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I guess it’s more of a bur cutter – but that didn’t have the same ring. Why am I “mowing” the pasture in April with a barbed-wire infused log? Well, despite the fact that the plants are almost totally dead by October, they’re mischief is just beginning at that time. The stalks collapse very slowly and the prickle seed of the plant is ripe for the stickin’ for months to come.

You would not want to walk through our field in these conditions in say, a wool coat… Because you’d have one hell of a mess on your hands. In fact, Burdock were the inspiration for Velcro and not just in concept. Analyzing the the hook of the seed under a microscope after a hunting trip directly led to the invention of the hook-and-loop fastener.

While I appreciate the plant’s contribution to the garment industry, burdock has not had a positive influence on our sheep. Their fleece was ruined and the matted coat was likely causing them some discomfort as well. So, we shaved the little devils down. But we still need to remove the burrs from the field in order to prevent a recurrence of this sticky situation.

Since they are not well rooted, this wouldn’t be impossible to do by hand. However, we don’t have time for that currently, the ticks have been horrible this season and I really wanted to drive my truck around in the field!

Simple concept and construction:

I wrapped barbed-wire around a huge log I found, tied it to the bumper and turned on the 4-wheel.  It was pretty effective. The weight of the log slammed them into the ground while the barbed wire ripped some from the soil by the root.

We would’ve preferred to burn this spring but our surprise house guest interrupted that plan and it’s been way to wet to do it now. We’re hoping to get our goats a little earlier this year to keep the burdock at bay and then burn in the fall. I also plan on using the redneck rake again to take down the Cow Parsnip before they can seed, since the goats don’t seem to care for them.

 

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