Lead paint contaminates eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by digitS', Nov 15, 2009.

  1. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    This is news that bears repeating from the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (5 page pdf)

    "In April 2000, acute lead poisoning was diagnosed in a laying hen (blood lead = 1,500 ppb) from a small farm in northeast Iowa. This chicken showed clinical signs indicative of central nervous system dysfunction before submission."

    - This was a laying hen obviously poisoned by lead. The source of the poison was determined:

    "Laying hens remaining in the farm flock had been observed consuming chips of lead-based paint peeling from a farm building."

    - Not all the hens in the flock showed signs of poisoning:

    "All 20 remaining chickens were clinically normal . . ."

    - However:

    "Lead concentrations in yolks ranged from less than 20 to 400 ppb"

    - Is that a dangerous concentration of lead? In a clinical trial, lead contaminated feed was given laying hens over the course of 34 days. The researchers reported:

    "a lead concentration of 3.38 µg/g (dry weight) in the yolk of eggs laid on day 34 of the study. Yolk lead concentrations ranged from 400 to 1,080 ppb"

    U.S. Standards for Lead Levels "FDA has set an action level of 0.5 µg/mL for lead in products intended for use by infants and children"


    ETA: To shamelessly come back here and add a little something about what I do in my backyard with a house that was partly built over 100 years ago. I have to believe that the original home was painted, probably more than once, with lead based paint. I now keep the chickens away from the old part of the house. They do have access to 2 walls that were built much more recently. There was no sign of paint chipping on those walls before they were covered with new siding. - Chickens will eat paint chips. -
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009

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