Does anybody know where I can find facts ? The town I live in is trying to get new zoning to say 5 acres per animal unit and a cow or a horse is two animal units.This means I can only have 1 cow or horse per 10 acres.
What I am looking for is any kind of documents that say what is a recommended # per acre.
You need to check with your Town board. State of WI just passed a law last year that Property owners may go over there allotted animals per acre related too all the big dairys going in. The Township boards/ordinences can no longer govern how many animals per acre. You must have a plan to get rid of the manure that would be acceptable to the DNR.
I'd go over their heads and check your state laws, the township might not want the residents to know these laws are being passed at the state level. Michigan's may not have this law passed yet. Townships have formed "smart growth" committees to put a plan together by 2007 (?) for all the growth in the country. (large dairys, hog, poultry)
Horses will count as approx 1.5 cows, and are harder on pasture. It will also depend on the type of cow eg a Jersey will use up a lot less pasture than a Charolais ! It will also depend on whether you can make hay or want to buy it in. Probably with a moderate amount of feeding out over winter you could have up to 10 stock units to the hectare (a smaller cow's about 5-6, a horse about 8) - which would be about 1 beast to the acre - or 2 to 3 acres if you can rest pasture and grow supplements yourself that you can feed out ? Any more than that is uneconomic as you need to buy in more feed than the animals are worth (this is calculating on NZ pasture where theres no snow on the ground and the animals aren't housed over winter though, so maybe these would be additional factors that could change the whole equation ?)
5 acers for a cow 10 for a horse? We keep 2 horses a steer, cow and calf, and 6 sheep on our 5ive acre pasture and they still get so fat that we have to cut them back for fear of foundering. Of course I don't know what your quality of grass is over there but it looks to me like some uneducated, unaggie officials are getting their noses in where they don't belong.
Aren't there 'right to farm' laws to protect small farmers? I can see the method behind the madness regarding factory farms where 1000's are kept on a few acres; but come on! Say you have 5 acres, keep 30 chickens and 2 cows; and your responsible 4-H child wants a pony, you have to tell them no because the county says that's too many animals? Nuts
most zoning laws that tell you what you can and can't do on your own land are there not for your benifit or your animals but for protecting someobody elses investment. Whether that be the neighbors house value or the cities tourism centers. It's all about the dollar. Probably the best way to prevent these type of changes is through petitions to local elected officials by the majority or the loudest minority as the case seems to be these days.
Your state right to farm act/law may protect you however these laws are primarily designed to protect farmers from nuisance suits by individuals or land developers who move to an established agriculture area and complain about the sights, smell, noise, etc generated by the farm. The link below is about a case where neighbors and finally the town sought legal action against an individual who raised poultry primarily for personal consumption where the right to farm act for the state was brought up as the defense. It's full of legalize but has some useful information on what all can be considered during legal proceedings regarding the right to farm.
rod i am with you......since cows really don't want to eat grass even a year later that grows in there cow pile. ...and really dont want to after 2 years....look in the feilds and see what i mean.....i find it hard for a cow to live on anything less then 4 acres........they will be cow piles all over anything less then that after 2 years then its haul in all the feed....cows on pasture cost in the last paper i read $380 to keep on pasture would be really hard to make any money on cows hauling in feed