Raising chickens near corn and bean fields

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Buckeye11, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Buckeye11

    Buckeye11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking ahead for next spring and figured some have the same issue I do. I free range chickens that cover around 2 acres and about 100 yard from the coop is a corn and soybean field that is grown conventionally. How do you free range chickens near grain fields that are GMO and they spray chemicals on the crop fields? They don't range in the fields often but they do venture that way.
     
  2. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although not in this situation myself, I know I would not want chickens to get into contact with sprayed chemicals either- especially when you will be eating eggs.

    Is the stuff the neighbors use water soluble? Maybe you can approach them with your contamination concerns for your chickens/ animals. Perhaps try to ask for a chemical list in case of overspray? Then, perhaps putting up really tall/ sturdy/ encompassing/ deflecting fencing- where you know the ground near them is unaffected, may help solve this if rain doesn't wash downstream from their property to yours. If you are still concerned over chemical contamination, you might be able to get farmer's soil testing- if you feel this is a real concern you might want to know what's going on just for peace of mind.

    Hope you can get this figured out. I know I would be concerned too.
     
  3. Buckeye11

    Buckeye11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Southern Ohio
    Thanks, yea the field is my family's field but is rented out to a local farmer so I could ask him. The coop and run sit up on the hill with the field down below. I know when they spray and can keep the chickens in their run for a short period of time. I'm concerned that they have contaminated the soil, knowing the chickens will want to go down and scratch the soil once they work it up. Could I keep them in the run after they have sprayed or will I still have to worry about what it will do to the soil?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  4. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not trying to alarm you, but, that's the exact thing I'd be concerned about.

    I would definitely ask the farmer. You just don't know what ingredients may be in their spray, and if there would be soil residual from overspray, or if the products used have irritants or toxins to livestock- is this stuff deemed safe for humans/ livestock? Inform him you'd be eating those eggs. Hopefully someone who has had actual experience with this can let you know what they do. Hopefully, it will all be safe. Best wishes!
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Rest easy.

    GMO crops like Bt corn do not require ANY pesticide sprays to control serious insect pests.

    This is one of the huge benefits of GMO crops.

    I would be more concerned about poison if the farmer planted Organic crops because they still must be sprayed with some bad stuff to control insects.

    Roundup Ready corn and soy do require the use of Roundup but it is used early during the growing season and is not very toxic. The herbicide Parquet however is another matter. I would keep them confined for a time if it is used. Check the label to see how long.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Some of the above is not entirely accurate. The Delta Endotoxin (produced by introduced Bt-gene) is relatively specific in the insects it is affective against. Other insects species, if enough impact justifies it, then may be treated with other insecticides. The Bt-gene has allowed several crops to operate without insecticide use in the face of some of their typically most troublesome insect pests but not all. Additionally, in some localities the European Corn Borer population has already developed resistance to the Bt-Corn forcing the resumption of pesticide use even though farmers continue to use the more expensive GMO seed. That is though to have arisen more rapidly than desired because farmers failed to take proper cultural precautions that would slow development of resistance.


    Not all organic folks use the bad stuff.


    Round up may prove to be very negative on its affects on the environment. Concern is being raised it is impacting animal life in streams.
     
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  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd like to say something from the farmers' perspective--get a fence. Your chickens have no right in his field. Although the crop losses to your birds are probably small, they are still crop losses. People seem to think that because a farmer has acres and acres, it's OK that they lose a little. But in reality, it's no different than if you allowed your chickens into your neighbor's garden. The farmer prepared the soil, purchased the seed, planted, and cared for those plants. He has enough loss from wild birds without you adding your birds to it, and asking him to alter his behavior to boot.

    Put up the fence, and let him know your concerns about overspray. He'll be a lot more likely to listen to you when your concern isn't "I'm worried about what my chickens will get into while they trespass on your land and eat your crops."
     
    2 people like this.

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