Can I put my chicken run over a septic field?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newchick13, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. newchick13

    newchick13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2011
    Somers NY
    I have to move my run and coop because of a nasty neighbor and I am wondering if anyone has had their chickens over their septic fields. I found some older posts, but I'd like some recent input.

    Specifically wondering if eating the grass/soil will make them sick or make their eggs not suitable for us to eat? Or will all their digging and scratching ruin the fields? I was planning on making part of the run sand with gravel base to help keep it dry, so I guess I can put that area adjacent to the actual fields and let the end of the run extend over the fields so they have access to grass and bugs etc.. The area is huge and seems like a tremendous waste of space. We have never had an issue with seepage, the field is very dry. I am even able to see the actual lines in the summer. I guess it gets pretty hot down in there and some times when it is super dry and hot the grass browns in 3 very long paths. That is where they are ....right??

    I need to get on this ASAP. thanks!
  2. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I take it this is an enclosed septic lines? You're talking about "lateral lines", right? Then, you have a large underground septic tank buried that gets pumped out twice a year, or so. ??? If all of this is true, then it shouldn't be a big deal. Our last house had lateral lines and a septic tank. No problem putting a run over lateral lines. I wouldn't put anything over the tank itself, though. But you'll know where that is, it should have a "manhole" covered with a heavy round metal disc in your yard. We actually fenced in our horse pasture over lateral lines and there were no problems with it. You just don't want to drive a T post down into a lateral line. But even at that- the lines should be buried pretty deeply- ours were. We could have safely put a T post over one... However, you wouldn't want to dig a 3 foot deep fence post down over one. And we decided not to risk it and put a T post over a lateral line. We just went around it and put posts on either side of them. The only problem I can foresee is that if your lateral lines ever need to be dug up and replaced, you'll end up tearing down your fence. We had our pasture up for about 10 years and the horses grazed over it during that time, and they just got old and needed to be replaced eventually. So the fencing did have to be dug up and removed that week that the old lines were taken out and new ones put in. But we just put the fencing right up where it had been and had no more problems after the project was finished. Honestly, I think you should be fine and there is no need to have nice land go to waste! [​IMG]
  3. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, and so long as the ground has always been dry, those lines should not be leaking. Which means the soil and the grass is fine to graze on or eat. Believe me, you'll know it if you have a leak and need your lateral lines dug up. [​IMG]
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Mine is over my greywater system...
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    If you saw just where chickens will go to eat you would feel better about your question. Hawkeye is right. The field lines pose no problem at all. As far as the eggs go, the chickens have a filter system in um. Works real well too.
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    Oooh, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I see you're located in NY? If you put your chicken run over the drain field or the line that runs to your septic tank, the odds of your drain field/tank line freezing in the winter are going to go way up. Drain fields need the cover that grass/trees/brush/snow provide in order not to freeze, and by having your chicken run on top of it that won't happen.

    DH and I own a plumbing and heating company and I see a lot of frozen lines in the winter just from people shoveling a path over top of them.
  7. wildswanfarm

    wildswanfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    My wife just asked this question of me yesterday as I'm moving our birds away from the house to the back of the property. In fact, I've done extensive prep to do so.! as in cutting down and bucking a row of wild plum and what not in a week long spree of labor that created a myriad of aches and pains! [​IMG]

    So to assuage her fears I googled this morning and all of her fears can now be allayed. Thanks to BYC and every other googled site as the consensus is that it's a great [place to put it. [​IMG]

    As previously posted, if you watch what our birds eat anyway, there are those who would NEVER eat eggs or chicken! [​IMG]

  8. wildswanfarm

    wildswanfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens CAN dig pretty deep, so bear that in mind. Our birds have access right now to the drainfield and will have another area adjacent to it which is even larger, so they won't always be digging on the field, but...

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