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the time is getting closer....

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  • the time is getting closer....

    that I will be looking at moving to the farmette and full time horsekeeping.
    Its not going to be tomorrow, but its coming. There is a lot I have yet to finish, yet to plan and pay for.
    Two biggies: manure management and hay storage.

    My thoughts have always been, to figure proper spot for hay storage, and get that done. But my 'spot' thoughts on Manure management involve a dropped slope area that is level at driveway/hard pack, but then will drop off behind it into a slope. So....I've always thought 'here' would be a good additional parking/vehicle area, with a rear retaining wall? or form rebar concrete wall that we could 'walk thru' the building pad, (front to back) and dump from pad level into back area/divided composting area (with access on one side, graveled slope drive to bins for useage) both are big $ steps. Vehicle parking: just kinda needed as right now, no where to put my truck...no where to put my trailer. This property has one driveway in, a circle area in front of little barn, and not much else to be used until we build/prepare it....We COULD park them elsewhere, out in the open and most likely (and worse) under big trees.. not on hard packed ground, .just not ideal or something to count on easily for access back to, if bad weather.
    I know I would need to give MUCH more info before you guys can advise on what? which? to do first.... but...at the same time: my little barn now WILL have a small loft space (think : only 4 ft. high, but about 24 ft wide x 12 ft.) and I do have maybe a 12x12, 6ft high space in the adjoining workshop/feed room area.....BUT. No fire wall between, and lawn mowing, etc. stuff stored here for now. So, I've always figured I need a pallet space for only the 'weeks worth' of hay here, but not actual storage.

    Ask away, if you need property layout/specs.....but I'm trying to think: Ok...here's what you need to do next?
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    I will give you my lay out and you can glean ideas from there. We have 27 acres which was way too big for what we wanted, but it was the right price. We lease out 20+ or- a few acres for hay to a local cattle man.

    We have 5 horses and they all live in run in sheds. We also have a barn and store the hay in the loft, stalls are for emergency, vet checks, dentist etc and then they go back out. This is economical and easy for me. We compost some of the manure and believe it or not we spread the rest on the horse's fields. We've never had a parasite problem, since the horses get de-wormed a lot and we run stools. The manure keeps the fields fertilized and of course reduces the need for a compost area.

    As far as hay, it can get tricky if you have a bad hay year. We put up the Winter's hay then keep buying small amounts (hoarding is good.) I would love to have a shed for the hay so we don't have to put it up in the loft, but we don't. I have 3 horses that live in one field and they get round bales, which is again easy for me. I don't know how much room you have, but friends of ours bought a large used tractor trailer container for almost nothing and used that for storage. With a little creativity it can look nice and fit in.

    I have 2 "sacrifice paddocks" that hold horses so the fields don't get too over eaten and with a lot of rain we keep them off the main field. I never planned on having 5 horses, but my 2 ancient Arabs are showing no signs of going anywhere and last year we took in a Tb mare in need of a home

    I'll end here, I'm beginning to ramble
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

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    • #3


      How exciting ! It will all work out ! ENJOY !
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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      • #4
        I added some info on the pitchfork website that shows the type of composting that I do and gives some good links for background info on compost bin designs, etc.

        I'm thinking a dropped slope could lead to runoff issues, especially if near a water source. I would try to keep the compost boxes close enough for easy access but not so close to the barn that you have an insect issue from the fresher manure. If you decide to sell the compost, you need it to be easily accessible for pickup trucks and trailers.

        I have my hay storage in two different 12 X 20 Amish built sheds that were delivered to the property. It's worked out well for me even though one shed is not too close to the barn. I will bring weeks worth of hay into the barn when I am using the far storage shed.
        http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

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        • #5
          The first barn we built here had a hay loft- 12'w by 30' long and stand up height. The loft was over two stalls and a narrow storage space. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You need access to high school boys to hoist hay up into a loft or have the mechanical ladder that rolls it up there...and then there is the pain of climbing up into the loft to feed hay or toss bales down. That space became a play room for our daughters.

          In the new barn we built the hay is at one end at ground level on pallets. My hay guy backs his trailer into the barn and unloads 300 bales of hay into a space that is probably 15' by 24'. Easy peasy. Easy access to unload hay will make or break delivery days. I will add that my hay guy does not bring me hay until it has been in his barn for 30+ days.

          I don't worry about fire walls. Our fire department is volunteer department and 9 miles away. If ANY building catches on fire it will burn to the ground. At best, they save the foundation of a house.

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          • #6
            we have a 16x48 hay barn that's about 12' tall in the middle - holds about 520 square bales of hay, packed full. It's not located in the barn, but about thirty-forty feet away, so it's easily accessible even when it's raining or snowing or whatnot.

            We also have a round bale barn -we had a 20'wide x 14' tall x 40' long carport with sides put up. It's got a 20 year warranty and has been asbolutely GREAT the entire year we've had it - it's fabulous for holding lots of round bales, and we can stack them three high (or two high, if we have the huge bales). That one is located on the edge of our property out of the way, next to some trees.
            Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

            Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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            • #7
              I HATE lofts - like SLW says a true PITA to get hay up into & down from.
              Teenage boys willing to do the hot, dusty work are getting harder to come by & you will have dust sifting down into your barn.

