Need insight...chicken run on a septic drain field???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BethESH, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. BethESH

    BethESH Songster

    Hello, all you wonderful BYCers!

    I need some serious insight. I just ordered chicks (am on waiting list) and will be building my coop this spring. When my wonderful man and I were discussing the location for it, he asked if we could have the run on the mounded drain field in the backyard. (Build the coop alongside it, etc...) I told him that I had no idea, and he said that I should check with all you brilliant people. (I think he's tired of hearing about all the wonderful things y'all are up to...yes I am jealous![​IMG])

    So, what do you think? The drain field is pretty large and we can't use it for anything else, so I'm hoping that you think it'll be okay to do...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  2. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    Does it get soggy or seep? If so, I say no. If it is solid ground, then I wouldn't see a problem. Definitely DON'T do it if it is soggy, squishy or wet.
  3. BethESH

    BethESH Songster

    The ground on the drain field doesn't get any soggier or squishier than the rest of our yard - the water table is not very far down in our property.

    The drain field is about 30 x 30, so I was thinking of fencing it off into different sections and rotating access...any thoughts on that?

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I really really wouldn't. Couple reasons. First, chickens compact the ground. Leachfields require nice fluffy ground (yes, *above* the drain tiles as well as below them) to work properly. Second, chickens will devegetate the ground. Leachfields require healthy grass on 'em to work properly. And third, chickens dig (and so do predators trying to get in *to* the chickens). Will they dig down far enough to expose/endanger your tiles? Probably not, unless a fox or coyote is involved. But, do you want your chickens digging around in the not really necessarily highly sanitary soil on the leachfield? Probably not (remember it is strongly advised that you not eat vegetables grown atop a leachfield... yes, microbes in the soil 'purify' the effluent but it is a *process*, you know?)

    Cost of repairing or replacing your leachfield: $1,000-10,000. Cost of putting the chicken run *next to*, rather than atop it: nothing. You do the math [​IMG]

    Good luck,

  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I agre with Pat. I would say it would not be safe for them to be ON the leech bed. They will dig..and eat the bugs from that soil. Im thinking there would be lots of terrible things, from the waste, in that soil that wold not be healthy for your chickens, or the eggs. I say...find another spot...away from there.
  6. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    ther is no problem what so ever with putting the run on top of the laterer lines field, hey I respect all other openions, but just happens that i put septic tanks for living and do construction every day, chicken can not compact laterelines period, every time when we install them we backfill using equipment heavey enough to brake rocks so believe me chicken will not destroy your latere lines.

  7. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:Gotta agree with the above, your tiles should be at least 3 feet below the surface, unless you have a sewage treatment field. But there are regulations on zoning about keeping the drain field accessible for repairs.
  8. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    My friend has her run over her drain field. It's been there for at least ten years without a single issue.

    There is nothing NASTY that your birds will encounter from the lines so long as they are working properly. I had my vegetable patch over a drain field in one place I lived.
  9. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    I would do it. Our leachfield has been in use since 1974. Two years ago we sent 24" deep core samples of the soil to a lab to have them tested. My wife wanted to plant watermelons and pumkins over that area. The samples came back 100% free of any bacteria or minerals that would cause concern. And the watermelons are huge a juicy too!!!!!!
  10. Hoot

    Hoot In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2009
    Canaveral Groves, FL.
    Just keep in mind, If anything gos wrong with drain field, you may need to relocate run to make repairs.


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