A warning about the possibility of lead around your property. I've had chickens for two years now. They live in an old coop that was built in the '30s. We had one of our hens die after her first year suddenly and found that she had a tumor on her liver that had burst (her death has not been tied to possible lead poisoning). Another hen started showing signs of illness around 2 weeks ago. She was standing around, puffed up and not coming off the roost. Her condition worsened over a week. I tired antibiotics and steroids as my hens are pets as well as egg layers but finally decided to put her down. We had her body and some blood that was drawn sent to cornell for testing to see what caused her illness. They called the next day and said that while they are still investigating the cause of her illness, they had found enough lead in her system that we should stop eating the eggs asap. Right now, I have 75 eggs in the fridge that I can no longer eat. I am so disheartened by this entire experience. I let the hens free range on their own 1/4 acre and try to keep things organic around here. The coop itself does not have any paint on it or chipping off and I clean up any garbage, glass, etc. I find. From all outward appearances, things look very natural back there. But upon closer inspection, I did find small pieces of old wood with paint on them. I have no idea how much of this is back there and I don't even know if all hens are affected or only some. I am having other birds tested too, as well as the water, ourselves and the soil. Whoever thought doing something good for you could end up being so bad? I don't think this is something that most of us think about, but maybe it's time we all did. It may be a much larger problem than people realize. My advice is to really inspect your property and outbuildings, chickens will eat the tiniest of specks they find. If you see signs of peeling or chipping paint, fix the problem asap, before you have a much larger problem like I currently have.