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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    416

    Default Minifarms check in

    So I was wondering who else had a mini farms and how many horses they run on the acreage. I have 3 acres but only half is cleared. I have my big horse on the front acre and the air fern pony on a 1/4 acre. Hopefully we will clear out atleast another 1/2 acre in the next few years. Mine are out 24/7. We are in the process of putting up a run in in each pasture. All manure has to be picked and spread or piled weekly which is a pain. We also have to feed hay year round.
    Pro Slaughter
    Anti Parelli



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2008
    Posts
    421

    Default

    Would love to hear about minifarms as well! I am in the process of convincing DH that we need one.... grew up with the horses at home and suburban life is just not working for me
    Impossible is nothing.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,811

    Default

    The husband and myself just moved to our small farm a few months ago. We have 5 acres, but less than 3 acres of it is fenced. We have 2 horses and a donkey that live out 24/7. There is a 2 stall shedrow barn that I leave open so they can go in and out as the please.

    I hope to have grass in the summer... so far it's still in good shape. I do need to be a lot more diligent about picking manure in the pasture-- it's really piling up, literally.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    I have 5.3 acres, but 1 is ravine/creek and not used. I have 2 horses and two large pastures, divided by the house/barn. The lot is long and narrow, which makes for lots of schlepping horses back and forth, but I've had 10 years to sort out a barn with 3 stalls, an overhang and a nice mud-free paddock area, manure bin and two relatively lush pastures (at least from April to late September, if we get a wet summer). Here in the PNW, the grass dies back in winter and the pastures are so wet that horses really can't be out much on them, hence the gravel sacrifice area.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,362

    Default

    We have 3.5 acres and in keeping with the state motto "Rectangle State", the property is a rectangle which makes it easy to deal with. The house was here when we bought the place and built smack dab in the middle. We built the barn 100' behind it and have a nice large circle driveway back there so horse and hay trailers can get in out pretty easily. Being a true horse woman my barn is larger than my house.

    I'm down to two horses now and they can go from their stalls to a 100' by 300' dry lot 24/7/365. I have 3 other paddocks of about that same size where they are turned out during the daytime if the ground isn't too wet so that I can keep the grass growing in them. For the next 6 weeks they won't be on the paddocks so the grass can spring up. I feed hay year round, far less when there is grass. We live rural so manure management is done to keep the grass paddocks in good shape. I just drag the full time dry lot break up the piles. I do have a compost pile from what I pick out of the stalls and right in front of the stalls where the limestone screening is spread. Any wasted hay gets put in the compost pile.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2006
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    550

    Default

    .
    Does our faux farm count? We have three miniature horses on four acres, so I'd say it's a minifarm...perhaps a mini minifarm?
    They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

    Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


    6 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2005
    Location
    Ojai, CA
    Posts
    1,079

    Default

    We have five horses (three big, two minis) on four acres. The horses get turned out into a two-acre field daily and come into stall/paddocks at night (shed-row barn, which is perfect for our very hot summers). The minis have a separate 1/4 acre dry-lot paddock. We have two irrigated grazing areas; one is used for hand-grazing (treat time) and the other is for brief turnout periods. The big field isn't irrigated and here in Southern CA, we have grass/weeds in winter/spring (enough to keep the horses entertained during the day). I have a small ring (90X100) that I use mainly for lungeing the minis (the big horses are either retired or permanently lame). I pick up all manure daily and have it hauled away each week. I love my mini farm!
    R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

    Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,521

    Default

    5ac total including ~1 for the house/garage lawn and gardens.
    The rest is converted corn/bean fields that I put a 2-stall pole barn w/attached 60X120 indoor onto.
    1 WB horse and 1 Hackney pony in residence.
    Horses come & go as they please from stall to pasture 24/7/365.
    They come in to be fed, sorting themselves into a stall they have chosen as "theirs".
    How funny is it they always pick the same stall?

    My dry lot/sacrifice area surrounds the front of the barn & leads to both pastures: "big" one - around 2ac to one side, small - 1/2ac - to the other.
    Pastures can be closed off with gates, but hardly ever are.
    I am the Grasshopper of pasture management so you cannot call my grass lush except for about 2 months in late Spring & early Summer.
    It needs mowing maybe twice in that time and then I "mulch" by mowing over the manure piles.
    I feed hay year-round, but a lot less when there's grass.

    The whole setup works very well for me to manage by myself.
    Proud to say it was my design, built from the ground up after years of boarding and picking up ideas that I liked from other, larger barns.
    I believe I could go smaller - both house & acreage - and be just as happy.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2008
    Location
    Close to Ocala,fl
    Posts
    817

    Default

    Hi
    I have 2 1/2 only 1 3/4 cleared for horses (house is in the wooded area). I have a 2 stall barn and a dry lot attached and I have about a 1 acre grass paddock. This take extreme management to keep grass. Only one horse out on it at a time and only a few hours 3-4 days a week. If its wet they don't go out on it. That said they get unlimited grass hay in the dry lot 24/7 and the either T/A or O/A with there feedings. This has worked out well knock on wood I have never had a issue and the dry lot is plenty big enough to move around in.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2005
    Location
    Unionville, PA
    Posts
    3,581

    Default

    I have about 6 acres, but only about 3.5 of paddock. We have two horses. About 1/2 acre sac paddock, and two 1.5 acre paddocks. They have grass from about April to Nov, but we feed hay year round. They are out 24/7 Spring-Fall, but I bring them in at night in winter. When they are out at night they stay in the sacrifice paddock, otherwise we couldn't maintain the grass. I pick all the paddocks.
    Delaware Park Canter Volunteer
    http://www.canterusa.org/



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,949

    Default

    I have seven acres and three horses. We're adjusting, after losing the lease on the 30 acres next door. I just built a barn, so the horses are up at night now, and I fenced of about an acre of dry lot (well, it's mud right now) and woods. I'll keep them off the main pasture (four acres, I'd guess, but with a pond using some space) next month, and hope that will let the grass grow up enough to feed them all summer (they'll have hay when they are stalled during the day in summer). Having 30 acres of grass was better, but I'm hoping this is workable too.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,408

    Default

    Mini farms usually mean close to an urban area; I suggest that you become involved with whatever city has the planning and zoning jurisdiction over the area just make sure you do not lose the right to keep livestock on your farm.

    Since our itty bitty "farm" of 2.5 acres is in the middle of a city that is surrounded by other cities we are a strange place in the middle of a few million people. We were able to embed into the city's master plan the concept that livestock within the city limits was a good thing


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2009
    Posts
    441

    Default

    5.3 acres. House and bank barn, acreage cut from large farm. House & barn on corner so appx 4.3 acres now fenced/cross fenced ect. Currently have 8 horses and one pony. Everybody (two groups of 4 and the pony has her own 1/4 acr lot)gets turned into grass appx 5-6 hours a day and on small dry lot with access to inside of barn/stalls the rest of the time. Also, fenced and lighted outdoor sand arena. Pasture is drug/picked up on a regular basis. Hay in stalls a.m. & p.m. Handfull grain (mostly as a treat!) to keep everybody happy. This has worked for us for 40 years now.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    812

    Default

    I'm in the country, on 2.65 acres, with about an acre of that for house/yard. The rest is pasture and dry lot with a run-in shed. The dry lot and shed are divided in half, as the mares do not get along. Three horses total, and only because DH wasn't getting along with the gelding we bought for him, so enter third horse. The pasture did much better with two horses.

    Mine have limited pasture time, so I feed hay year round. This wasn't so limited when there were two, but that third one seemed to make an impact on the pasture. The pasture is also in the process of being redone. We were close to buying 2.5 acres of pasture adjoining, and were going to put up a barn, but the seller's backed out and planted corn on the whole field.

    I clean up the dry lot 2x/day. A local landscaper/nursery took the manure last spring, otherwise we can always have it spread on one of the farm fields next to us. For the pasture, all I have done in the past is to go out in the early spring and break up the piles.

    DH added on to the back of our garage for hay storage, and wants to add on more so we can buy extra hay. Again, if we had two horses this wouldn't be as much of an issue. He also converted the old milkhouse into a chicken coop, which houses a whopping four chickens.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,195

    Default

    Not sure if I count. I have 7.5 acres, with 6.5 fenced. Five horses total.

    I recently started a website (pitchfork chronicles) that deals with ideas and tips for those of us with small horse farms.

    I would love to get everyones input and suggestions for what I can add to the website. I think when you have a small farm a lot of what you learn is from trial and error and my hope is to help prevent some of the error!

