Chicken run on septic field?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Carlos, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Carlos

    Carlos New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2008
    I am planning on building a coop and have the birds free range on top of the septic field, about 20 birds. The area including the leach field will be about 1/2 acre. Will that be safe for the birds and for egg consumption?

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Carlos
     
  2. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    I have a septic and leach field, they go over there sometimes, but it is pretty deep. Hey, my vegetable garden is right near it and I don't worry.

    By the way, [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends. Chickens dig. Do you think they can reach the disperal gravel and/or your drainage tiles? Will the run prevent you from accessing your septic system should you need to drain the tank? Does your zoning permit a run over a septic area (guessing not)?[​IMG]
     
  4. Carlos

    Carlos New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Thank you for the responses. The lines are about 24 inches below the surface. The tank is located about 500 feet away with a pump to feed the field. I am actually more concerned about safety for the birds than the zoning requirements. It's a mound system installed less than ten years ago and operating properly.
     
  5. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    Ahh, then I must respectfully withdraw my answer. My septic tank is buried as are the leach lines. Not the same....
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I don't see why it wouldn't be safe unless you have water reaching the surface. If it is surfacing, it's time for a new drain field...

    Our drainage field involves most of our 1/4 acre backyard. We use the backyard as usual and our chickens run the entire backyard everyday.

    We recently purchased a small farm in Wisconsin with a 2500 hen organic layer operation. The pasture for the birds includes an area with a leach mound for the house. Since it's a mound system, sitting on top of the soil, it's not useful for much otherwise so they let the chickens graze it.
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine is underground too, Carlos, and I meant to mention one more thing. The chickens will destroy vegetation over the septic area and may affect the way it dries, especially in damp weather or snow. You may have drainage water reaching the surface after ranging them there, whereas the vegetation wicked it off, before. I guess if they're not confined you have enough acreage though.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:A septic field doesn't dry through evaporation and plant transpiration, it percolates down through the soil. Vegetation is needed to fend off erosion, especially in a mound system, but if the chickens are completely denuding an area, that's a management problem; too many chickens or not enough pasture.
     
  9. Carlos

    Carlos New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Assuming that I keep the amount of chickens low, for example, 6 to 10 birds to start, it should be ok, correct? I will have to monitor it to make sure that they are not destroying the field, and increase the amount of birds gradually until I reach a proper ration of chicken/field denuding.

    Assuming I can reach that goal, my original question still stands. Is it safe for the birds to free range on a septic field?
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    They'll be fine. Also, it would take a lot more than 6-10 birds to graze down a 1/2 acre area. You'll barely notice a difference.
     

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