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Bought 22 acres undeveloped- Where to start? *pics*

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  • #21
    Congrats We started our Irish breeding program with 30 acres of raw land. I wouldn't get less than a 34hp tractor with a 6' rotary mower. If you can swing the next size up, you won't regret it.
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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    • #22
      I wouldn't worry about the barbed wire, heavens. If you really think they're going to go play in the fence instead of eat that grass then make the barbed wire tight and put up a strand of electric. Replacing the fence entirely will send your rock solid BF screaming back to town before you're done with him! LOL

      Beautiful spot! Let the horses take care of that grass for you.

      I'd be tempted to build on the edge of that drop-off, good drainage...at least away from the road as far as you can!

      I'm pro-live there for a while then build. Especially get through the wet season and see what the water does. I've known people to live in campers for nearly a year and we lived in our small house without electricity for three months last year. It's not that bad.

      The places we've done from the ground up we started with perimeter security, interior pens as needed, basics for us, and worked our way in. Driveways for when it's sopping wet are important, a place to sit, a place to cook (grill), shade, dog run for when you aren't home, just plow through it!

      Congrats! It's fun and exhausting!
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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      • #23
        Actually, I would worry about the grass with a preggo mare on it. Have your county xtension agent tell you how much fescue you have on the property. it's everywhere in VA. Take fescue toxicity seriously. We lost two foals to it several years back In the last trimester of a pregnancy, we keep our preggo mares in a paddock that is kept cut short. This is out vet's recommendation and it seems to be working very well.

        Otherwise, the property looks great and I hope you enjoy the adventure of developing a farm. We have been at it for 14 years and have enjoyed the adventure.
        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
        http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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        • #24
          I would put in a run in shed or two before I did anything else. Then, you won't have to worry about the horses while you take your time to design and finance your barn, fencing, and house.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Irish_Love View Post
            BUT since I have "fallen off the map" over there as the county commission lady told me, the zoning (res and ag) and permit limitations are all but nonexistent. Crazy, but true. "If you own it- you can build whatever you want, where ever you want on it. Just don't run to us if it falls apart." No joke...
            Keep this in mind when placing your house, relative to your viewshed / sight lines to the surrounding properties. With no zoning, a neighbor may build something really ugly, or let their property get very run-down, and it would be a shame if that ugly view affected your enjoyment of sitting out on your front porch, for example.
            BEAUTIFUL property, by the way. Congratulations.

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            • #26
              PS If you go with temporary housing rather than a building, have a plan for severe weather.

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              • #27
                I bought my 10 acres about 12 years ago, and lived in a camper for 2 years. I was perfectly fine with that, the land was more important to me than what I lived in. I eventually did built a house, but the camper worked just fine until then. It gave me time to figure out exactly what I wanted to build, and where I wanted to put it. Have fun!

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                • #28
                  Survey the land after a really good rain, the more rain/the wetter the better. Try to plan gates, barns, and sacrifice areas on the highest and driest land you can to avoid future expensive drainage projects/fixes.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                    PS If you go with temporary housing rather than a building, have a plan for severe weather.
                    well, even with a house, a storm shelter is a marvelous idea!
                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                    GNU Terry Prachett

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                    • #30
                      Congrats!

                      Really really nice.

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                      • #31
                        Extra cool. You're going to have a blast.

                        Add me to the barbed wire as perimeter fencing not being a huge deal... I've had mine on 30 leased acres with only perimeter fencing, and it went fine. Of course, if you have an accident prone, fence tester, that goes out the window. Adding electric sure beats re-fencing.

                        I'm sure if you live in GA and breed horses, you already know about fescue related issues.

                        With the wet weather we've been having, you should be able to figure out the water issues now.

                        I've stayed in a cabarn for riding weekends, and it was amazing, but I think in the south, with constant use, the smell and flies would vary from annoying to awful.

                        Congratulations and best of luck!

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by InstigatorKate View Post
                          Survey the land after a really good rain, the more rain/the wetter the better. Try to plan gates, barns, and sacrifice areas on the highest and driest land you can to avoid future expensive drainage projects/fixes.
                          I can't thank everyone enough for all of the kind words and advice. Things I never would have thought about are now making me dizzy. Making a storm shelter never would have crossed my mind, so thank you SO much. Plus, I've never had enough grass to even consider a sacrifice paddock, so that's likely to be my next plea thread (fair warning).

                          So we looked at campers this weekend... maybe 50 of them? Turns out we're pickier than I thought. Especially with a 6'4" boyfriend whose head about about 3 inches from the ceilings- haha! It's sure to be an adventure, but by the sounds of it, well worth it before building.

                          I also think I'll try the barbed and electrify down the road if my hubby horse shire gets adventurous My 4 haven't even seen an electric fence, so I don't know if I even want to open that can if it can be avoided.

                          Lastly, no worries on the fescue... because it's 95% bermuda! Now to tractor shop per your very helpful breadcrumbs! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Irish_Love View Post
                            I can't thank everyone enough for all of the kind words and advice. Things I never would have thought about are now making me dizzy. Making a storm shelter never would have crossed my mind, so thank you SO much. Plus, I've never had enough grass to even consider a sacrifice paddock, so that's likely to be my next plea thread (fair warning).

