Grass Seed and Fertilizer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chasingsunshine, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. chasingsunshine

    chasingsunshine In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2014
    Yesterday my landlord knocked on my door to let me know he was spreading grass seed/fertilizer on chunks of my yard (there are quite a few spots of fresh dirt from various projects he's done recently) and to make sure the chickens weren't out. I haven't finished the outside of their pen yet, so they were locked up in the coop and out of the way. A few hours later I was looking out at the yard and kicking myself for not saying anything, since now half of the outside of their coop has grass seed and fertilizer in it. I have no idea what he used, but it was in one of those carts that flings seed out the bottom as you push it, and the fertilizer looks like tiny plastic balls. The chickens won't be going outside for a week or two, since my progress on finishing that part of the coop is very slow, but I'm worried about letting them peck around in anything that might be poison. Does anyone know how long it takes before that patch of ground will be safe for chickens? I'm considering picking up the fertilizer balls and getting them out of the chickies space, but I don't trust that I can get all of it.
  2. I don't foresee any problems caused by the fertilizer, it is likely incased in something like paraffin to protect it pre application from moisture in the atmosphere.

    There is some concern if the grass seed has been treated (likely with a compound containing elemental Mercury) to protect the grass seed from mold and yeast infections.
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    My first thought is that "no" the seed and fertilizer wouldn't be toxic to your chickens. I wasn't 100% sure, so I did a google search and found similar answers. It's the pesticides that may or may not be formulated in with the fertilizer and/or grass seed. If so, then that would definitely be toxic, possibly even lethal in sufficient quantities, to either wild birds or your chickens. What I would do is ask if you could see the label of the product he was using (both seed and fertilizer pellets) and call the 1-800 numbers on them, with the product in hand (or take photos) so you have the UPC code or some other identifying product label number and ask the mfr. Ask them if the products would be harmful to wild birds or chickens. If they say harmful to wild birds but not to chickens, I would err on the side of caution and keep your birds away from it. And ask them how long will it take for the toxic substances to break down into harmlessness. Some do, but some pesticides don't break down quickly, even after years.

    If it's JUST grass seed and fertilizer, without any pesticides in either product, it sounds like you'll be okay. Perhaps not the ideal thing, but it doesn't sound like a known killer. I mean the the grass seed would be food! Maybe someone with more direct knowledge can chime in.

    On a tangent, here is a story about how Scott's (the fertilizer company) plead guilty for selling bird seed that had been coated with pesticides:


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