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I Hate Green Briars!

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by Baymule, May 26, 2016.

  1. May 26, 2016
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I am posting this in Random Ramblings, but if @Sumi wants to move it to the newly created Pasture forum (I am hoping for a forum where we can discuss our pastures) under Herds General, it's ok with me! (pastures aren't just for cattle......)

    Our 8 acres is overrun with green briars. We have been cutting, digging and burning them. When we pull in the driveway, the pasture on the right has a ten foot strip of grass, the rest is woods, standing dead trees and green briars. The green briars form a wall of impenetrable thorny vines up to the tree tops. There are dead standing trees that are held up by the swarm of green briars. This is the pasture where I keep the sheep and it has their night pen and shelter in it. It is about an acre. When we put the sheep in there, we couldn't even see from one side to the other. There were trails around the outside, but since we weren't interested in cutting ourselves to ribbons on the briars, we just let them be.

    This is a winter picture that lets you see just how thick the vines are! Notice the dead standing tree?

    [​IMG]

    Same picture, last week. The gray area at the bottom is newly exposed dirt where the vines weren't so thick and the sheep ate them. If you notice, the vines are stripped at the bottom. Go Sheep!

    [​IMG]

    The sheep have done a fantastic job of clearing out underbrush and green briars. As far up as they can reach, the sheep have eaten holes in the solid green briars. They don't eat the hard, thorny vines, but they strip the leaves and tender shoots. I even snack on the tender shoots, they taste like asparagus. For the first time, we can SEE! I have been walking on the sheep trails, bending down branches for the sheep while they swarm like eating machines. I showed our grand daughter how to do this and she has had a blast with the sheep.

    [​IMG]



    We started pulling the green briar vines down. We hack them off at soil level with machetes, then pull the vines down out of the trees. We drag them to the ever growing 10' strip of "pasture" and the sheep happily munch on the green briars.

    [​IMG]

    We pushed over some dead standing trees, chained on to them and dragged them out with Marigold. It also helped drag out some of the vines.

    [​IMG]

    Last week, we cut, hacked, dragged, and loaded up FIVE pick up loads of green briar vines. We used a long pole thrust through the snarl to fold them over, then I climbed on the pile and stomped it. yes, green briar thorns did stab me through blue jeans. We folded and stomped until they were in a wad of ugly thorns, then stuck the pole through and dragged them up in the truck. We burned a huge pile of them.

    [​IMG]


    Yesterday, we machete chopped more vines. The sheep enjoyed our efforts immensely. We pulled vines down from the tree tops in long strands. We worked at it for several hours until were dripping wet with sweat, hot, and tired. We quit for the day and went in to cool off. This morning we attacked vines again. The sheep helped. It goes like this; Chop vines off at the ground, pull. Find a vine that is not chopped, slash it with machete, pull with both hands, lean weight into it. Find another vine, sheep is standing on machete handle, eating vines. Push sheep out of way, pick up machete, slash vine. Drop machete, pull. Leaves rain down, sheep scramble to be the first to eat them. Pull. Pull hard, heeerrrreeee they come! Vines fall to ground, sheep run to them, get tangled while I am trying to pull them to the pile.

    We made a truck load and dumped it at the burn pile. It was starting to sprinkle ahead of the rain predicted for today, so we went in.
     
  2. May 26, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    I dealt with walls of those as a kid. We used to tunnel inside and make "forts" where we could hide. Of course my father wanted to clear the land to make the back yard a "nature preserve". They are a real challenge to eliminate :confused: Another plant we had issues with was wild grape vines. They are tough! Lookin' good and glad you have all those sheep helping you!
     
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  3. May 26, 2016
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    Lather, rinse, repeat! :lol:

    That is seriously some hard a$$ work.... I feel your pain!
     
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  4. May 26, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    @Sumi I concur about a new forum entry for Pastures under the Herds General category. There have been several other pasture type threads on various other forums and really, pastures apply to virtually all herd type animals. Would be great to get them all in one place to ease searching for information.
     
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  5. May 26, 2016
    norseofcourse

    norseofcourse Herd Master

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    Go sheep! Isn't it great to see progress?

    I'm doing the same thing with my pasture and sheep, they have helped clear out lots of multiflora rosebushes, grapevine, and other stuff. I will almost (only almost) be sorry to see the rosebushes go, since the sheep love eating them so much. I wouldn't mind if some of the grapevines stay, the sheep love grape leaves too, and at least they aren't thorny.

    I'm also bending over small trees and and other stuff in the pasture so the sheep can eat them - they love it and they are fun to watch (I just tell them 'leave the fingers' if they get too enthusiastic LOL). The bigger trees I cut down for them, and they learned to come running to the noise of the chainsaw or sawzall.
     
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  6. May 26, 2016
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    And people say goats are land clearing animals........ sheep are right up there amongst the goats in land clearing abilities!
     
  7. May 26, 2016
    Ferguson K

    Ferguson K Herd Master

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    Sheep are the fluffy land clearers.
     
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  8. May 27, 2016
    Sumi

    Sumi True BYH Addict Administrator

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    I've emailed @Nifty with your request for a "Pasture" section and we'll get back to you all asap :)
     
  9. May 27, 2016
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    The goats do tend to stand on hind legs and get higher, OR actually climb some areas, LOL. Otherwise both do a fantastic job clearing.

    Baymule I love the pics!!! It lets us see your hard work and progress. Even makes any who have the similar situation see that it can be changed, not easy or fun but, good results. :p

    By the way, I love those black & white sheep!
     
  10. May 27, 2016
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    Thank you!!!!!!!
     
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