Having a ranch can be a lot of fun, but it can also be high maintenance. Knowing how to reduce the amount of upkeep required is the key to getting the most out of your property. These four tips will help you reduce the amount of time and money needed to keep everything looking perfect.
Check Your Fencing Regularly
Electric fencing is usually the best way to keep your horses contained. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the fence’s condition, including any posts used and the electric components. A voltmeter is a good way to check for any voltage problems when you’re out walking your perimeter. Keep a kit with extra wire and any tools you need and carry it with you on your inspection walk. This allows you to fix small issues right away instead of having to return to do it later.
Pave Roads and Driveways
Gravel driveways and dirt roads look homey but can bring about issues that include washboarding from the amount of traffic these roads need to endure. Sealcoating can protect your asphalt from weather changes, mold risk, and animal damage at a lower cost than having new roads cleared. As much vehicle and animal traffic as ranch roads get, they could use the extra protection to keep everyone safe.
Drainage Ditch Designs Make a Difference
Rain runoff can easily damage pastureland, which makes good drainage absolutely essential. A ditch that includes the main channel and two raised benches in its drainage design helps to contain overflow to prevent this type of damage. Another advantage of this design is that it is more environmentally friendly, causing less damage to the surrounding ecosystems.
A sinking fund can come in handy for occasional needs, such as machinery, tractor, barn, or roof replacements. These funds are usually set aside and kept separately from your savings and emergency funds, such as in a high-yield money market account. Farm machinery and tractors depreciate to about half their value after four years of ownership. Barns can last for several decades, barring serious structural issues, although many prefer to replace or remodel them when the builder’s warranty runs out. A roof will usually last between twelve and thirty years, depending on its materials. However, it should be inspected for damage yearly.
Taking steps to save on your maintenance costs is a way to keep your ranch in the best shape possible. Do what you can to reduce your costs, and your property is likely to generate a good return in less time.
If you want to reduce your ranch upkeep, you probably also want to reduce the amount of time it takes to take care of your horses while still getting them the care they need. Check out these tips on how to maintain a horse stable efficiently!