Clearing woods to make pasture for animals- can it be done?

Flytyer24

Power Conserver
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
79
Reaction score
0
Points
38
I have skimmed through this and I figured I would offer my two cents...

Depending where you are from the wood could be wortless to a timber cutter... Keep that in mind... My folks have 250 acres in ME. it came with 7 and a 4 acre field. My father traded work with a guy he was building a house for who owned a logging company. They cleared a 10 acre field for us and here is my take...

If you have 12 acres...

1. Figure what kind of wood you have... That will tell you what you can do with it.

2. Figure out what you really want (1 cow and calf) or possibly bigger?

3. You can find ethical loggers but remember they work by a different standard. No skidder will be neat and clean. A lot of times they leave brush down so they don't rip up the land as much but will look horrible... Make sure you include stump removal if you go that way. We were lucky we could just go and jump in the escavator they left and rip a lot of the stumps ourselves. Sometimes you can get them to pile everything and burn it.

4. The land will look all churned up but that is a perfect time to just broadcast spread grass seed before brambles and bushes grow in. Out west cheat grass will grow in and will be valueless in the nutrition department.

5. If you do it your self you can burn the stumps.

6. If you do it yourself and have never run a chainsaw please seek instruction.

Also think about doing it in the winter if you are in the north the frozen ground will be much more resilent. Also pile that brush and wait for good burning conditions and have a PARTY! great for new years!
 

Denim Deb

More Precious than Rubies
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
14,987
Reaction score
588
Points
407
I thought I already answered this but don't see a reply from me. Hope I'm just not so tired I missed it.

B4 cutting down any trees, look and see what kinds of trees you have, not for the sale value but because certain trees are wetlands indicators. You might have an area that looks perfectly dry. But, cut the trees down and you now have water. If you're not sure, either post pics on here and we'll see if we can ID them for you, or find someone in that area that can.
 

rhoda_bruce

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
1,522
Reaction score
65
Points
187
Location
Lafourche Parish, LA
I'd fence in as much as possible and go with goats as my dairy/meat animal. They will prefer brush, which you probably already have, so you don't need to worry about grass fed, because you will have weed and poison ivy fed animals. I'd have to have a small coop, of course, but that doesn't require tremendous amounts of light. Then if you decide you need firelogs, for whatever reason, you can start clearing whats closest to the present clearing. I use a woodstove, so I'm not particular about what types of wood I burn as my brother, with the fireplace is....so I cut storm downed trees and trees that I deem unwanted, before tackling the big guys. A bit safer that way, as well.
I don't care for bulldozing woods much. My parents did it to part of their property and I kinda miss the woods, although it did give us an orchard, but I'm not sure they caught back all their investments yet. If you start ripping up all those trees, you will lose what attracts DH to it.
 

piglett

Power Conserver
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
3
Points
38
Wannabefree said:
Your better bet IMO would be to sell the timber. Find an outfit that select cuts, and let them get the bigger stuff out of the way for you and PAY you to do so. Then take out the small stuff yourselves, and possibly rent a stump grinder to get rid of those. We cleared an acre by hand, and had grass the following year without seeding, because we didn't allow clear cutting or heavy equipment back there. We still have a few small stumps and nubs sticking up here and there, but nothing that bothers the pig or birds we have. It's just an idea, it seemed to work well for us, but we don't look to have a cow anytime really soon either. :hu
my wife & i want to do the same type of thing in a few more years
however i think i'll go with a couple of goats instead of a cow
goats are less picky about their food than a cow is.