                            So we looked at campers this weekend... maybe 50 of them? Turns out we're pickier than I thought. Especially with a 6'4" boyfriend whose head about about 3 inches from the ceilings- haha! It's sure to be an adventure, but by the sounds of it, well worth it before building.

                            I also think I'll try the barbed and electrify down the road if my hubby horse shire gets adventurous My 4 haven't even seen an electric fence, so I don't know if I even want to open that can if it can be avoided.

                            Lastly, no worries on the fescue... because it's 95% bermuda! Now to tractor shop per your very helpful breadcrumbs! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend
                            Journal EVERY THING!

                            btw, the electric fence....unless the horse is a complete idiot, one try and they realize the fence bites. Normally - unless it gets them in a bad place, a quick jerk is all you have to expect.
                            We had OTTBs get used to it in a hurry!
                            Originally posted by BigMama1
                            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                            GNU Terry Prachett

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                            • #34
                              Now is not the time to decide. Spend time learning the land, its microclimates, DRAINAGE, etc. etc. etc. The first land-use planning course I had in college told me to leave the sidewalks out of a building-complex plan, then pave over the paths where people actually walked.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                congratulations, you've gotten a lot of very good advice. I suggest getting Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on small acreage. I haven't read it myself, but have heard good reviews. Although your acreage seems large to you, it's really not so I think that book will have some very good suggestions for you.

                                I'd go with horsegard's electric tape that has postive and negative so you don't need grounding poles. I tried electro braid on a small paddock on my place and didn't realize I had to drip water on the ground rods (which were 6' copper) because the ground got too dry. You might have that same problem in Georgia.
                                www.theneigh-borhood.com

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                                • #36
                                  Foals don't always have the best brakes, or steering. They are going to misjudge their speed and stopping distance... it's just part of learning where their compass points and balance are. So you don't want them running into a barb wire fence when they misjudge, or get on the wrong side of a strand of hotwire.

                                  My advice? Board your mare (and subsequent foal) at a facility that has all the necessary items for foaling out and raising babies. That will cut down on a lot of have-to-have-right-now issues.
                                  "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

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                                  • #37
                                    Wow, Irish_Love! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I've subscribed to this thread and will be reading with much interest, because you and I are in almost exactly the same boat right now. I have 23+ acres of undeveloped land with just 5 acres fenced (with plain wire, not barbed) that I rent out to a lady with a few horses. The rest has been used by a farmer to grow crops in the past.

                                    I'm a little further along in the whole planning stage than you are, but am feeling very overfaced. I was originally planning on waiting a couple more years before building, but then personal circumstances changed and SO and I (and his two boys) need to move this Summer! So, into hyperspeed we go! I so look forward to all your updates on this! And thank you for posting this thread - I'm taking a ton of notes from all the knowledgeable people here!
                                    ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

                                    The equine love of my life: Gabriel
                                    4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Hey Classy! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this! We went out last Sunday (after my Falcons lost- ugh!) and put stakes where the foal paddock will go. I bought 1600ft of 5ft no climb poly coated wire from a Bekaert distributor (fun fact, there is a grade inbetween class 1 and class 3... it's essentially class 2.5 AND it comes in 200ft rolls at 5ft-WOO!!!). Then a random craigslistor posted about 1200ft of 8ft pvc/vinyl fencing boards which I snatched up cheaply.

                                      I can't afford the actual proper vinyl posts to go with them, but my plan is to paint my wooden posts white and use the vinyl "boards" as the top line so no one can chew on it.

                                      Campers are going well, water meter is getting installed, electric is being hooked up the existing pole and now I'm working on septic. Wooo campers! They really aren't that bad...

                                      I'm going to build a foaling stall/run in in the mean time (found THIS one and liked the idea while we're planning the proper barn/house). Further angle here

                                      I'm trying to perfect the mare and foal paddock before moving onto the rest. SO much to do, but started to get excited (and frantic, of course).

                                      Hang in there! I'm right there with ya!

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                                      • #39
                                        Don't just "look" at tractors BUY ONE NOW WHILE YOU HAVE THE MONEY. I did what you did 20 years ago and there was always one.more.thing. to buy or pay for before I got the tractor. Of course I ran out of money before I got the tractor. In many ways, one of the reasons I sold the place was because I couldn't take care of it myself. When a friend bought a place, he heeded my advice. A few years later for other reasons, he had to sell and the new owners added $15K to the purchase price for the tractor!
                                        ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                                        Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                                        "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Kryswyn View Post
                                          Don't just "look" at tractors BUY ONE NOW WHILE YOU HAVE THE MONEY. I did what you did 20 years ago and there was always one.more.thing. to buy or pay for before I got the tractor. Of course I ran out of money before I got the tractor. In many ways, one of the reasons I sold the place was because I couldn't take care of it myself. When a friend bought a place, he heeded my advice. A few years later for other reasons, he had to sell and the new owners added $15K to the purchase price for the tractor!
                                          http://gadsden.craigslist.org/grd/3557770329.html

                                          Like this one?
                                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                          GNU Terry Prachett

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