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SMALL ACREAGE WISDOM. 2004 River Falls, Nov 13,. Keith Vander Velde UW Extension Livestock Specialist Marquette County Agriculture Agent Keith.VanderVelde@ces.uwex.edu 608-297-9153 Extension 4. Small Acreage Options. Hobby vs Income Source Urban vs Rural Zoning Requirements

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  2. 2004 River Falls, Nov 13, • Keith Vander Velde • UW Extension Livestock Specialist • Marquette County Agriculture Agent • Keith.VanderVelde@ces.uwex.edu • 608-297-9153 Extension 4

  3. Small Acreage Options • Hobby vs Income Source • Urban vs Rural • Zoning Requirements • Carrying Capacity of Land for Pasturing • Amount of Labor Available • Waste Disposal

  4. Small Acreage Options • Hobby Farm • No Income generated • Done for personnel pleasure • Labor is normally done by family members • Number of animals is usually less than 3 • Usually 10 acres of less • Purchase hay and feed • Limited Grazing

  5. Small Acreage Options • Profit Based • Horses are bred for resale • Horses are boarded for others • Horses are rented out by the hour or month • Horses are used for special events (hayrides) • Horses have value-added if trained and sold • Lessons are given to other horse owners

  6. Urban Limited Land Need arena for riding (covered in winter) Manure needs to be composted Feed Cost are higher Large population base Rural Land is less expensive Less opportunities to board other horses More open space to ride Less waste disposal problems Small Acreage Options

  7. Small Acreage Options • Urban Opportunities-reducing cost • Purchase hay in summer when it is less expensive • Reduce the amount of grain fed to pleasure horses • Share your composted manure with neighbors for garden work

  8. Small Acreage Options • Rural cost saving opportunities • Purchase hay during harvest at $70-$100/ton • Consider Round Bales • Purchase grass mix hay at a discount • Use manure as a soil nutrient • Purchase grain in bulk • Use rotational grazing on pasture for some of the forage necessary

  9. Facilities-Urban Fencing-Wood, Fiberglass, Woven Wire Shelter-structure Arena-enclosed Waste storage-covered and enclosed Facilities –Rural Fencing-Wire, tape, Shelter-Natural or open shed Arena-open Waste disposal-daily or seasonal Small Acreage Options

  10. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Fencing • Perimeter Fence—must be secure and keep horses in if they run into it • Legal Height is 50 inches on top wire • Gates must be long enough for equipment to get in-16 feet is usually a good opening distance • Lanes need to be 16 feet wide for equipment • Cost will vary with the material used

  11. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Fencing Material • $$$$= Vinyl, Wood, Special wire, rubber • $$$= Woven wire, Electric tape, rope electric • $$= Barb less wire, high tensile wire • $= single strand electric,

  12. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Housing • Remember one horse is always dominant • Never house horses in structure with doors less than 8 feet wide • Best to individual house or use dividers • In groups provide open shelters that are large enough for all the horse to have access • Leave two sides open so horses can escape • Make the ceiling height 9-10 feet -ventilation

  13. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Pastures • Avoid tearing them up with equipment • Frost seed legumes and grasses • Let the horses incorporate the seed with hoofs • Divide the pastures and use rotational grazing • Make sure the pastures have 20-30 days for rest • Feed hay if pastures are short

  14. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Pasture Forages • Horses prefer Kentucky Blue grass • White clover is a good legume with blue grass • Grasses-orchard grass, timothy, smooth brome, tall fescue • Legumes-alfalfa, red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, kura clover • Best to have 50/50 legume/grass mix

  15. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Supplemental Feeding • Necessary in Winter if no grazing • Most horses only need hay at $80/ton=$0.04 per day x 22 lbs =$0.88 per day • Grain mixes cost $200-250 per ton or $0.20-$0.25 per lb or $10-15 for fifty pounds • Exceptions-horses in training, working horses, mares in last 3 months of pregnancy, lactating mares • Horses in stalls- we use more grass since it takes longer to consume and occupies there time

  16. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Supplemental Feeding • Horses in group housing situations we often feed high % of legumes(alfalfa, red clover) since they can eat it quickly before the bosses try to take their portion • If hay is a little dusty feed on the ground • If feeding in stall spray the hay or soak it in water before feeding-necessary for heaving horses

  17. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Supplemental Feeding • Use grain to catch the horses • If feeding grain know how much you are feeding-weigh the container when full • Keep dust down with molasses or water • Make sure horses have adequate space to eat and consume equal amount

  18. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Manure • Some gather it daily and store • Some let it in field and level it in growing season • Equipment needed –fork and wheelbarrow • Use manure spreader if hauling to other sites • Add carbon sources and water if composting • Use it as a resource

  19. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Machinery • Don’t own a tractor • Use you pickup and lawn tractor for power sources • Own a drag or old bed spring or cattle panel for leveling manure and incorporating seeds • Own a small seeder to pull behind lawn tractor • Use wheelbarrow for manure moving

  20. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Machinery • If you must own a manure spreader make it a pull type not PTO driven-use pickup to power it when spreading manure • Do not own hay harvesting equipment • Buy hay or have someone else harvest it for you on shares, 50/50

  21. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Weed control • Identify toxic plant that may be in pasture • Pull or spray(remove horses for 7 days) • Let desirable species choke out weeds • Keep weed seed from germinating with good pasture management-limit sunlight to ground • Purchase hay from weed free fields

  22. Small Acreage Wisdoms • Do things “RIGHT THE FIRST TIME” • Make sure “You are Having Fun” • Know when to “QUIT” • Keep the costs under control-budget

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