Old Rail road ties for the base? anyone see a problem?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JeninMN, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. JeninMN

    JeninMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have old railroad ties that my husband is thinking would be perfect for the base of the run...we are doing a 20x20 run and it will have to be really sturdy...his plan is this (give or take ):

    use railroad ties for the base. take corrugated sheet metal and dig that down a foot on the outside of the base to keep things from digging under.

    attaching the actual frame of the run to the railroad ties and building up from there.

    I am thinking about burying the railroad ties slightly and then covering them with dirt on the inside part as well.

    Does anyone have any experience using these for the base? they are nice and heavy....they don't have any of the sticky gunk on them or anything.

    thanks!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Are they soaked in creosote as a preservative? That would be my only concern.
     
  3. JeninMN

    JeninMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is what we aren't sure of...we had this load of them delivered from my step brothers jobsite (landscaping) where they had been part of someones flower beds...a good share of what they took out of there were rotten...they did bring a few of our load that we can't use as they are falling apart as well....which makes us think that they probably dont' have that preservative on them...BUT that is also why I was thinking perhaps I should bury them partially and also bury the inside part entirely so they aren't pecking at them?
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've used old railroad ties around the bottom of my chicken fences...both inside and out for 30+ years and never had a problem. It keeps critters from squeezing under the fence from the outside and keeps the chickens from wallowing out holes next to the fence on the inside.
     
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    If you see black tar'ry stuff, that stuff is poisonous!

    Same for treated wood, but I think they no longer have that kind of treatment and its safe to use lumber nowadays....double check first!
     
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    I have one as a step into the chicken coop, but I don't think I would use it for a chicken run. The creosote is nasty!
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    If they are old railroad ties, then they are creosote preserved. Bet on it.
    They don't last forever - preserved is not the same as petrified. They do weather and erode after some time.

    But burying them, shielding with plastic and earth berming them sounds like a good way to utilize a great free resource.
     
  8. Eggseronious

    Eggseronious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they are processed (boiled) in creosote this a BIG NO NO for using them as a base and most anything else. Creosote has many chemicals in it. Lots of people use them for fence post. The only ones that I will use is Black Gum or Beech, and thats post only.[​IMG] Also if you want to get burned and blistered just handle them on a hot day!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    I've used old railroad ties around the bottom of my chicken fences...both inside and out for 30+ years and never had a problem. It keeps critters from squeezing under the fence from the outside and keeps the chickens from wallowing out holes next to the fence on the inside.

    Katy, you heathen. Oh, your wayward ways. [​IMG]

    Once upon a time creosote was even sprayed around the chicken pen to keep bugs down.
    I dont recommend that, but 30 years says something...​
     
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Katy, you heathen. Oh, your wayward ways. [​IMG]

    Once upon a time creosote was even sprayed around the chicken pen to keep bugs down.
    I dont recommend that, but 30 years says something...

    There are those who know me who I'm certain would agree that I'm a heathen!! [​IMG]

    The ones I've always used have been old ones that even tho I'm quite certain there's still plenty of preservative in them still aren't oozing the stuff.

    I can quarentee that when chickens free-range around a farm they come into contact with and eat all manner of stuff that we'd never dream of exposing them to or feed them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008

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