No herd yet, but I do have 5 acres of poison oak

fat brown hen

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Aug 5, 2023
Messages
21
Reaction score
68
Points
58
Finding a Scottish Highland cow in the area might be difficult and expensive. Goats are easy to find, particularly if you are not looking for registered ones in a specific breed.

If you want the least work for yourself, then continue to hire someone to come in and clear the underbrush, trim the trees, and clean out and then spray the poison ivy/oak. The only effort on your part will be writing a large check.

You can talk to your neighbor with the goats and ask f he will put his goats on your property if you buy several rolls of electric netting. Since you already have the chargers that may be the most economical. He can put up the netting and move it as his goats clear the area. He will feed them in the evenings, take care of their health, and be responsible for them. Since he doesn't speak English well, use a translator to discuss your proposition with him.
No, he won't go for that. The whole conversation started out with me asking if I could rent his goats, and when he said no I asked why he didn't at least put them to work on his own property (They're pets 🙄).

Goats are nearly free around here... it's the "put up the netting, move it around, take care of their health, be responsible for them, etc" that I'm not so sure about.
 

canesisters

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
5,411
Points
413
Location
South Eastern VA
I can certainly appreciate the honest reflection there! I've had a whole summer (so far) of challenges that have had me swearing that I should just move to a condo and have a fish instead of all these furry little criminals.
If you're not really, really, really NEEDING to be oned by livestock.. probably best to get a tyvec suit, a resperator and a really good weed-wacker/brush trimmer and have it every weekend until it's managable by spraying.
 

SageHill

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
11,948
Points
473
Location
Southern CA
Not double the amount of smaller goats. If for no other reason than trying to count them all to make sure they are all there and no one is missing. Counting to 10 is a whole lot easier than 20 - esp when they are moving around. :) easy at first then comes the "Did I count the brown with the white head and black tipped tail, or was it the brown head with the right white foot?" Of course all the other reasons apply. Except -- if you want them for pets. ;)
 

fat brown hen

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Aug 5, 2023
Messages
21
Reaction score
68
Points
58
I can certainly appreciate the honest reflection there! I've had a whole summer (so far) of challenges that have had me swearing that I should just move to a condo and have a fish instead of all these furry little criminals.
If you're not really, really, really NEEDING to be oned by livestock.. probably best to get a tyvec suit, a resperator and a really good weed-wacker/brush trimmer and have it every weekend until it's managable by spraying.
True... I started this thread out of frustration and stress. Probably not the best time to be acquiring new livestock. Will probably revisit the idea once wildfire season is over, and I am of sound mind.

BTW, I came into this thinking I would get a pair of animals, or 3 little ones at most. The way you guys are throwing around numbers like 10 or 20 goats, as if these things are hot dog buns at the supermarket, has me REALLY nervous.
 

SageHill

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
11,948
Points
473
Location
Southern CA
True... I started this thread out of frustration and stress. Probably not the best time to be acquiring new livestock. Will probably revisit the idea once wildfire season is over, and I am of sound mind.

BTW, I came into this thinking I would get a pair of animals, or 3 little ones at most. The way you guys are throwing around numbers like 10 or 20 goats, as if these things are hot dog buns at the supermarket, has me REALLY nervous.
🤣 thanks for the smile and laugh. 😊👍🏼. Numbers - yeah probably 5-10 full size would work.
You’ve got lots of great input from everyone.
Um yeah - fire season - good thinking. Tis the main reason I have a trailer. We’ve had some fires already here, thank God nothing bad or close.
Let us know how it goes
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
33,449
Reaction score
100,392
Points
873
Location
East Texas
If you don’t want 20-30, then get all wethers, castrated males. Intact male and females will have babies. That brings its own set of problems. You must wean the males at 2-3 months old, they will start breeding the females. And castrate them or take them to auction or take them to slaughter for freezer meat. Babies are adorable but come with responsibilities. Intact bucks come into rut and pee on their faces to attract the females.

My advice for what it’s worth, skip the little cute breeds. Get several large breed meat type wethers. When they have cleaned up the land, take them to slaughter or auction.
 

Finnie

Herd Master
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
1,164
Reaction score
3,276
Points
333
Location
Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis
The tree service that I hire cuts it down to the ground, and then pours Roundup (?) on the stump.
That ought to work, but are they using the correct Roundup? It needs to be the yellow label “poison ivy and brush” formula. Also, if they’re cutting it down to stumps, they need to make sure the RU gets into each stem. That’s kind of tedious, and inefficient to spray all the ground between. It would be more effective to only cut it back partway so there are still leaves to spray.
 

Finnie

Herd Master
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
1,164
Reaction score
3,276
Points
333
Location
Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis
One more thing I almost forgot-
I have these Ivyx wipes, and I’m not positive whether they work, or whether I’m just not very susceptible to uroshiol. Maybe it’s placebo effect, or maybe they actually work.

683E350F-8614-41D0-8C63-9D6CD1889170.jpeg


 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
6,747
Reaction score
22,997
Points
693
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
BTW, I came into this thinking I would get a pair of animals, or 3 little ones at most. The way you guys are throwing around numbers like 10 or 20 goats, as if these things are hot dog buns at the supermarket, has me REALLY nervous.
I guess before we inundated you with goat numbers and enthusiasm, we should have found out exactly how much area you need to clear. This is a livestock forum and we are all animal keepers here so . . . .

Actually, we may be overestimating the number of goats you need. How large is your property? Are we talking multiple acres? Or half acre steep landscape? If you need something for a steep half acre, you won't need many. Also what is the fire clearance requirement in your town/county? If you only need them to clear the steep areas within that requirement, 2 might be all you need. (We suggest 2 because they are herd animals and 1 will be noisy calling for a friend.)

Are you wanting to clear everything for fire danger or just the poison ivy/oak because you are allergic? If you are afraid of fire, remember that once you have paid someone to clear any later rain will cause regrowth. You will have to cut again.

I am in Los Angeles County and my fire requirement is 200' from all buildings and roads. Trees must be kept trimmed to a certain distance from the ground and above structures. We keep sheep because we are on very steep ground, like eating lamb, and enjoy keeping animals. (We have always had horses too.) We have kept most kinds of livestock, so this is not new to us. After 35 years of livestock keeping, we have the housing, fencing, and experience. We loved our goats, and they will browse weeds and brush. We went with the sheep because they eat EVERYTHING and our land is cleared to the dirt. This means that once there is no more forage, we have to buy and feed hay. We must trim any tree branches that hang over the roof. The trees on the ground are usually sheep cleared as high as they can reach. Dead wood, tree trunks/branches have to be removed since the sheep won't eat an entire dead tree once they have cleared all the leaves. Without our sheep we would be paying well over $6000 to clear the 200' requirement around the house and barn. We have 6 acres fenced but don;t have to cler that much. We clear it because we have the sheep and want to have a barren landscape for fire safety. Several years ago during the last firestorm season (when Paradise was destroyed) the Creek wildfire almost took out our property. 70 mph winds drove the fire over the surrounding hills until in a few minutes it reached our welded pipe fence and stopped dead. The sheep had left nothing for the fire to burn. The fire circled around our fence and the fire fighters were able to stage on our property and fight it back from neighbors' homes. We had to evacuate with all our animals for a week.

This is a decision you will have to make for yourself based on your time constraints, finances, and desire to involve yourself with animal keeping. Goats will do a great job for you, but they will require a $ outlay, and some time to care for them.
 
Top