I'm constructing a first chicken domicile, and I've started a small neighborhood controversy about the proximity of my chicken run to my neighbor's leafy vegetables and beans. There's a space between our garages, about 8 feet, split by a fence -- 3' on my side, 5 on his. On one side he has lettuce and beans growing up to the fence line. He grows his vegetables as a primary food source.
Starting with the premise that no one can guarantee 100% safety, how realistic are the fears that rain will run off and carry chicken poop pathogens to my neighbor's garden? I can control surface water and subsurface water with grading and impermeable barriers.
If I can control surface and subsurface water communication, are there other problems I can create?
I'm trying to be a good neighbor, and I'd also like to use this otherwise useless space on my yard for the chickens to play. The space on my side is 16' x 3' x 5' tall. This space is around the corner from my coop and feeding area, which is also about 16' x 3'. The space will be home to 5 chickens.
The floor of the entire domicile area is chicken wire, buried in 4-8" of rich black dirt and surrounded on the surface with a perimeter of cedar 2x4's and 2-4" of mulch on top of the dirt.
I'm looking for a quick answer to the dispute from the Chicken Experts. Something in the realm of:
- "That's really not going to be enough poop to ever be a problem if you keep it clean."
- "There's no way you can keep water with chicken poo out."
- "The odds are much much more in favor of his having a bumper crop than an illness. "
- "Dude, don't leave the floor of your run on the ground."