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Clearing bush, use hogs or machines?

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  • Clearing bush, use hogs or machines?

    Our new property is 40acres of bush. We found the old fencelines before spring, when you could sort of drag yourself through the place. Now that its greening up, you can't see a thing...and of course where I was planning to fence and build corrals, its impossible to get in there!

    We managed to do a trail with a forest mulcher before the neighbors had us shut down. It could be we can't disturb any trees that way until birds fly south for winter.

    We bought a chainsaw...but the real problem is how overgrown thick, prickly and tangled the bush is.

    One thing we could do is electric fence the trail we have, and turn loose some pigs. How would I catch them again, do they need maintenance/ vets/ etc for 4 mos? How many hogs would it take to clear a 2 acre tree-bush area?

    There's also 2 big ponds in the bush.. can pigs swim? I'm thinking if they go in for a drink or mudbath they might get stuck?

    I even thought of fencing our 40acres and just turning pigs/sheep loose ... maybe thats a bad idea, just read the feral hog thread and now I'm not sure ! Just wait till fall and do the machine thing?

    At first we loved the trees but now the bush seems totally unusable. We had planned a 300x300' area fenced with paddocks. What would you do, besides move

  • #2
    Rent some goats. There is an article in the May 14th Washington Post about one of the localities renting goats to clear the thick brush on a property. The goats will eat everything up to 6 feet high. If you are in the DC area, the company is called EcoGoats.


    • #3
      Or rent a brush hog. seems to me you could get everything cleared in a weekend if you used a brush hog - even renting a tractor with brush hog attachment wouldn't be very expensive.
      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


      • #4
        So I researched this once, and my conclusion (animal-wise) was goats first then pigs.

        It seems like they confine them smaller than you are talking and move the fencing to the next section after they clear the first section good, and so on.
        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


        • #5
          Goats or a bush hog. Pigs will create a dry lot if left too long because they root. Goats are browsers and will eat the bushes and vines, and a bush hog will clear by chopping things down. I have pigs and would use them for complete devegetation prior to coming in with a landscape rake or other and reseeding. I've seen goats used to remove the understory in the neighbor's woods and they did a good job without tearing up the ground.

          Don't forget, if it won't hold water, it won't hold a goat.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • #6
            I assume you have a tractor? If so spend the 600-700 bucks on a brush hog/field mower, I use mine a TON and it cleared my fields nicely (had 6-8 ft solid brush).
            I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


            • #7
              Lots of places you can rent a brush hog or similar machine also.

              The potential problem with goats/pigs is that you would need to make that fence airtight in order to keep them in it and sounds like the brush could make that a problem...
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the ideas!

                We saw some electric woven wire fence at ferrisfencing.com is how we thought we could contain them... but escape, and the round-up is still questionable, no?

                Yes, we have a midsize Kubota tractor, and the brush hog mower new will be $2500. I think my tractor is a too big to really get between trees... but suppose I could rent a unit and try it, if the animal thing isn't a go.


                • #9
                  This looks fun! http://www.pecobrushcutters.com/

                  Seems like I saw an attachment for a bobcat with something similar also-call the rental shops and see what they have!

                  We have something similar to this and it shreds brush pretty well, up to a limit. It would take out the lilacs if we wanted to do that-maybe you could find something like this to knock things down a bit?

                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                  • #10
                    Yes, catching them can be difficult. If you look back through my posts you'll see that my family has been eating a LOT of pork lately.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible