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How much pasture do I need?

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  • carman_liz
    replied
    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

    Trail cams somehow to see them?
    Can you use extenders off your posts and do a line or two of good electric tape off of the deerfencing or no climb? Also do you have water available out there?

    Leave a comment:


  • carman_liz
    replied
    Originally posted by SFVine View Post

    deer fencing is similar to no climb, but the holes get larger towards the top. I wouldn’t have that around the horses, that would be N extra line of fence around the property, if that makes sense,

    I was talking to my husband last night and I think we actually decided to tear down about 4 acres of grapes behind the barn and put the pasture there. The positive is that it already has pressure treated posts that we could turn into fencing. I like the no climb idea because we have customers on the property in November and December so 60” wire fence would be a deterrent and could probably allow the horses to be out during the day.
    What I don’t like about that is it is not visible from my house. I should post a picture of my land so people can see I really don’t have a great option, just a few ok ones!
    Trail cams somehow to see them?

    Leave a comment:


  • SFVine
    replied
    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

    Why does your husband want the trees so bad for the other 3.5 acres?? I mean come on he has 195 other acres to play with!!! 5 acres would be perfect for you to have your own space. Your friend who hays some of your acreage, do you make any money off them using your land? Have you talked to them about getting some of the hay for your horses when you hit that point or some type of trade off agreement?

    5 Acres sounds perfect for a small barn, rotated turnout and even maybe an arena. That space alone could be your "area". Dont forget you could still do your arena on the other side and still use the 5 acres for your barn and turnouts. Your husband should be happy that you have your entire space in one area then!

    Flexrail is great but will you electrify it? Hear me out, new horses, you don't know them, or how they will respect fencing. A mini is a natural fence break escape artist lol. Idk what your budget or finances look like, but the 5 acres could be fenced with no climb, or will you use the deer fencing there? Is deer fencing flexible? Can a horse get hung up on it though? No climb with elect around the perimeter of your personal 5 acres, and then you can use simple elect tape and step ins or t posts to divide as you see fit should keep any horse or mini in. I wouldnt worry too much about dee tbh. They eat around my fields but don't bother my horses at all. I guess the big thing would be that 5 acres if you can use it or not though.

    If not, and that field is going to be your 1.5 acres for turnout I would definetly fence the hell out of it and make it HOT HOT HOT to keep them in. Because smaller acreage is more options for mischief, even with quarter horses, and all the morgans I have known have been high strung. I have a scar on my elbow from when I was 11 from a morgan and a bridge, I am 34 now lol.

    I only have about 1.5 fenced on my place right now, but I have a 32 yr old and a chill pony. I have 4 lines of horseguard and T posts about 4.5ft high. My top rail is on the caps I have over the posts. I keep it off mostly now, but when it is on it leaves marks if I hit it.

    Do you have a property layout of the areas you are thinking about using you can post or google map photo so we can see what you are working with? Also what about water and electric on the 5 acres, even if you just use it as pasture is there water available on it?
    deer fencing is similar to no climb, but the holes get larger towards the top. I wouldn’t have that around the horses, that would be N extra line of fence around the property, if that makes sense,

    I was talking to my husband last night and I think we actually decided to tear down about 4 acres of grapes behind the barn and put the pasture there. The positive is that it already has pressure treated posts that we could turn into fencing. I like the no climb idea because we have customers on the property in November and December so 60” wire fence would be a deterrent and could probably allow the horses to be out during the day.
    What I don’t like about that is it is not visible from my house. I should post a picture of my land so people can see I really don’t have a great option, just a few ok ones!

    Leave a comment:


  • Weezer
    replied
    I have three horses on three acres and it works out well because they are all QH easy keepers so I don’t want much grass. If I wanted them to have good grass, I would need to double the pasture (which I did before and got super fat horses). I went the route of building only as many stalls as I wanted to fill, because I also believe there’s no such thing as extra stalls. My horses are out 24 hours with me away from the house for 10 hours every weekday - no problems in the 10 years I’ve been doing that. The horses are relaxed with no vices and no injuries.

