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Old 08-23-2015, 01:23 PM
 
65 posts, read 69,896 times
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We are looking into moving to ID from out of state, looking for a small horse acreage, probably mfg. home.In checking zoning and ordinances in various southern ID cities and counties I keep running into requirements for horse keeping commonly include needing minimum of a half acre pasture for 1-2 horses? Is there some reason horses can not be kept in pipe corrals in ID? My entire 50 year horse keeping experience has been keeping horses in pipe corrals with dry turnouts and exercise area on a couple acres. Why is pasture mandatory in ID? Can horses be kept indoors in stalls? Places I have seen for sale there I am not seeing many small barns but more likely run in pasture shelters or what some would call loafing sheds?
Also I see where some cities require police permits to keep horses, is this common and is there a particular reason? Should I be looking for a particular zoning designation like agriculture rather than just looking for places on small acreage (1-5 acres) in little towns? Looking online now in the greater Boise area like Emmett, Treasure Valley or possibly more toward Twin Falls. Any towns/counties to avoid for horse keeping? We only have 2 horses. Also what kind of health documents are needed to move horses across state lines into ID?
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,232 posts, read 14,251,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsue-z View Post
We are looking into moving to ID from out of state, looking for a small horse acreage, probably mfg. home.In checking zoning and ordinances in various southern ID cities and counties I keep running into requirements for horse keeping commonly include needing minimum of a half acre pasture for 1-2 horses? Is there some reason horses can not be kept in pipe corrals in ID? My entire 50 year horse keeping experience has been keeping horses in pipe corrals with dry turnouts and exercise area on a couple acres. Why is pasture mandatory in ID? Can horses be kept indoors in stalls? Places I have seen for sale there I am not seeing many small barns but more likely run in pasture shelters or what some would call loafing sheds?
Also I see where some cities require police permits to keep horses, is this common and is there a particular reason? Should I be looking for a particular zoning designation like agriculture rather than just looking for places on small acreage (1-5 acres) in little towns? Looking online now in the greater Boise area like Emmett, Treasure Valley or possibly more toward Twin Falls. Any towns/counties to avoid for horse keeping? We only have 2 horses. Also what kind of health documents are needed to move horses across state lines into ID?
The Idaho Dept. of Agriculture can answer some of your questions.

There are cities here that allow horses within city limits. The minimum pasture requirement you see is probably a result of the nuisance factors; files and too much manure, coming from animal concentration in a too-small area.
Some of the requirements may have been written after recent discoveries of starved horses. Idaho is a horse state, with lots of equine activities and lots of horses. During the recent Recession, some owners began neglecting their animals, including starvation, so older requirements were revised in some of these areas.

The problem here is 1 1/2 acres is the bare minimum needed to keep a horse alive. We have a short growing season and long snowy winters. Even if well tended 1 1/2 acres is really not enough to keep 2 horses well fed in the peak growing season, and so little pasture demands feeding hay to them for at least 5 months or more of the year. (They now own a 20-acre place outside city limits.)

Hay is now pretty expensive. For all my life, hay was never much of a cash crop- it was mostly grown as replenishment on depleted soil, or was grown where other, more valuable crops couldn't grow due to a too-short season. But now, due to the extreme drought in California and the growth of Idaho's own dairy industry, much of our hay is being sold outside our local areas and shipped to other states.

A rule of thumb for winter feeding here is approximately 60-75 lbs. of alfalfa hay daily to keep a horse in top condition with no other supplements. Horse owners typically plan to begin feeding at the end of October and continuing until early May to mid-May. Supplemental hay is typically fed on small acreages throughout the summer months to allow pastures to stay ahead of the grazing. Hay supplies begin to become scarce after mid-March here, so a farmer is often contracted to deliver supplies in advance. with about 30 days of excess feed purchased as feed insurance. If not needed, this hay can always be sold.

S.E. Idaho- from Preston in the south all the way to Ashton, close to the Montana border, has a lot of horse owners. Pipe corrals could certainly be built here, but due to the expense, pole corrals are much more common. Lodgepole pine got its name for its straightness, and they make excellent corral poles. It grows here abundantly. More commonly than poles are barbed wire fences and/or electric fences on horse pasturage.

Horses are kept in horse barns, loafing sheds and all kinds of cover here, but in most areas, cover is not mandatory.
Zoning really depends on the city; Iona, for example, was founded by livestock growers, and the old section of the town is almost all 3-acre lots, which allowed the early pioneers winter feeding grounds. Since the founding, many of these lots were subdivided, but not all. My niece and her husband just sold their 4 1/2 acre place inside the Iona city limits, and it had a small barn, a corral and other livestock accommodations already there when they bought it, years ago.

Other small local communities close to Idaho Falls are similar, but not all Idaho Falls itself doesn't allow horses inside the city limits, although we can grow chickens, but small farmsteads are readily available just outside city limits. Many have horse facilities of all kinds, including exercise tracks, electric walkers, etc.

