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horses per acre

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luvarabs
Posted 2009-10-23 11:05 PM (#112307)
Subject: horses per acre
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Member


Posts: 48
25
Location: Northern IL

What is the national recommendation for how many horses per acre??? The county here in IL is thinking about trying to put a restriction on how many animals a person can keep per acre...This is really gonna hurt quite a few 4-Hers in this county that live on 4-5 acre farmettes...What is the recommendation on how many animals can be kept per acre??? We are going to try and get as many people as possible to go to this meeting to protest...

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terri s
Posted 2009-10-24 9:00 AM (#112313 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Elite Veteran


Posts: 824
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Location: Kansas
Your stocking rate is going to depend on local weather/soil conditions. In Kansas it's about 1 head per 5 acres, in Washington State it was 1 per acre. Irrigation was the difference there. Your county extension office can guide you here.
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Paul D
Posted 2009-10-24 10:27 AM (#112319 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Regular


Posts: 54
2525
Location: Farmington, IL 61531

I think the pasture stocking rate for a cow and calf is 1 per acre here in IL. I think a horse would be similar. But this is an absurd way to solve the problem that I would guess your county is trying to address. We already have too many rules and regulations on the books now that are not being enforced. If the county has an issue with over crowding and poor animal husbandry practices then someone should look into what regulations already exist that could be enforced by the Dept of Ag here in IL.

Paul

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laurie
Posted 2009-10-24 12:25 PM (#112323 - in reply to #112319)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 447
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Location: cedar rapids iowa

I am from Iowa and I have always heard 2 acres pr horse. I have 2 horses an 2.5 acres and I suppliment with hay probably at least 10 months of the year. I always offer hay and until they quit eating it late spring  I start again when the pasture looks eaten down I start offering it again and add only what they will clean up.

 

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luvarabs
Posted 2009-10-24 12:59 PM (#112325 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 48
25
Location: Northern IL
Got some more info on what they county zoning committee is trying to do....What they want to do is put restrictions on the people that have property in residential areas in the county that have 5 acres or less and keep hooved animals (horses, cattle, sheep, goats,pigs, etc...) on their property...Don't see how they are going to go around and check everyone in the county...think their money could be spent better else where...this is going to hurt some of our 4-H kids.....
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hounddog
Posted 2009-10-24 2:04 PM (#112329 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 1205
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Location: Danielsville Georgia
Several county's in the greater Atlanta metro area has done this or tried to over the years.Gwinnett county pushed that back in the mid to late 80s.Wanted 1 horse or cow per 5 acres I believe.Builders and developers are behind it. Lots  of folks had a "make me" attitude. It finally fell apart I think.In the long run the horse and cattle people got run out of those county's just due to the price per acre and developers.
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bbsmfg3
Posted 2009-10-24 3:42 PM (#112332 - in reply to #112329)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Extreme Veteran


Posts: 376
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Location: Missouri
That depends on the fertility of the ground, the available moisture, pasture maintenance, type of grass(es). It could be anywhere from 1 horse per acre to 50 acres per horse.
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laurie
Posted 2009-10-24 4:19 PM (#112336 - in reply to #112332)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 447
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Location: cedar rapids iowa
Ok I just reread your post. Zoning has nothing to do with how many acres you should have per horse. So that has nothing to do with your issue. The only way to stop it would be to get as many people as possible to fight it and you may need legal assistance. They might grandfather you in and when you move the zoning applies to the next owner.
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Painted Horse
Posted 2009-10-25 8:51 AM (#112355 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 2432
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Location: Northern Utah

You are talking two different subjects here.

1st off is how many acres does it take to support a horse,  That will depend as stated on the soil fertility and products. Around here it takes about 2 acres to provide pasture for 1 horse.

2nd and the more important point of living in a community. Is at what density will neighbors allow you to keep horses next door.  We've all heard stories of the person with 100 cats in their home and wonder what the heck was that person thinking. Same thing goes for horses.  Just how many horses are too many on a small piece of ground.  My city allows 2 horses per 1/2 acre.  Granted that 1/2 acre will not provide pasture for 2 horses.  It will become a dry lot very quickly with the horses. You willl have to feed the horses daily. But two per 1/2 acre is the max density that have deemed acceptable,  My small place is 1.25 acres in size and I keep 4 horses. But at over $100,000 a raw acre for land, Who can afford to buy 5-10 acres for horses to stand on?

As communities expand and housing sprawl encompasses existing homes. You will have to deal with the complaints of the many about activites of the few. I for one don't think that horse manure stinks. But a lot of my new neighbors that have moved in around me do. When they put new homes on 1/4 acre lots you can very quickly get 100 new neighbors on the 25 acres that used to be a farm next door. Now you are 1 voice against 100 voices in a city council meeting.

