a heavy rain at least three times since then. But the green "gravel" hasn't dissolved and is still visible.

    The chickens are two Delaware hens of one year of age each, and a three year old Marans hen. (Not bantams.)

    Moderator: Not sure if this is the proper forum board for this question. Please reposition it if need be.

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    I honestly don't believe it would do any harm. However, just to be safe you can wait a day or two before letting them free range it may be better.
  3. RobinB

    RobinB New Egg

    Dec 14, 2011
    I'd wet it a few times before letting them get at it. It will dissolve into the ground.
  4. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    But, as I said in my original message, all the rain and the watering has NOT dissolved it. So I'm still not sure about what to do.
  5. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    But, as I said in my original message, it's already been about seven days, Way more than "a day or two". So I still don't know what to do. The three girls have been confined to their run for the whole week and boy are they eager to get out. The run is 15 feet by 9 feet, so there's plenty of room for them, but they are used to free ranging in the grass and shrubs every day year round. But I've been afraid to let them get out into the grass because of that fertilizer.
  6. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Ok, I sent the following email to the seed company:
    "We seeded some bald spots in our backyard lawn with Pennington 1Step Complete Seeding Mixture with Smart Seed For Dense Shade Areas about ten days ago. Over the course of the ten days, we watered it daily for the first three days, and there's been three rainy days and four days of strong sun.

    There is still lots of green granules visible on the ground. All that water has not dissolved it away. My very IMPORTANT question is: can I let my three pet chickens out of their pen to go back to their usual free ranging in the backyard lawn? They are all large-breed adult hens. They've been penned up all this time because I thought the seed additives would be gone with lots of watering and I'd then be able to let them free again. But I'm afraid that they might be harmed if they eat any of the green granules. Please let me know what you think. Is it toxic to birds? We don't eat the meat of the chickens, but we do eat the eggs that they lay every day. Will the seed make the chickens sick? Will it kill them? Will the chickens be fine but their eggs be toxic and make me sick?"

    I'll also try finding an email address for the chicken doctor and will include the seed bag's ingredient list:

    Yikes! Just found a Caution label on the bag: "CAUTION: This seed has been treated with Cytokinin (as Kinetin), gibberelic acid and indole-3-butyric acid commonly known as StimulateTM Yield Enhancer. Do not use for food, feed or oil purposes."
    [I doubled-checked my typing and there are no errors in the spelling of the chemicals.]

    So now I think I'd better keep the three hens confined to their run until all those green granules have been dissolved and used up by the emerging grass. Hope that's not going to be more than another three weeks or so. [​IMG]
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    In the meantime, provide them with fresh lettuce to eat.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  8. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Good idea! Will do. Thanks!
  9. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Just now got an email reply from the seed company:

    "Hello Carolyn,

    The fertilizer found in that product has already dissolved into the soil and is not at all harmful to your chicken in anyway now. The Penkote that is on the outside of the seed is safe for your chickens, as it will not harm them. This will also not affect the eggs that the chickens lay. The mulch that is in this seed is a paper product and the green coloring is Penkote. The only hazardous material used in Penkote is Apron (Mefenoxam), which is used in very small portions. The amount of Apron put on the seed is ½ ounce per 100 pounds of seed. Apron is 33.3% Mefenoxam. The amount of Mefenoxam on the seed would be one part in 9072 parts of seed.

    Please advise if we can be of further assistance.

    Courtney Harrison
    Consumer Relations Assistant Manager
    Greenfield, MO Division
    Pennington Seed Inc.
    1-800-285-7333 ext. 187"

    So, I think I'm going to let them out tomorrow and hope for the best. (Unless I get an email response from the Chicken Doctor Peter Brown that says otherwise.)


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