Environment & Science

Do wildfires affect chicken eggs? UC Davis researchers want to find out

Researchers want to study backyard chicken eggs from fire burn areas, including where the Thomas, Creek, La Tuna fires burned late last year.
Researchers want to study backyard chicken eggs from fire burn areas, including where the Thomas, Creek, La Tuna fires burned late last year.
File photo by Robert Garrova/KPCC

Researchers at UC Davis are on the hunt for backyard chickens raised in areas near where California's recent wildfires burned.

They want to test their eggs to see how they may have been affected by fire, smoke and ash.

The eggs will be tested for chemicals, building materials and heavy metals that may have been carried in the smoke and ash.

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"Really what we want to understand is what is the risk of consuming backyard eggs that are from hens that are in close proximity to fire and other environmental issues where contamination may have occurred,” said UC Davis veterinarian Maurice Pitesky, who is leading the study.

Researchers want to study backyard chicken eggs from burn areas such as the Thomas, Creek, La Tuna fires, as well as Northern California’s Sonoma County, where massive, deadly wildfires raged last year

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They also want to examine eggs from non-burn areas for comparison.

You can learn more about the study at ucanr.edu/eggtest.