Push your neighbors and city councils to accept realistic numbers for what can be kept on small acreage plots. Not everybody needs 10 acres, Nor does everybody need 10 horses.  When you are paying $200,000 for a 1/2 acre building lot and putting $600,000-$800,000 home on those lots,  Isn't it a better use of the lot/money to spend the $500 a month for a stable to board your horse vs consuming your back yard?

I had my land and horses before the neighbors came. So I will be grandfathered for as long I want horses. But if I had to go get premission Now to own horses. It just wouldn't happen. Go into you city councils and make your voices heard. But understand they will have to place some kind of restrictions on density for all animals inside the city limits. Or you will have the person will 100 cats in their home and 100 horses on 1 acre. Work for a realistic number.

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bbsmfg3
Posted 2009-10-25 10:33 AM (#112361 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Extreme Veteran


Posts: 376
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Location: Missouri
You don't even have to live in the city to get complaints. I own 17 acres in the country. 7 miles from the nearest town. Several years after I bought the 17 acres they put in a subdivision next to me. All the lots in the subdivision are 4+ acres lots. One of the folks in the new sub division for some stupid reason build his house less than 20 feet from the fence line and on a down hill slope that drains from my round bale feeders. So, you guessed it, the rain washes from my feed area right into his back door. We are zone agriculture. He is complaining regularly. I simply tell him, "He move to the country, the country didn't move to him". This has been going on for better than 10 years, but one of these days, the proverbial stink will hit the fan, and they'll be after me to move the horses.

The round bale feeding area is where there was a large ravine. Had I left that ravine my new neighbor wouldn't have a little run off into his back door, but rather a small river, that would have flooded his house with several feet of water, when we get the heavy rains. I spent several thousand dollars excavating and filling that area with rock to make my feeding area. I'm not inclined to move it unless he's willing to pay the expense of building a new area. He totally refuses to hear that, but continues to complain.
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crowleysridgegirl
Posted 2009-10-25 4:39 PM (#112369 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 2608
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We have 5 on approximately 5 acres,and,here in Arkansas with good soil and average to above rainfall especially this past year,I can tell you that is  too many.Our land is starting to show the effects of it. That's why we have one of ours for sale,we have 5 nice horses but,it is just too many.

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huntseat
Posted 2009-10-25 10:10 PM (#112385 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Posts: 1888
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Location: South Central OK

Zoning has nothing to do with this, regular city council is the only board that can regulate this.  Call city hall and get it right, so that you don't go to the wrong meeting!

Actually, I've been on committees that wrote these ordinances.  You are looking into animal control ordinances and they will become more strict as the developments move in around you.  Stocking rate is not how you want to fight this, it will eventually eat every hobby farm around you.  I wrote ordinances based on land size.  Example, we only wrote ordinances that controlled lots under 5 acres.  You want this number just under your lot size, with your size and larger being unregulated (with the exception of hoarding.)  Get the 4-H leaders, members and families involved.  There really is nothing like packing the room with kids.  I mean if these kids were mot involved with animals, they'd be off doing drugs or crime, a great point to make at the meeting.  At the meeting ask that a committee be formed to draft animal ordinances, offer to be the leader and then pack it with horse people...that's what I did! 

You also need to make friends with someone at city hall, so they can call you when animal ordinances are on the docket for a meeting.

 

If I find my drafts, I'll send them to you.  I wrote them in legal ease and the city lawyer didn't change a word.



Edited by huntseat 2009-10-25 10:14 PM
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jackbrat
Posted 2009-10-29 12:46 AM (#112537 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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500100
Location: Northern CA
They tried doing that to us here in Napa, Ca. too!!!
Make sure you go to the meeting and get as many people as you can get to go to the meeting! SO many people showed up at our towns meeting that the county was totally un-prepared for it. They need to realize that u are not going to stand for this! Not everyone is fortunate to own countless acreage.
The county here had to re-evaluate this issue BIG TIME when they found out how many people that this would actually affect. They tried also too pass an ordinance that would only allow one rooster per acre and only so many vehicles per acre as well. Vehicles being ; boats, horse-trailers, Rv's, non op, or operational vehicles of any kind! Keep yourself informed and on top of this!
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mingiz
Posted 2009-10-29 5:44 PM (#112577 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Elite Veteran


Posts: 662
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Location: Vanzant, Missouri

Ours is 3 acres for the first horse and an acre for every head after that. I have 2 on about 10 acres of 20 total.

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Frankie001%
Posted 2009-10-30 6:27 AM (#112597 - in reply to #112307)
Subject: RE: horses per acre
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Veteran


Posts: 219
100100
Location: Mt. Clemens, MI 48043
Around MI it is different towns different zones.  So it is up to you to find out what the towns zoning laws are before you buy or build.  They can be kind of stupid about zoning but I find 5 acres to each horse works for me.  What got me was a place that I wanted to buy had 4 and 3/4 acres and I couldn't put a horse there.  It was sold and now there are cows there. go figure.  Good luck with your meeting.   
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