It is relatively easy to keep a couple of horses here. Horse owners have the responsibility to keep their stock contained and healthy, but past that, regulations are pretty relaxed.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:49 AM
 
65 posts, read 69,896 times
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banjomike,
Thanks for all the great info! I always hate to say this but we are in CA now (high desert) so I am used to feeding hay all year. I feed half and half 3-way grain hay and Bermuda grass, does not appear the 3-way is going to be readily available in ID? We are paying $18 dollars a bale here for the last couple years, that's for a "3 wire" bale, thank goodness my horses are easy keepers.
Hear you about the recession, so many here could not feed their horses anymore at those prices, some simply turned them loose, let them starve or gave them away, we saw many purebreds on craigslist. I will still feed some hay year around in ID, even with pasture so pasture would be more for them to have space then rely on the grass. I am guessing that most horse folks stock up on winter hay during the summer growing season and hay by the small bale is not something easily available at feed stores year around? Speaking of which I am not seeing very many feed stores listed in towns?? So some sort of small pole barn or similar would be required to store several tons of winter hay?
I've seen the lodge pole fencing on some of the listings I looked at but my one guy is a wood chewer so that could be a problem, barbed wire scares me, probably would have to go with wire field fence.
I am surprised with the ID winters that cover is not mandatory, I have a run in shed here and would want at least that. Do people blanket their pasture horses in winter? Lots to consider, who knew? I'm going to look into the Idaho Falls area too (need ok place for a couple chickens too). You have been very helpful, thanks!!
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,232 posts, read 14,251,947 times
Reputation: 15724
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsue-z View Post
banjomike,
Thanks for all the great info! I always hate to say this but we are in CA now (high desert) so I am used to feeding hay all year. I feed half and half 3-way grain hay and Bermuda grass, does not appear the 3-way is going to be readily available in ID? We are paying $18 dollars a bale here for the last couple years, that's for a "3 wire" bale, thank goodness my horses are easy keepers.
Hear you about the recession, so many here could not feed their horses anymore at those prices, some simply turned them loose, let them starve or gave them away, we saw many purebreds on craigslist. I will still feed some hay year around in ID, even with pasture so pasture would be more for them to have space then rely on the grass. I am guessing that most horse folks stock up on winter hay during the summer growing season and hay by the small bale is not something easily available at feed stores year around? Speaking of which I am not seeing very many feed stores listed in towns?? So some sort of small pole barn or similar would be required to store several tons of winter hay?
I've seen the lodge pole fencing on some of the listings I looked at but my one guy is a wood chewer so that could be a problem, barbed wire scares me, probably would have to go with wire field fence.
I am surprised with the ID winters that cover is not mandatory, I have a run in shed here and would want at least that. Do people blanket their pasture horses in winter? Lots to consider, who knew? I'm going to look into the Idaho Falls area too (need ok place for a couple chickens too). You have been very helpful, thanks!!
Animals have been turned out on the road here, too.

Hay is available here in just about any way you want; cttle feeders here prefer the big round 1,000 lb. bales, but small bales are easy to find.
There are feed stores here in I.F., but I don't know if they carry hay. They may, or they may know some farmers.

Idaho doesn't grow much bermuda grass. Timothy, crested what grass and other bunch grasses are more common because they're better suited to our climate. When tired spud ground is rested by planting hay on it, a common mix of alfalfa, peas and timothy is commonly used instead of straight alfalfa, as the others also help rebuild the soil. And it's all cut and sold for feed. (Or fed on the owner's livestock on the place.) Horses do well on these mixes and often don't need as much hay; the bulk they need can use wheat or other grain straw for the bulk, and straw is available as well.

Most hay is stacked here. Some places have covers, others cover with tarps, and others don't cover at all. The commercial growers are now shrink wrapping their haystacks and leaving them in the fields, but the shrink wrap may be as much for theft prevention as good storage, as it's more difficult to break into.

You would have to use your own judgement on whether to blanket your horses or not. The winters recently have been much warmer than average, and most folks here simply allow their horses to grow a winter coat. If yours have never spent any time in cold country, it would be your decision.

Boise and the Treasure Valley is horse country, too, but you'll find the real estate more expensive there than in S.E. Idaho; the closer to Boise you are, the more expensive it will be. The real estate in the panhandle is even more expensive once north of Lewiston/Moscow.

All I can say is it would pay to come up and look around for yourself, meet and talk to some ranch realtors, large animal vets, and learn for yourself what the lay of the land is here. I'm sure you would find a suitable place for only 2 horses ; really, just 2 is not that big a deal here.

best of luck to you!
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:53 PM
 
65 posts, read 69,896 times
Reputation: 99
Thanks again! I am learning a lot. Shrink wrap hay in the field? Wouldn't it get moldy from the residual moisture? Never know pea foliage was fed to horses either but any of the good grass hays would do. My current horses are both second hand mustangs originally from northern NV so are tough guys even tho older so will probably do fine in your climate. (on another note was so sad to read about the 27 mustangs killed in the Soda fire and all the cattle) I am willing to look pretty much anywhere in ID for a place other than the far north or way up in mountains. We do need to make a trip out there but its very hard to get away so trying to line up everything first as we will have to do it all in one trip.
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