    The site is still under construction as I've been working on it since January and my computer skills are rudimentary at best.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,515

    Default

    4.5 acres in Connecticut. Approximately 0.5 acre for house and yard, 1.5 acre developed for horses so far and another approximately 2.5 acres still untouched. It's rather costly to clear and refigure heavily wooded, rolling, ledge-filled land in this state.

    We bought it with only house and yard, so had to do a buttload of work to develop what we've gotten done so far:
    4 stall barn
    Sacrifice/Main paddock
    Grass paddock
    100' round pen/riding ring (maybe a tad bigger)

    Horse area lay out:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...ps7915099f.png

    All set up for ease of use. I do 100% of all outside work here solo and it's set up so it's easy. All paddocks and ring are attached to each other and main paddock is attached to the barn. If I need to go away for a while or hire a sitter, almost anyone can cover. Not that I do...but I can.

    What we had planned included a 100x200 ring, but the property mocked us, LOL! We do plan to thin the rest of the wooded area into turnout also. But we won't completely clear it for grass. Cost is too high as it would require another ridiculous amount of grading and drainage added to compensate for having a couple hundred trees and stumps removed to do so. So we plan to leave all the mature trees and rip out all the underlying brush, saplings and similar crap and then fence it. That way we also benefit from having a nicely shaded, cool and almost bug-free 2 acre turnout. I'll also screw with it and add some "interest" for the horses. And that side will also eventually have a 3-4 stall shedrow added. Opposite side of the property so can be used for shelter if my horses are turned out over there, quarantine for new horses coming in or storage for tractor/hay/whatever or emergency shelter for area folks who may need it during storms or for flooding. (my property can't actually flood, we're on a natural "peak" and are the highest ground for miles)

    Aerial photo:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...ps11317c0d.png

    I have 2 horses on the property. Town regs allow up to 9 on my property. 9 may sound like a lot for 4.5 acres, but very few people around here have/plan on having grass/grazing for more than just a treat. So it does allow ample room for turnout/movement and we almost all have to feed hay year round anyway. Personally I don't think I'd ever have more than 6 anyway. And that would be a stretch.

    Town hall is very equine friendly. Here each town has full jurisdiction over itself, nearby towns or cities or counties have zero say in how zoning or property is handled. And our town loves, loves, loves livestock owners. And hates, hates, hates development. My kinda town! But then the entire town is zoned for livestock because every single building lot must be a minimum of 2 acres and you need 2 acres to be able to keep up to 3 horses on it. (and then 3 horses for each acre over) Town hall practically gives you a standing ovation if you apply for a building permit for a barn.

    Biggest challenges here are just drainage for run-off or wet areas and manure management due to lot size/lack of grass...very few can drag fields for manure management. And if you don't pick your grass paddocks and sacrifice paddocks a few times per week at least, you get dead grass and/or mud. And go from horse farm to fly farm, LOL! But we pretty much all compost, neighbors are rarely close enough to be bothered by a manure pile and most non-horsie neighbors count on the manure for fertilizer. My manure pile has been the same size for 9 years now.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    416

    Default

    We definitely live in the country. THe people behind us have 11 acres and used to own horses. The people bend them own at least 50 acres. Just got done mucking my pasture. Wish I had more land cleared out for a sacrifice area for the horses so I could rotate my pastures. But that is not the case right now.
    Pro Slaughter
    Anti Parelli



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    4.5 acres in Connecticut. Approximately 0.5 acre for house and yard, 1.5 acre developed for horses so far and another approximately 2.5 acres still untouched. It's rather costly to clear and refigure heavily wooded, rolling, ledge-filled land in this state.

    We bought it with only house and yard, so had to do a buttload of work to develop what we've gotten done so far:
    4 stall barn
    Sacrifice/Main paddock
    Grass paddock
    100' round pen/riding ring (maybe a tad bigger)

    Horse area lay out:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...ps7915099f.png

    All set up for ease of use. I do 100% of all outside work here solo and it's set up so it's easy. All paddocks and ring are attached to each other and main paddock is attached to the barn. If I need to go away for a while or hire a sitter, almost anyone can cover. Not that I do...but I can.