    Leave a comment:


  • candyappy
    replied
    Originally posted by Tarlo Farm View Post

    Totally depends on the soil. In Iowa where topsoil is measured in feet, for sure. In sandy Michigan, not so much.
    I should have specified good , abundant grass! Big difference in the grass I had in the extreme North West where I was and here in the Mid- West state I am in now..

    Leave a comment:


  • Tarlo Farm
    replied
    Originally posted by candyappy View Post
    Stock type breeds can be a metabolic nightmare these days if allowed access to grass.
    Totally depends on the soil. In Iowa where topsoil is measured in feet, for sure. In sandy Michigan, not so much.

    Leave a comment:


  • candyappy
    replied
    I would rather not have pasture if I had the choice( i don't). I had 3 horses happily housed on about 2 acres with 24/7 access to a big barn. I fed hay 365 and there was enough " green" during the growing months to keep them looking for something edible, but it did not contribute to their diet at all. I found it so much easier.

    You have stalls with turnout pens planned, a large arena planned and since you plan on feeding hay/ grain 365 a large dryly turnout area may be your best bet. Stock type breeds can be a metabolic nightmare these days if allowed access to grass.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ambitious Kate
    replied
    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

    I don't know what the Donner Party is, but that seems very glass half empty :/. I lurked on here for almost 6 months for good ideas while we got this house under contract and sold our old one and got plenty of useful ideas though.
    Wagon train to Oregon. Lost in impossibly deep snow in the mountains. A few survived because they ate the others. You could look at that as a glass half empty.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guilherme
    replied
    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
    The more space you have for your horses to be out and not stalled, the easier and cheaper it will be to keep them. If they're stalled for the majority of the day, that's quite a lot of stall cleaning labor, and quite a lot of bedding.

    5 acres is a lot better than 2 for what you want, but if you can carve out 10, that'll be even better. Then you can set up a nicely sized sacrifice area, good sized runs off your barn, and a few different pasture areas, so you can rotate and not beat the snot out of the grass you do have.

    I loved my set up when the long runs off my barn opened into my sacrifice area, which opened into pasture through a couple different gates. There was a 12' overhang from the barn over the runs, so horses had shelter for standing outside when stalled, or when in the sacrifice area (stalls were kept closed, but runs were open when horses were out) or when turned out in the fields. Two of the three fields could be accessed directly from the sacrifice area, so it was easy to limit them to a portion of grass, or open up the whole thing. I'd repeat that whole set up again, if I were to build from scratch.

    Not dedicating enough space for this venture will just cost more $$$$$ in the long run, and will require a lot more intensive management on your part. And horses will be a lot happier (which = fewer vet bills) with more space and more time out of the barn.
    Very well said.

    The only caveat is that sometimes the labor saved in stall cleaning is frequently expended in removing mud during the rainy season. Still, that's cheaper that mucking and you don't have to figure out what to do with a bunch or raw, organic fertilizer.

    G.

    Leave a comment:


  • stressgirl37
    replied
    My 2 cents: I have just under one acre where I have my retired horse and 2 donkeys. Obviously it's a dry lot situation but they do have enough room to run around. It's split into two pieces since the donkeys eat WAY less than the horse. Many people cannot allot the necessary acreage to allow horses the ultimate amount of land to graze and frolic. If you can dedicate a few acres for all the critters and expect to feed hay all or most of the year, I think that's a lot better than stalling for a good chunk of the day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Simkie
    replied
    The more space you have for your horses to be out and not stalled, the easier and cheaper it will be to keep them. If they're stalled for the majority of the day, that's quite a lot of stall cleaning labor, and quite a lot of bedding.

    5 acres is a lot better than 2 for what you want, but if you can carve out 10, that'll be even better. Then you can set up a nicely sized sacrifice area, good sized runs off your barn, and a few different pasture areas, so you can rotate and not beat the snot out of the grass you do have.