              My year's worth (some 200 small square bales) gets stacked inside my barn on pallets and I rarely - make that close to never - lose a bale to mold.
              Hayguy drives his truck into my aisle and bales get unloaded/stacked from there.
              You want your aisle wide enough to accomodate a truck or equipment anyhow.

              SLW is also right about firewall safety - unless your insurance demands it you can do a lot to make sure a hayfire won't happen w/o that precaution.
              I've had my hayguy leave a loaded wagon in my indoor for a week before unloading if I felt the cutting was too wet.
              If you have the funds to add a separate hay storage building, go for it.
              But make it close enough so bringing a week's worth (at least) inside the barn is not a huge effort.
              *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
              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                thanks all.
                I just don't know 'really' what is the proper place given this property ...for what. There isn't much additional room, and I am trying to look at all of it 8 ways till Sunday to know what is really best for what/where/when.
                ayrabz
                "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                --Jimmy Buffett

                Comment


                • #9
                  jmho!

                  Yayyyy!! It's exciting!! But you're overthinking it.
                  Manure pile is best managed out in the open where the elements can help it breakdown. It should be a good distance from your house and a workable distance from the barn. Don't want the smell & flies for your home! You need to be able to move it around with the tractor so forget about "bins" or walls or anything like that. I'd just make sure it's on good draining ground. No need for gravel or a pad. Breaks down faster ON DIRT. You can use your manure immediately too you know but letting it sit for 6-9 mos is ideal. The bottom of the pile is rich, dark, good stuff. I use it for potting soil but also put around flowers/bushes etc.
                  Don't worry about walls where the hay is. Lots of us store ours in our garages...I do now. Just go to roundbale feeding and you won't need squares which ARE labor intensive all around and more expensive. No need to sweat storage too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ayrabz, do you have a tractor that can move roundbales? I don't. Some of us have to do squares.

                    It's hard to give specific advice without understanding your layout. Sometimes drainage, paddock location, etc. will reveal where the poo pile should go.
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                    • #11
                      Congratulations!

                      Regarding your manure pile, my info from our local ag extension is to keep the manure pile covered so that moisture is limited. The manure pile will be slow to break down if it's not dry, or so I am told. Also, piling manure on dirt provides every opportunity to create a big hole in the ground when you are turning it with a tractor. Much better to have a concrete pad that can hold it. If there is any chance that the manure runoff could enter a waterway, you really need to look at containment systems. If you're looking at saving manure to use once broken down, think about bins that can hold 6 months of manure at a time. Fill one, cover it and turn it when you can to encourage breakdown, fill the next (and perhaps the next, depending on how much you can store and how much you 'manufacture'), then spread the first one and use that empty bin to refill. It's time consuming work, for sure. I have given up and now haul it to the local dump where I can dispose of it for free. We have so many horse farms around here there is no excess demand for aged manure, even if I went to the trouble to compost it. Finally, I have limited acreage for field turnout, and would not turn a horse out on a freshly manure-spread field for at least 6 weeks; and, I wouldn't spread manure on a field where horses are kept unless it was aged at least 6 months.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                        ayrabz, do you have a tractor that can move roundbales? I don't. Some of us have to do squares.

                        It's hard to give specific advice without understanding your layout. Sometimes drainage, paddock location, etc. will reveal where the poo pile should go.
                        Amen.
                        Also if you don't have a herd, small squares allow for more accurate feed-by-weight & less wasted hay.
                        Leaving a huge round bale out for my WB horse & Hackney Pony would result in a lot of uneaten, peed & pooped-upon hay.

                        My manure/compost pile is right outside one of the side sliding doors to my indoor.
                        In cold or nasty weather I can haul the wheelbarrow through the indoor right to the pile.
                        And when it's done composting, anyone who wants it can drive around to that side to load up a truck.
                        Also:
                        Once my veggie & flower gardens have died back in the Fall I will dump a wheelbarrow of fresh stall-cleanings onto them.
                        By spring the stuff composts and I am ready to plant.
                        *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
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Want to add to Bathshebas excellent advice-

                          If you do turn the manure with a front end loader, be sure that the bucket is absolutely level when you turn the compost. Originally, I was digging down with the FEL and I accidently turned all my compost boxes into pits which ended up collecting water and becoming a sloppy mess.

                          I ended up having to scrape down through the muck, put in landscape fabric and then cover with recycled asphalt. This has helped tremendously but I am still careful not to dig too deep!

                          Also good advice on covering the compost. I haven't been doing that and I need to!
                          Last edited by mkevent; Feb. 14, 2013, 01:29 PM.
                          http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

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                          • #14
                            just saying...you don't NEED a tractor to move round bales.

                            My hubby and I moved them by hand (they roll nicely unless they've been sitting long enough to go flat on the bottom lol) all over our farm. Rollin rollin rollin....

                            We moved them by hand for a year and a half before we could afford to get a tractor.
                            Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                            Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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