Use caution when spraying any lawn chemicals near poultry.

Is Roundup Safe Around Chickens?

by Keith Dooley

Killing grass and weeds requires the right tool for the job, and for some, Roundup is the ticket. Throughout the years, Roundup, with the active ingredient glyphosate, has been made available is several different formulations with the original Roundup remaining a popular option. The safety of kids and animals is always a concern when spraying herbicides, so it is important to know the possible impact. Take precautions when using Roundup to make sure the herbicide does not present a problem for the chicken or the eggs it produces.

1. Understanding Roundup

Roundup herbicide is a product of Monsanto and designed to kill a variety of grass and weeds commercially and around the home or farm. Roundup is systemic meaning that the herbicide moves from the leaves and stems through the entire plant and eventually the roots. The original Roundup formulation contains a 41-percent concentration of glyphosate. Understanding the concentration is important when diluting the herbicide for use. It is important to read and understand the product and warning labels before spraying Roundup.

2. Impact of Roundup on Birds

Lab testing shows that controlled amounts of Roundup is not toxic and does not have an impact on the reproduction of birds if safety precautions are followed, according to Cornell University Extension. It is important to remember that these test use controlled amounts and that chickens should be kept out of the spray area for up to 24 hours. They should not be allowed to ingest food or weeds that have contacted the herbicide.

3. Using Roundup Safely

The safe use of Roundup includes wearing gloves and safety glasses. Product labeling recommends wearing a long-sleeve shirt and pants in addition to closed-toe shoes. To help reduce the possibility of unnecessary herbicide contact, the spray Roundup when the wind is calm in the early morning or late evening. Wind increases the potential of over spray and drift into unwanted areas. The nozzle on the spray wand should be adjusted to as fine a stream as possible for the greatest control and prevent spraying unwanted areas.

4. Natural Alternatives to Roundup

Information from Monsanto suggests Roundup to be safe for use around bird such as chickens; however, you may still have doubts about using herbicides, especially if your chickens are free range. In this case, consider using a more natural means of weed control. Use boiling water to scald weeds. A homemade weed spray made from one part vinegar and one part water is effective on a range of weeds and grass. Also, rock salt sprinkled around weeds acts in much the same way as salt-based herbicides such as Roundup and is most effective when watered in. Use salt only in areas that you intend to remain barren, since it remains in the ground.

About the Author

Keith Dooley has done work in the field of landscaping and design for more than 10 years. He has implemented his own designs, as well as pulled from techniques learned through studies, creating many landscapes for others to enjoy.He has also maintained lawns, athletic fields, town parks, large gardens and game fields.

Photo Credits

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