    I loved my set up when the long runs off my barn opened into my sacrifice area, which opened into pasture through a couple different gates. There was a 12' overhang from the barn over the runs, so horses had shelter for standing outside when stalled, or when in the sacrifice area (stalls were kept closed, but runs were open when horses were out) or when turned out in the fields. Two of the three fields could be accessed directly from the sacrifice area, so it was easy to limit them to a portion of grass, or open up the whole thing. I'd repeat that whole set up again, if I were to build from scratch.

    Not dedicating enough space for this venture will just cost more $$$$$ in the long run, and will require a lot more intensive management on your part. And horses will be a lot happier (which = fewer vet bills) with more space and more time out of the barn.

    Leave a comment:


  • carman_liz
    replied
    Originally posted by SFVine View Post

    Our farm is about 200 acres, but it is chunked, the section with our house and the barns is about 70 acres. Currently we are at about 60 acres grapes, 15-20 acres hay (our friend harvests, we do not) and 10 acres christmas tree. The reason for the 3/4 acre lot is it is how the land is chunked. We currently have a spot across the street that is a 5 acre hay field that I would like to turn into pasture but my husband only wants to give me 1 1/2 acres and plant trees on the rest.

    I sold my horse last year when I had my daughter, so I would be purchasing after the barn is complete. I have always owned OTTBs, but now that I have kids I am looking to get smaller QH crosses or morgans.

    We live near the thruway, and have the christmas trees, so we would start by having high deer fencing around the whole perimeter, then flexible rail fencing for the horses.
    Why does your husband want the trees so bad for the other 3.5 acres?? I mean come on he has 195 other acres to play with!!! 5 acres would be perfect for you to have your own space. Your friend who hays some of your acreage, do you make any money off them using your land? Have you talked to them about getting some of the hay for your horses when you hit that point or some type of trade off agreement?

    5 Acres sounds perfect for a small barn, rotated turnout and even maybe an arena. That space alone could be your "area". Dont forget you could still do your arena on the other side and still use the 5 acres for your barn and turnouts. Your husband should be happy that you have your entire space in one area then!

    Flexrail is great but will you electrify it? Hear me out, new horses, you don't know them, or how they will respect fencing. A mini is a natural fence break escape artist lol. Idk what your budget or finances look like, but the 5 acres could be fenced with no climb, or will you use the deer fencing there? Is deer fencing flexible? Can a horse get hung up on it though? No climb with elect around the perimeter of your personal 5 acres, and then you can use simple elect tape and step ins or t posts to divide as you see fit should keep any horse or mini in. I wouldnt worry too much about dee tbh. They eat around my fields but don't bother my horses at all. I guess the big thing would be that 5 acres if you can use it or not though.

    If not, and that field is going to be your 1.5 acres for turnout I would definetly fence the hell out of it and make it HOT HOT HOT to keep them in. Because smaller acreage is more options for mischief, even with quarter horses, and all the morgans I have known have been high strung. I have a scar on my elbow from when I was 11 from a morgan and a bridge, I am 34 now lol.

    I only have about 1.5 fenced on my place right now, but I have a 32 yr old and a chill pony. I have 4 lines of horseguard and T posts about 4.5ft high. My top rail is on the caps I have over the posts. I keep it off mostly now, but when it is on it leaves marks if I hit it.

    Do you have a property layout of the areas you are thinking about using you can post or google map photo so we can see what you are working with? Also what about water and electric on the 5 acres, even if you just use it as pasture is there water available on it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tarlo Farm
    replied
    What Jaws, Clanter, and Scribbler said. You say 200 acres total, chunked around the county, I get that, then you say 70 acres of house and current barn, then list 85 acres worth of assorted crops. I prefer the minimum of 1 acre/horse, plus a winter sacrifice area, plus planning for sickness/injury - yours and a horse's - plus whatever you have, split all the pastures/paddocks in half so you have the ability to rotate and allow the ground to rest. Plus, if you want goats, understand you need a fence that holds water. (that's only a bit of a joke)

    Leave a comment:


  • SFVine
    replied
    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

    The Donner Party was a wagon train that started late in the season from St. Joe to CA during the 19th Century. It came to grief in the Donner Pass, near Reno, NV. It's not a happy tale; Google it for details. I visited the Donner Pass some years back. It put the story into context.

