Livestock over Leech Field???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Wannabee, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Wannabee

    Wannabee Foggy Dew Farms

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    I have a question for all the experts out there:

    Can I put goats/sheep/hogs/ over a leech field??? I saw the post on gardening over the leech field, but how about animals? I have 2 acres, so space is fairly limited if I can't use the leech field. ANy suggestions???
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about goats and sheep, but hogs would be a definite no-no. They will root and cause mass destruction!

    Jena
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i was told to not pasture horses, or other large animals, over the leach field, but that smaller grazing animals, like goats would be fine, and help keep down any trees that might grow and their roots clog the lines.
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Absolutely not! The soil above the drainfield will become compacted and sealed by manure. The soil above the drainfield needs to remain porous so oxygen gets down into the area around the trenches.
     
  5. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I would say it depends on your beliefs. You can make a case both for and against it. Small animals won't displace the buried piping etc. Will you be eating or selling the animals to others for slaughter? If you won't eat vegetables grown over the leach field, why would you eat meat from the animals that graze there? On the other hand do you really think the potential for heavy metal uptake might be a concern? If you're only putting sewage into the septic system and not foreign substances that might not be a problem.

    Keep in mind solids should never be allowed to enter a septic tank field. If your tank is pumped frequently enough to prevent that, it takes away some of the concerns.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A leech field should be loose soft soil with a grass crop growing on it. This is so water infiltrates it, the grass insulates it (in cold climates) as well as using some of the moisture.

    Livestock will both compact the soil, and remove the grass.

    Depending on your exact design, don't know how much problems you will have. It might work for you. A marginal system or clay soils, you will wreck it quick. sandy soils, bigger system than you use, and you don't actually have many critters, and it may well never cause a problem in 50 years....

    Many designs, in many areas, it would be a disaster to do so. New systems 'here' can only be 12" deep. Pretty easy for a hoof of even a small critter to compact the soil deeper than that.

    Myself, I would not graze the leach area. Way too much chance of damaging it. Might not show up for a few years, but the compaction, esp in wet times, will compound itself over time.

    --->Paul