now as far as the stumps go i will share an old time trick

1st get a few pigs
2nd pen them up near some stumps that you want removed
3rd walk over to each stump , drop a little corn next to each & then kick a little dirt over the corn
the pigs love corn & having seen where you just "hid" it if you let em loose they will go over scratch around & eat that corn.
each day put corn around the stumps , then bring a crow bar with you
make a hole & put the corn down a couple inches, make em dig for it
before long you have some good fat pigs & a bunch of stumps sitting on top of the ground
given enough time & enough pigs i can pull every stump in the county
this is how my great grandfarther did it 100 years ago & i don't see why it will still not work


good luck with your new place

piglett
wolfeboro,NH
 

k15n1

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
971
Reaction score
21
Points
115
DrakeMaiden said:
From what I have read, yes you can cut the trees, you can even clear the stumps by hand (but that is a lot of work) and then if you lime the soil appropriately, it should be able to grow a garden and a pasture. I would check into the soil before buying any piece of land. There is a website, NRCS , where you can get a good idea of the soil type. You should be able to find your area in the soil survey section. Good luck.

Personally, I would leave as many trees as possible, but that is just me (our land doesn't have very many trees and I envy those who have more shade).
For soil composition, I'd suggest testing the soil in a proper lab. Around here, it's 15 $/sample. The report includes ammendments, including lime. Also, you can take a shovel out there and just see how much soil there is. Sometimes there's only a few inches. Are there rock formations near the surface? Quarries nearby? Ask the locals about clay and sand. Also, the USGS surveys soil and I think the information is public.
 

k15n1

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
971
Reaction score
21
Points
115
piglett said:
Wannabefree said:
Your better bet IMO would be to sell the timber. Find an outfit that select cuts, and let them get the bigger stuff out of the way for you and PAY you to do so. Then take out the small stuff yourselves, and possibly rent a stump grinder to get rid of those. We cleared an acre by hand, and had grass the following year without seeding, because we didn't allow clear cutting or heavy equipment back there. We still have a few small stumps and nubs sticking up here and there, but nothing that bothers the pig or birds we have. It's just an idea, it seemed to work well for us, but we don't look to have a cow anytime really soon either. :hu
my wife & i want to do the same type of thing in a few more years
however i think i'll go with a couple of goats instead of a cow
goats are less picky about their food than a cow is.

now as far as the stumps go i will share an old time trick

1st get a few pigs
2nd pen them up near some stumps that you want removed
3rd walk over to each stump , drop a little corn next to each & then kick a little dirt over the corn
the pigs love corn & having seen where you just "hid" it if you let em loose they will go over scratch around & eat that corn.
each day put corn around the stumps , then bring a crow bar with you
make a hole & put the corn down a couple inches, make em dig for it
before long you have some good fat pigs & a bunch of stumps sitting on top of the ground
given enough time & enough pigs i can pull every stump in the county
this is how my great grandfarther did it 100 years ago & i don't see why it will still not work


good luck with your new place

piglett
wolfeboro,NH
That's clever.

Here's some more ideas: http://www.permies.com/t/2371/homestead/stump-removal
 

pinkfox

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
4,433
Reaction score
36
Points
202
Location
W.TN
thats how my grandad cleard any trees/shrubs he didnt want...
you dont even have to cut the tree first assuming youve got enough room for it to fall safely (the way pigs root it wont fall in one swoop, itlls slowly start to lean and lean untill eventually its down.
for smaller stuff hed scatter corn, for larger stuff hed dig in cob peices around the root (hed even drill holes in the tree at the very base and fill it with corn and treacle (a form of molasses) they LOVE the stuff and will dig and root and once they expose the tree roots they will chew through them too (roots carry the oisture and tend to be sweet making the YUMMY for pigs)

takes some patients especially ifyouve got alot of trees and only a few pigs, but pigs are natures earth movers...once your trees are all clear you cna then use the pigs to plow and fertilize.
 

Denim Deb

More Precious than Rubies
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
14,987
Reaction score
588
Points
407
And then you can invite them for dinner-as the main course. :hide
 

pinkfox

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
4,433
Reaction score
36
Points
202
Location
W.TN
absolutly, nothing better than real "dirt raised" pork.
if you ind you "dont like" keeping pigs, butcher em all...if you find you quite enjoy the pigs, keep a sow back :)
 
Top