Hearing on Zoning Changes for Gates Co. Horse Owners

Here we go. Some fruitcake decided that the ‘problem’ we have here in Gates County, NC is that too many people have too many horses on too little land. I suppose that having realized this, the next thing was to attempt a mass crucification(blogger’s spelling which I’m not sure of) of the local equestrian crowd. Fat chance.
The proposed zoning ordinance change was to the effect that: Each horse owner must have 1 acre of land for a home site. In order to house horses on the property each horse must have 2 acres of cleared pasture over and above the 1 acre home site.
I’m not sure who the genius was who penned the proposal but hearing the reasoning behind it made me livid. My face was literally burning hot. You see folks, among the reasons cited was the way run-off from the horses in Gates County is polluting the Perquimmons and Chowan Rivers and the Albemarle Sound. Now pardon me for having a brain but Gates County is the happy home of many hog farms and chicken houses. I’m not sure the person who wrote the proposed ordinance change gets out enough to realize it because while our horses may create some run-off, Gates County produces 6 million broilers and 32 thousand hogs every year. How on earth do the 400 or so horses living here compete with that?
An average chicken house is 500’x40′ and holds 30,000 broilers. They produce, on average, 33 lbs of manure, per 100 chickens, per day. 300×33=9900 pounds of poop PER DAY! For the 6 million raised here each year they would produce, altogether, almost 2 million pounds of feces in one day. The best I can find out is that a hog produces about 11 lbs of manure per day. Gates County produces 32,000 hogs per year. If we just took one day’s amount of dung from those hogs we would have 352,000 pounds of poop! and someone wants to blame run-off on horses? Let’s say my guess of 400 horses in Gates County is somewhat accurate. One day’s droppings would weigh in at 12,400 pounds and the horses are pastured all over the county, not in concentrated areas like chicken and hog houses.
This is a simple case of shifting the blame and attempting to persecute the equestrian crowd. Problems came, though, when the ‘equestrian crowd’ showed up en masse for the hearing. The proposal was ‘Nayed’.
Not to kick a dead horse but I’ll gamble that the people who submitted the proposal will resubmit something similar in the future.

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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