Testing Your Soil: Steps to Keep Your Poultry Safe

Ashley Beckman

If you have chickens, then you know that the health and safety of your birds are paramount! And while there are many things you can do to keep them safe, such as providing a secure place for them to live or making sure their food and water sources are always topped up, one of the most important steps you should take is to test your soil.

As someone who has been keeping free-range poultry for years now, I’ve come to realize just how vital it is that I routinely check my soil’s composition. Not only does it help me ensure my birds are getting the nutrients they need from their environment but also that any potential toxins or contaminants won’t be able to harm them in any way. As a fellow poultry keeper said recently: “You can never be too careful when it comes to looking after our feathered friends!”

In this blog post, we’ll look at why testing your soil is so critical if you want healthy and safe poultry, what types of tests are available, and how best to go about doing it yourself. So let’s get started!

How Do You Test For Soil Safety?

To ensure the safety of my poultry, I follow the following steps:

Collecting Soil Samples

I collect samples from various areas of my property, taking extra care to get samples from places where water accumulates such as low-lying parts of the property or near streams. This ensures that any potential toxins in the water will be detected by the tests.

Sending Off for Lab Analysis

Once I have collected enough samples, I send them off to a laboratory for analysis. When sending a sample off for lab testing it’s important to include detailed instructions about which contaminants you’re screening for and which limits need to be met for your soil to pass approval.

Making Necessary Adjustments

Once I receive the lab results, I make any necessary adjustments in accordance with their recommendations. This may include adding fertilizers or altering drainage patterns so that everything practices local regulations regarding poultry health and safety standards.

Final Inspection

Finally, before introducing birds into an area, I personally inspect each area where my birds will live in order to ensure their safety and gain peace of mind knowing they’re living in a comfortable environment free from potential harm.

How Do You Test Your Soil?


When it comes to keeping your poultry healthy and safe, testing your soil is an essential step that should not be overlooked. Knowing the exact environment in which our chickens live helps us to ensure their health and safety, and luckily there are a variety of ways to do this. In this article, I will share my experience with testing my soil for its pH level using a simple home test kit.

Purchasing A Home Test Kit

As a beginner chicken keeper, I was overwhelmed by the number of options available when it came to finding out the pH level of my soil. After doing some research online about different ways of testing soil pH levels, I decided that buying a simple home test kit would be best for me. The kit came with everything I needed: an instruction manual, a collection bottle (for collecting samples from the ground), and even litmus paper so I could get an accurate reading right away!

Taking The Sample

My first few attempts at taking a sample were admittedly clumsy; however, after practicing a couple of times it became second nature! All I had to do was fill up the collection bottle with dirt from where my chickens roam around in their pen (about 8 inches deep) and then use the litmus paper on top of the sample. It took less than five minutes until I had an exact reading on whether or not my soil was within acceptable ranges for raising healthy chickens!

Benefits Of Testing Your Soil

The peace of mind that came along with this knowledge made me feel incredibly relieved – if there had been any issues detected with my soil’s pH balance then at least now I knew about them before they caused serious harm or illness among my birds. And as long as no abnormalities showed up during these tests then there wasn’t really anything else for me to worry about other than making sure future tests are done regularly and consistently over time!


Testing your soil isn’t something you should ignore; rather it’s an important part of being a responsible poultry owner. Not only does regular testing help keep your birds safe but understanding what kind of environment your birds live in will also give you insight into which kinds of food may work best for them as well as how much water they need each day! So don’t forget – investing in a good quality home test kit will pay off greatly in terms of protecting both yourself and your precious feathered friends.

What Is The Best Way To Test Soil For Nutrients?

Collecting Samples

Collecting soil samples is a relatively easy process that anyone can do in their backyard or field. All you need to do is take a clean container and fill it with soil from each area of your property that you would like to test. Make sure to collect samples from different spots, as this will give you the most accurate results. Take about a cupful of soil from each spot and label each sample accordingly.

Sending Off Samples

Once you have collected all the soil samples, the next step is to find a reliable lab that can analyze them for you. You can usually find local labs online or by asking around in your area. Once you have chosen a lab, send off the samples in an envelope or box along with any relevant information such as contact details and payment information.

Interpreting Results

When the lab has finished analyzing your samples, they will send you back detailed reports on the minerals present in your soil and what type of fertilizer should be applied. It’s important to read through these reports carefully and make sure you understand what they mean before taking any further action. If necessary, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification from the lab if anything is unclear.

How Can I Test The Ph Of My Soil Without A Kit?


Testing the pH of your soil is an essential step in making sure that your backyard poultry is healthy and safe. Fortunately, with some simple tools and a bit of knowledge, you can easily measure the acidity or alkalinity of your soil.

Collecting Samples

Start by digging around 6-7 inches deep into your soil with a small shovel. Take samples from different parts of your yard (or coop) to make sure that you’re getting an accurate reading across all areas where animals will be living and grazing. Collect about one cup worth of dirt for each sample – just enough to fill up half of a glass jar – then close it tightly with its lid.

Testing the Soil

Once all samples are collected and stored away safely in their jars, add equal amounts (about 4 tablespoons) of distilled water to each jar and give them a good shake to mix everything together well. Let them sit undisturbed overnight so that any residual particles settle at the bottom; this allows us to get an accurate reading when comparing our sample against universal pH charts available online or in gardening stores near you.

Using either red cabbage juice or litmus paper (which is very sensitive), compare the color change on either item against what’s indicated on the universal chart; if using cabbage juice as an indicator, remember that blue or green indicates acidic levels whereas purple indicates alkaline levels! Knowing this information allows us to take proactive steps towards maintaining optimal conditions for our feathered friends like adjusting fertilizer ratios or adding lime if necessary before problems arise due to unhealthy soil conditions.

Testing the pH of your soil is a simple yet essential step in keeping your backyard poultry happy and healthy – and it doesn’t have to be hard! With some basic tools and knowledge, you can accurately measure the acidity or alkalinity of your soil and make sure that your birds are living in ideal conditions.


In conclusion, testing your soil is an essential step to ensure the health and safety of your poultry. Testing helps you identify any potential issues with the soil so that you can take action to fix them. Additionally, it ensures that all nutrients are being properly absorbed by your poultry in order for them to remain healthy and strong. Though there may be some initial costs associated with testing, these costs will be minor compared to the cost of treating a disease or illness resulting from poor soil quality. Taking proactive steps like regularly testing your soil can help keep your poultry safe and healthy for years to come.

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