The plan to raise your own chickens in New York City seems like a good one until you realize that the chickens are not bopping around a verdant field lined with oak trees. They are in Queens.

And, lo:

Preliminary results from a New York State study show that more than half of the eggs tested from chickens kept in community gardens in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens had detectable levels of lead, unlike their store-bought counterparts. While lead is a naturally occurring element that gets ingested in a variety of ways, it has been well established to be harmful to humans, even in very low quantities. …

Individual homeowners who keep chickens in their backyards have little way of knowing whether their eggs might be contaminated unless they have them tested themselves. The researchers tested only 58 eggs from community gardens because those eggs were accessible and that was the number of eggs that met the criteria of their study.

That’s the Times revealing the obvious. You are putting chicken feed on the ground in the Bronx. Of course the stupid bird is eating horrible things.

I don’t know why someone at Grist created this photo of Ryan Gosling holding a chick, but I think it works here.

Even if you don’t put it directly in the ground, the chickens are ingesting the unimaginable. A guy (a scientist or something?) recently decided to see what’s floating around in the air in the city. Guess what?

Big Apple air is a bizarre brew of bacteria, pollen, clothing fiber, fungus, tire rubber, dead skin cells, cooking fat and carbon emissions. …

Yes, there’s the expected pollution in midtown and the South Bronx, and neighborhoods with lots of trees tend to have pollen and fungus in the air. But each breath you take — about 33,000 a day — also might include spores, bacteria, pollens, tiny bits of glass, starch and fat.

This is what you’re breathing through your head-holes about five feet high. The chickens are down there scrabbling around on the ground, kicking up dust and inhaling it and pooping and inhaling that and just being horrible filthy creatures. Then they make eggs and you’re all like, “Mmmm eggs!” Nice work.

I only eat eggs that are laid in my special soundproof, vacuum-sealed coop that I keep on a floating island about three miles offshore in the Atlantic. If you do anything less, you’re a bad person who likes to eat poison.