Did you know that erosion is one of a poultry house foundation’s biggest enemies?
Many poultry farmers use herbicide to kill the vegetation around poultry house foundations — in doing so, they remove all vegetation that helped keep the soil in place. Just think about all the water that runs off of a poultry house roof when it rains! Without vegetation or rock under the roof drip line, rain water will slowly but surely erode the soil from around the poultry house foundation. Eventually that causes conditions like the examples pictured below. In these cases, a lack of proper ground cover such as grass or rock has allowed rain water running of the poultry house roof to significantly erode the soil around the base of the foundation. Thusly, the poultry house foundations have lost all lateral support from soil, as compared to when they were first constructed. If left unchecked, this erosion will eventually undermine the foundation and cause reduced structural integrity.
The solution is simple: first, soil needs to be replaced where it has been lost, so that there is a minimum of 6 inches of soil covering the bottom of the foundation footers. Then measures need to be taken to minimize future erosion. Once soil has been added back, the farm owner should sew grass or place rock under the poultry house roof driplines, along the poultry house foundations, so that the soil will be protected. If using grass to control erosion, the farm owner must make sure to maintain the grass with a string trimmer, not herbicide?. It is vital the grass maintains a root system to hold the soil in place. (note: while grass is the cheapest method of erosion control, rock or large gravel is the most effective AND it is easier to maintain). In addition, some integrators prefer rock over grass because it is less attractive to rodents.