    If you are going to be "absentee" for any significant period of time (more than Sun up to Sun down) then you have to be prepared for the unexpected. You can't anticipate EVERYTHING but you can do such things as ensure that your primary containment fence on your property line is clear and maintained. You can ensure your cross fencing is adequate. You can ensure your gates are closed/open, as appropriate. You can get to know your neighbors, however casual that might be, and ensure that they have your cell number so IF something happens you'll get notice. It's really having list of critical items and appropriate procedures to deal with critical issues. You sound like you don't work far from home. That's a Very Good Thing and means your response time to a problem will be short. Use that as a base to build on. Oh, and ensure your boss is cool with whatever emergency plans will affect your work.

    Good luck as you go foreward.

    G.
    All of our neighbors are my husband's family, so I know them well! haha. Our farm is the "hub" for the business, so there is always someone around, but I am the horse person. I could have them out all day and I could rely on them to at least call me if something went wrong, but no one would actually know what to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • SFVine
    replied
    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post
    Do you already have the farm? How many acres is it currently? I work fulltime during the day and my two are out while I am at work and do fine. Granted, I run home at lunch but if they have plenty of hay and water they should be fine outside while you are gone. I feed n turnout in the morning and clean stalls if I have time. Even with the run outs I would think that coming home at night would be a mess and you will go thru much more bedding and stone dust or whatever base you have for your run outs much faster. Not to mention if one tips his water bucket somehow, or runs out of hay and does not have grass to pick at to keep him busy. I think it would be asking for more mischief making lol.

    Of course to each their own and if you know it would work for your horses then thats up to you. Do you already have the horses or would you be buying them when the farm is complete? Also, what type of fence are you thinking of doing? Post pics I love farm planning posts!
    Our farm is about 200 acres, but it is chunked, the section with our house and the barns is about 70 acres. Currently we are at about 60 acres grapes, 15-20 acres hay (our friend harvests, we do not) and 10 acres christmas tree. The reason for the 3/4 acre lot is it is how the land is chunked. We currently have a spot across the street that is a 5 acre hay field that I would like to turn into pasture but my husband only wants to give me 1 1/2 acres and plant trees on the rest.

    I sold my horse last year when I had my daughter, so I would be purchasing after the barn is complete. I have always owned OTTBs, but now that I have kids I am looking to get smaller QH crosses or morgans.

    We live near the thruway, and have the christmas trees, so we would start by having high deer fencing around the whole perimeter, then flexible rail fencing for the horses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    Originally posted by SFVine View Post
    My husband and I are starting to look into expanding our farm to include horses at home. Our current plans include a 5 stall barn. The 12x12 stalls will have dutch doors that open to approx. 12x24 tiled, fenced areas that, based off weather, will be open for the horses most days to move freely when they are not turned out. Other than that, we have one area that is about 3/4 acre that will be fenced in for sure, as well a spot for a fairly large (100x200) outdoor arena that could double as turnout.

    We live in the NE and plan on feeding grain and hay all day, all year round. We both work full time, so during the school year the horses will be in their stalls during the day and turned out for a few hours after work. They will have full day turnout during the summer months if they want. I do not plan on ever having more than 3 full sized horses at one time and most likely a mini and/or mini donkey, possibly a goat or two.

    How much more land do we need to have fenced in? I am thinking one more area that is at least 1 1/2 acre with a run-in is a must? I have always boarded where the 1 acre per horse rule is definitely not followed, but everyone seems fine! My husband wants the minimum for the hay burners so he can plant more crops (doesn't he know horses come first?!)

