What's the deal with Roxarsone in chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NHchicks, Oct 30, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I just read a news article about Roxarsone (which is some kind of arsenic) in chicken feed, and the article stated that some children tested high for arsenic which was traced back to their family's chicken flock. The chickens ate the feed which had Roxarsone, the children ate the chickens' eggs, and voila, the children now had high levels of arsenic in their systems.

    This is the first I've heard of this issue, and I do have to say I'm concerned. I buy Blue Seal feed, and I don't even know if it has Roxarsone in it, but I'm thinking maybe it's worth it to make your own feed then?

    Has anyone heard of this issue before? Is it worth worrying about? And what can be done to buy food without these additives?

    Ugh. I thought this was such an unpolluted food source...
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Does your feed have an ingredients list? Mine does, but it's not a big name brand bag, so. . . It doesn't have that in it.

    This is also another one of those reasons I'm switching to entirely homegrown, homemade recipes next year. [​IMG] Plus my girls free range enough that they don't need much feed anyway. Which is always a plus.
  3. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2010
    Did they say which brand of chicken feed contained it? I feed Purina exclusively to all of my animals except for the horses. I will have to go out and look at the ingredients list. You would think it would be illegal to put it in the feed. No sure what purpose it serves for the poultry.
  4. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I posted a link on the other message I wrote about this, which is on the Managing your Flock thread, until I realized this would be a better place for the topic. Some people have posted links on the message under Managing Your Flock, tho. But the article I was reading, which is actually from July but new to me, is this one:


    And I guess they put it in feed to keep away certain diseases, and for growth. That makes me think maybe it might not be in layer pellets, but I don't know. It appears Europe has banned the additive, but the FDA has allowed it in the US.

    Anyway, I'm not an activist or anything, but I do like to keep my food chain clean. And I do try to stay away from as many unnatural things as possible.

    So I'm thinking maybe I'll just start mixing my own feed, even if it's more expensive.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would like to put in a plug for homemixed feed! I do and love it- it's fun.

    I pay about 55 cents per pound after all is said and done, and I mix it in with organic layer pellets at 44 cents a pound for my layers to bring the cost down a little. My 83 chickens only eat about 3 horse scoops a day because they range in the garden.

    Thanks for posting about the contaminated feed. That's definitely concerning.
  6. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    ChickensAreSweet, I did read your recipe and it was inspiring. I may print that out and try to follow it.

    I used to mash up my own vegetables/fruits for baby food instead of buying the jars. This can't be that different. [​IMG]
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I thought that was something that was used in big commercial flocks, not in backyard flocks. I never see it listed in feeds at the feed store. This story seemed odd to me. I looked for more information on the internet. It sounds like the reason the parents and authorities had trouble tracing it to the feed is because it wasn't listed as an ingredient on the bag. When contacted, the producer said the feed didn't contain it. The authorities tested the feed and it DID contain it.

    I've never heard of IFA feed. (I found more information. It's Intermountain Farmers Association.) I'm wondering if they make feed for large commercial operations and had a mix up at the plant. Sometimes all kind of products for animals or people get recalled, because someone made a mistake when they were mixing ingredients at a plant. It's possible the plant lied to authorities, but I really wonder if they said the feed didn't contain arsenic because that particular feed wasn't supposed to contain arsenic. It's really scary what gets put in our food at the commercial level.

    Is anybody from Utah reading this? Did you ever hear anything else on this?

    One of the original, more official sites had a report about the investigation removed, but at least I found these.


    http://www.iatp.org/healthyfoodbill/sites/default/files/Roxarsone in hen eggs in UT (2).pdf
  9. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    WoodlandWoman, your first linked article states that arsenic compounds are not usually added to feed for egg laying poultry, so that is a bit of a relief. Maybe the substance got mixed in from the commercial feed, like you were thinking.

    Okay. So now I have to worry about the broiler chickens I buy at the grocery store. [​IMG]
  10. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've been over this topic before, in fact there were many threads closed because of the original article published in Salt Lake City.

    The feed mill in question claims that they didn't have Roxarsone in their mill and feeds they produced.

    The Grist article is incomplete! It doesn't state the results of the feed tests which showed that there was no Arsenic present. It is s shill piece for the anti-antibiotic/anti-agriculture crowd.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by