Chicken waste & well water

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmeeter88, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Is there anything I have to take in to consideration when having 2 or 3 chickens in my backyard when I am on well water?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Same as any other livestock-- keep concentrations of poo a good distance away from anybody's well, especially if there is any question of how deep the well is or how good its liner/seal are (but even if it's a really good well).

    FWIW, around here I think zoning requires livestock and the manure thereof to be kept at least 100 feet from the wellhead, but it depends on your well, your soil, and your personal philosophy.

    Also of course the runoff from the run or compost pile shouldn't be going directly into drainage ditches, streams, etc.

    Was that the sort of thing you were asking about?

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Yeah, thanks for the info. I have to figure out where my well is, and see if the chicken coop is uphill or downhill from it and whatnot.

    Details details! [​IMG]
     
  4. GopherBoyFarms

    GopherBoyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    Vancouver WA
    wow, something we never thought about.....oops
    we are on a well, our chickens free range, and the coop and run are built right next to the pump house. And our chickens free range all day
    Hmmmm
    wonder if we are making a future problem for us here.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Actually, having them free ranging probably reduces the amount of poo deposited right there by the well. The main thing I'd worry about is the run. And how much I'd worry about it would depend on whether we're talking 3 chickens or 30, you know?

    At this point, probably the main thing you can do is make real, real sure that surface water (esp. from the run) drains briskly away from the well. Unless you've got a lot of chickens there I expect you'll probably be ok (though it might be wise to test your water yearly for e coli and for nitrates/nitrites, if you don't already)

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  6. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

  7. GopherBoyFarms

    GopherBoyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    Vancouver WA
    we have 23 chickens....but ya know...I really am not to concerned about it. I am the only one that drinks the well water, LOL
    I KNOW I have put WAY worse in my body in my life then anything that might seep into the ground!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most provinces, states and municipalities have strict guidelines for disposal of manure and the position of septic systems. Like Pat, ours is 100'. It's also good sense to check the drainage patterns before disposing of manure. Ideally, the leachate should drain away from your home and coop...
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Please remember that your well is an entry point to the whole aquifer it's drawing from -- thus, anything that may be contaminating your well can travel and contaminate OTHER peoples' wells also.

    Pat
     
  10. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:Seriously... 100ft? Our barn's well is right in front of it, about 50ft maybe at the most, and it's potable. Our house is really old, and the well for the house sits about 10 ft from the septic field, and the water quality was 0/0.

    We have our poo bunker about 300ft away from the well, in the foundation of an old milking barn that fell down well before we moved in. I think proper poop management is really important as well.
     

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