View Full Version : New Farm Setup

Aug. 16, 2011, 09:58 AM
We are looking at buying 7.35 acres. 2 acres of that is the house and yard. I have an ariel view of the property that I could send if someone could help me. I am trying to figure out the best placement for everything, barn, pasture, leanto etc. If you want to help, leave your e-mail and I will email you the picture along with more information on the property! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Aug. 16, 2011, 10:37 AM
Call your County, because you may be limited to the location of the barn per zoning requirements, particularly if the property is not designed as a "farm", and it's doubtful since it appears to be raw land. You may only have the back of the house to put the barn, with the 'front" being where the road is, not where your front door is lol

An arial view would help a lot, make sure you draw in the property lines Also note where high spots are and which way things slope, unless it's all just flat.

Unless something prevents it, putting the barn on a high spot is the way to go. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, figure out whether you want the run in shed to give shelter from the Summer sun, or the Winter winds; if the former, face the opening to the East or slightly North; if the latter, then face it to the South.

How you lay out your pastures should, IMHO, start with where the barn is located. Then you need to determine whether you want to be able to open stall doors and have then out, either with access to the barn, or be "herded" through a corridor to the real pasture, etc. It sure saves time not having to halter and lead horses in and out, but not everyone wants horses with any direct access to the barn. You can always set it up so you can give direct access, but close it off when you want - that's how I have mine.

My barn is within perimeter fencing - invaluable for the inevitable times someone WILL escape the barn LOL

Aug. 16, 2011, 10:56 AM
There is a lot of helpful information available to those who look. Start with your county extension service.

I printed out these very useful articles from Penn State (http://www.horsestable.psu.edu/) several years ago.

Managing Small Acreage Horse Farms (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1558.pdf) is put out by Oregon State.

Designing Pastures and Stables (http://www.pleasantvalleyhorsefarm.com/equine-utopia/chapter-four/designing-pastures-and-stables/) is hosted on the Pleasant Valley Horse Farm website.

I checked Horsekeeping on Small Acreage (http://www.amazon.com/Horsekeeping-Small-Acreage-Designing-Facilities/dp/158017535X) out of our local library :)

Purdue has Horse Farm Design (http://web.ics.purdue.edu/%7Emrussell/ANSC440/Barn%20&%20Arena%20Design.pdf) on their site.

Every horse farm needs to address manure management. Our county, Prince William, in VA, has a program that promotes co-op horse compost recycling. WSU offers A Guide to Composting Horse Manure (http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/horsecompost3.htm).

Remember, electric fencing is your friend. You can extend the usefulness of whatever fencing you select by using it to keep wood chewers at bay, prevent over the fence battles or simply use it for temporarily subdividing larger paddocks for rotational grazing.

Plan your electricity and water when laying out your site. Well worth doing once and doing properly.

Aug. 18, 2011, 03:45 PM
You have a PM

Aug. 18, 2011, 03:50 PM
Call county/Ask your new neighbours!
Find someone who has been there for awhile and can tell you which was the wind blows coldest.

You don't want to spend tons of money building just to find out you've turned everything the wrong way!

It makes a big difference how many horses you want to keep on that space too.

With 5 acres, if you've got 2-3 horses you can probably just let them go and not worry too much about rotating the pastures. If you want to keep 20, you're going to need a lot of pastures...