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Help- blackberry vines taking over field

Discussion in 'Natural and Organic Husbandry' started by Talithahorse, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Mar 24, 2015
    Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' with the herd

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    I have about a 10 acre field that was unused this winter. I looked at it the other day and it is completely covered in blackberry vines. I try not to use any more chemicals on the farm than necessary but it is starting to look like Sleeping Beauties castle. What is the best way to get rid of them. I am hoping to put a couple of calves and/or goats in the field.
     
  2. Mar 24, 2015
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos True BYH Addict

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    Welcome :frow, I know that goats are used to clear brush/woody areas but not sure about the blackberry vines. Hopefully others will chime in. @Southern by choice, @OneFineAcre
     
  3. Mar 24, 2015
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother True BYH Addict

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    When my goats get into the garden area the first thing they go for are the black berry vines! (ugh)
     
  4. Mar 24, 2015
    Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' with the herd

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    That is good to know. Mental note: keep the gate to the tame blackberry bushes closed. LOL.....
     
  5. Mar 24, 2015
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    The only thing you need to watch is that the little prickly thorns don't cause an issue in their mouth. They generally do fine but occasionally you may have one that has an issue and a barb can cause inflammation.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2015
    Bossroo

    Bossroo Loving the herd life

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    Goats and sheep do a fine job of eating the blackberry vines. That is fine and dandy, but they do NOT do anything for the roots, and the vines return in short order. What you will have to do is use chemical warfare on the root system by spraying the leaves which will then send the chemicals to the root system . Then wait and see if the treatment actually killed off all of the root. Then spot treat again and again until there is no more resprouting. ( will take a year and possibly longer ) Check with your local County Ag. Extention agency and/ or a Agriculture University for advice as to what chemicals to use and application procedures for your particular situation. Roundup is not the best chemical to use as one can saturate the vines and leaves , the leaves and parts of the vines will die off but the vines will start to regrow (within days / week )soon. Then one would have to respray every 2/few weeks for a year or several years until the roots finally starve and die off. This applies to other weeds such as horse tail, etc. . Good Luck !
     
    Southern by choice likes this.
  7. Mar 24, 2015
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother True BYH Addict

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    Yes - thank goodness mine are thornless!
     
  8. Mar 24, 2015
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Sometimes a chemical is necessary but goats tend to kill off everything if not moved. We have had whole sections that you could not walk through and after a season or two it is completely dead killed. They continually strip the leaves and therefore interrupt the growth process. Sadly many get goats to get rid of the vines and undergrowth... not realizing that the goats will do this much faster than anticipated. The goat owner then no longer need the goats and can't afford to feed them... bad cycle.
     
    Scooby308 likes this.
  9. Mar 24, 2015
    Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' with the herd

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    I understand about that bad cycle. We have been hobby farming for quite a few years and have been researching goats for a few years. I want to get enough to do the jobs I need them to do. (get rid of brush on our 24 acres, maybe milk, maybe meat. ) I don't want to get too many but just enough to do the job. I am thinking two does and a wether. Or maybe two wethers and a doe. I really don't want to use chemicals but I am also realistic enough to know that if it takes too many goats to do the job, then our situation might warrant chemicals. We have a pond that is severely overgrown due to our not being able to keep up with the plants and not realizing how fast an area can get overgrown. I don't want to lose the field too. I almost have DH convinced to invest in goats if he doesn't read too much more about goat escapees. Thankfully our barn is fenced and cross fenced and so the likelihood of them getting all the way to the street is remote but if one more animal escapes to the neighbor's field we will be the laughing stock of the mountain. Ok well we already are as the steer we bought is still in the neighbors field despite 4 attempts to catch him from "professional cowboys" (They really are supposed to be excellent at their job and they have been so kind to us).

    Thanks everyone for all the good information.
     
  10. Mar 24, 2015
    norseofcourse

    norseofcourse True BYH Addict Golden Herd Member

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    My sheep have nearly totally wiped out the large stands of blackberry in the pasture in just a couple years. They eat the shoots until the plants die. I prefer not to use poison unless absolutely necessary, I'm not using it on anything, the sheep are turning brush back into pasture, even eating the grapevine, bindweed and poison ivy. The stuff they don't eat I'll cut or mow down.

    (Actually some of the blackberries taste really good and are nice large berries, so I'd like to save a few and transplant them before they're all gone...)