?dangerous soil?

del gallinero

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
33
0
22
Can someone tell me is there are any potential dangers with placing a coop here? I have cleared out a place in my suburban back yard for my new chicken coop and chickens coming in the spring.
I seem to have found an area where the soil has a lot of what looks to be old coal ash or whatever you call it from burning coal. The "soil" is very gritty and dark, and has some of those clinkers from incomplete coal burning. It has to be from long ago because nobody here now has coal furnaces. The coop and part of the run will sit over that area. With the chickens picking around in the ground, could there be residual heavy metals or toxic residue in this soil that could poison them? I am looking forward to raising healthy chickens and want to start off right. However, this is really the only area in my yard where the coop can go. Thanks in advance for any helpful information in dealing with this. I love this site and have already gained so much helpful information.
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,951
318
351
Colmesneil,TX
I'm sure no one really knows for sure. Does sound like there could be harmful residue there but if something is growing on it, it could well be that it's old enough not to matter much. I have a forge and throw all the clinker in one spot on the ground and they don't generally bother that spot. Guess they can smell it or something and it doesn't smell good?
 

Bipolar_Hippo

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 8, 2011
15
0
21
Can you put down a base layer of gravel and then sand on top of that? I'd be worried about mercury bioaccumulating in the eggs or meat.
 

Patricia Jane

Songster
9 Years
Oct 28, 2010
751
7
119
Petaluma CA
beach livin' :

you could alwyas take a sample to your local environment health office, and have them test it for you.

excellent idea. And
 

del gallinero

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
33
0
22
Thanks for the helpful suggestions.I'm going to see if there is someplace that will test it and if there isn't, I'll try to replace it with new soil. Heavy metal
accumulation is what I was thinking might be the problem.
 

chfite

Songster
8 Years
Jun 7, 2011
2,171
111
214
Taylors, SC
Our house is quite old. There is a large area in the back where coal was dumped, spilt, stored, or something. My dogs ate the coal from this area for years, without exhibiting any harm. Plants grow well in this area.

If you test and find something, you may be forced to clean it up. Even if it is trivial.
 
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