    Thanks for your replies!
    If I had acreage my choice would be that the horses lived out 24/7 with a good big run-in shelter in an area large enough for them to run around.

    Our winter pastures are fragile.

    Depending on the size of the property:

    24/7 year round outdoor life on several acres amended as necessary with footing. Depending on the terrain that might mean some or all of the horse area is drained and footed with crusher dust like an arena. No pasture.

    Or same as above with seasonal pasture access.

    I would want stalls ideally for ice storms and illness or keeping clean for a show. But outdoor horses are (1) much healthier and (2) much cheaper and (3) much less work. If you had the equipment you could feed roundbales.

    You need good proper fences both around the horse area and the perimeter of the property. Realize that any crops will probably be both extremely attractive and potentially very unhealthy for horses. They absolutely will get themselves into grain fields and gorge and colic. I expect they would happily destroy berries and most veg.

    Leave a comment:


  • AKB
    replied
    I would make the stalls 12x14 and the paddocks a little bigger than your initial plan. If horses are in the stalls for hours, bigger stalls and paddocks make it easier to do the cleaning. A 4 acre turnout would give the horses room to play without creating a huge mud pit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guilherme
    replied
    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

    I don't know what the Donner Party is, but that seems very glass half empty :/. I lurked on here for almost 6 months for good ideas while we got this house under contract and sold our old one and got plenty of useful ideas though.
    The Donner Party was a wagon train that started late in the season from St. Joe to CA during the 19th Century. It came to grief in the Donner Pass, near Reno, NV. It's not a happy tale; Google it for details. I visited the Donner Pass some years back. It put the story into context.

    If you are going to be "absentee" for any significant period of time (more than Sun up to Sun down) then you have to be prepared for the unexpected. You can't anticipate EVERYTHING but you can do such things as ensure that your primary containment fence on your property line is clear and maintained. You can ensure your cross fencing is adequate. You can ensure your gates are closed/open, as appropriate. You can get to know your neighbors, however casual that might be, and ensure that they have your cell number so IF something happens you'll get notice. It's really having list of critical items and appropriate procedures to deal with critical issues. You sound like you don't work far from home. That's a Very Good Thing and means your response time to a problem will be short. Use that as a base to build on. Oh, and ensure your boss is cool with whatever emergency plans will affect your work.

    Good luck as you go foreward.

    G.

    Leave a comment:


  • carman_liz
    replied
    Originally posted by clanter View Post

    yes they become interesting, reminds me of what I had read about the Donner Party wagon train to California that started with high hopes, then all the extra junk is thrown away along the trail. Then it goes to hell quickly
    I don't know what the Donner Party is, but that seems very glass half empty :/. I lurked on here for almost 6 months for good ideas while we got this house under contract and sold our old one and got plenty of useful ideas though.

    Leave a comment:


  • jawa
    replied
    I have 2 horses and a pony on 2 acres in central Virginia. THIS IS WAY UNDER WHAT THE SOIL CAN TOLERATE. Due to the low acreage/high horse ratio I have made a 36' x 100' sacrifice lot that has improved footing over 3/4's of it. The sacrifice lot has gates that lead to 6 paddocks. 3 of the paddocks can support grazing for 7-10 days from May to October and 3 paddocks that can support 3-5 days of grazing during that same time frame. This provides ample time for the paddocks to recover and for me to drag. I feed free choice hay year round.

    The higher the ratio of horses to acreage the more intensive you will need to maintain the property if you want any grazing. If you choose to make the entire area a sacrifice lot with appropriate footing, your horses will have more opportunity for movement and socialization.


    I know in some areas that horses get stalled 24/7 and a bonus would be to have a 12'x24' run out added to that. I, personally, don't think that is an adequate amount of space and it doesn't provide for enough movement, especially if you are still working and won't be able to provide exercise and stimulation for the brain 7 days a week.

    Leave a comment:

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