    What we had planned included a 100x200 ring, but the property mocked us, LOL! We do plan to thin the rest of the wooded area into turnout also. But we won't completely clear it for grass. Cost is too high as it would require another ridiculous amount of grading and drainage added to compensate for having a couple hundred trees and stumps removed to do so. So we plan to leave all the mature trees and rip out all the underlying brush, saplings and similar crap and then fence it. That way we also benefit from having a nicely shaded, cool and almost bug-free 2 acre turnout. I'll also screw with it and add some "interest" for the horses. And that side will also eventually have a 3-4 stall shedrow added. Opposite side of the property so can be used for shelter if my horses are turned out over there, quarantine for new horses coming in or storage for tractor/hay/whatever or emergency shelter for area folks who may need it during storms or for flooding. (my property can't actually flood, we're on a natural "peak" and are the highest ground for miles)

    Aerial photo:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y17...ps11317c0d.png

    I have 2 horses on the property. Town regs allow up to 9 on my property. 9 may sound like a lot for 4.5 acres, but very few people around here have/plan on having grass/grazing for more than just a treat. So it does allow ample room for turnout/movement and we almost all have to feed hay year round anyway. Personally I don't think I'd ever have more than 6 anyway. And that would be a stretch.

    Town hall is very equine friendly. Here each town has full jurisdiction over itself, nearby towns or cities or counties have zero say in how zoning or property is handled. And our town loves, loves, loves livestock owners. And hates, hates, hates development. My kinda town! But then the entire town is zoned for livestock because every single building lot must be a minimum of 2 acres and you need 2 acres to be able to keep up to 3 horses on it. (and then 3 horses for each acre over) Town hall practically gives you a standing ovation if you apply for a building permit for a barn.

    Biggest challenges here are just drainage for run-off or wet areas and manure management due to lot size/lack of grass...very few can drag fields for manure management. And if you don't pick your grass paddocks and sacrifice paddocks a few times per week at least, you get dead grass and/or mud. And go from horse farm to fly farm, LOL! But we pretty much all compost, neighbors are rarely close enough to be bothered by a manure pile and most non-horsie neighbors count on the manure for fertilizer. My manure pile has been the same size for 9 years now.
    This is our problems. We have an acre and a half in wooded land. I can't bring a bunch of heavy machinery in because the back part is wet land. Right now I have been doing it by hand to try and clear out some of the brush. I have thought about getting a goat or renting a small skidsteer for the day.
    Pro Slaughter
    Anti Parelli



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2004
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    1,028

    Default

    I have 2 acres, 1 horse, 1 donkey, Goats (6 does, 2 bucks, lots of kids), and 20 chickens. Everyone is on dry lot. The horse is 27, so as long as she has shelter (a 10x20 canopy), food and water and her companion (the donkey) she is happy. The goats are on dry lot too, because they are fabulous at clearing anything. I originally fenced their paddocks in the "forest", but now any tree with less than 4 in diameter is stripped. I clean the horse pen daily, and the goat pen weekly. Anyone that needs to clear woods, I highly recommend goats over a skidsteer. ESP for aged woods. The areas my goats have cleared are so much nicer than the area my husband has cleared with his skidsteer. The machine disturbs the soft soil that has built up from years of natural mulching where as the goats not only don't tear the soil up, they tend to pound it down as they clear it. Although my place is very small, it's also really nice. I used to have a 120 acre farm. In many ways the management of the small farm is more labor intensive, but it also makes me keep my animal count and finances under control. If I were to add another horse, I would notice it! Whereas with the big farm, one more really didn't matter. With a farm this size, I wouldn't even try to have an area to graze for the horse. As for manure, right now I'm putting it in the remaining woods and the area that my husband cleared (as far from the house as possible). Not sure what he is going to do with it, but hopefully he will spread it and it will help the soil out. We are on a creek so our soil is predominately sand. The manure isn't as big of a problem with the animals I have as is the hay that gets left on the ground and becomes part of what I clean out. That stuff I have to figure out a different solution for.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,408

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aucowwy View Post
    This is our problems. We have an acre and a half in wooded land. I can't bring a bunch of heavy machinery in because the back part is wet land. Right now I have been doing it by hand to try and clear out some of the brush. I have thought about getting a goat or renting a small skidsteer for the day.
    Sounds like a Boy Scout project.... got any troops near you? Might be easier for the troop to come there rather than to one of the camps which require advanced registration



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