Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: ...as it says in my username...clueless!  (Read 2643 times)

Clueless

  • Joined Feb 2017
...as it says in my username...clueless!
« on: February 02, 2017, 09:45:50 am »
Hi all

Been having a read over this great site and wanted to say "hi" and start picking the brains of those who aren't so clueless, if I may!

We've recently moved over to West Wales from the middle of suburbia, to a property that has about 4.5 acres in all.  There's about 3 acres of rolling paddock plus various stables, outbuildings, menage etc.  My wife and I rocked up here with a garden fork and a Flymo!  CLUELESS!  The place has been pretty badly neglected for the past couple of years with little to no maintainence on the house or grounds.

We've had loads of (conflicting) advice from very friendly neighbours about what to do with the paddock (which has grass about 6 inches high all over having not been touched for over a year), but the concensus seems to be to stick a few horses on it and let them munch away!

My first (probably stupid) question, is what type of machinery to buy for the place.  One person says small tractor, one says just get a ride-on mower and another says a quad bike with attachments for carrying and cutting.  The paddock is fairly dry (even after 5 days of incessant rain!) and the other areas drain well also. 

The menage was about 5 inches high in weeds before one of the neighbours raked it over with an attachment on their quad - now it's just soggy sand!

There's also a mountain of brambles (not on the paddock, elsewhere on the property) which I've purchased a brush cutter to tackle once the wet stuff gives me a break!

Look forward to any comments/advice/direction - advice to "give up and move back to your housing estate city boy", although probably right, will fall on deaf ears!!

Thanks for reading and please be gentle!

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 10:22:47 am by Clueless »

3county farm boy

  • Joined Jan 2017
  • Love my family animals and life's sweet
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 02:41:45 pm »
 Hello and welcome from East Devon
 If it was me and this is just my opinion  I would invest in a little four-wheel-drive compact tractor  you have the luxury then of not only being  able to cut grass  but you can use a link box on the back  to carry things like logs straw hay etc,  you can also use various mowers off the back or some have a mid PTO which means you can have an underslung mower,  you can also have pallet forks on the back  which are very useful for moving pallets,  if you invest wisely in a well-known brand i.e. kubota  you should  have hardly any trouble with it at all  we have a little old Kubota  it is such a timesaver   We also have  A saw and splitter we put on the back it cuts our logging time in half ,  there are lots of other implements you can get just tap in compact tractors and lots will come  I hope this has been some sort of help
Everyday is a day to wake up for

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 05:07:48 pm »
 :wave: from Carmarthenshire

Get used to conflicting advice!  Here is your first in here ...  :innocent: .... don't get a tractor ...get a quad! ... can have mower, spreader roller etc. for quad ... only thing it doesn't do is lift large bales .... so think what you want to do with your land.

Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 05:14:00 pm »
Hi  :wave:

I would say quad as well but t I'm no expert!


pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 05:15:34 pm »
I would sit back a bit and decide what you wznt to do with it first. We did something similar, 3 1/2 acres and gardening tools. We didnt think about where we wanted to be with, but now its taking real shape with 2 polytunnels a few sheep for meat, a couple of goats for milk and cheese, pigs in the summer for meat chickens for eggs and geese for guard dogs plus fruit and veg. Get a plan together first you will save time and money on the long run. Most of all have fun!!

3county farm boy

  • Joined Jan 2017
  • Love my family animals and life's sweet
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 05:47:41 pm »
Like said above  there will be lots of conflicting opinions  but that's the best thing about this site you can read both sides of it and make your own mind up. I once would've opted for the quad myself when we started  but my father didn't fancy riding a quad  and there was a small compact tractor for sale from a dealer we know I think it's really just a case of personal  circumstance and choice,  The only positive I would say in it having the quad now would be if it's registered to use on the road you can use out on the road and it will be quicker than driving a compact tractor about,  also going back to the personal preference  my young children can operate the compact tractor I won't be quite so keen or be quite so confident to let them use a quad
Everyday is a day to wake up for

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 12:30:56 am »
I'm with DavidandCollette - sit back a bit and work out some idea of an overall plan before you start buying big equipment piecemeal.
You don't need anything right now.  The grass isn't growing at this time of year and machinery on the land when it's wet wrecks the soil.
Horses on wet ground make a big mess and also churn up the soil, as do cattle and pigs.  Sheep, goats, geese are much lighter on the land and give you something to eat after a while.  The only reason I can see for keeping horses is instead of a tractor, quad etc.  You can still get equipment for horses to work the land and cart stuff around.  They do take longer to get going in the morning, and to settle for bed though.
We have a Siromer small (not compact) tractor, which is great.  We have a plough, rotavator, rake, back box, hedge trimmer, front loader and trailers for it - it has a pto which is so useful. They are cheap - in the region of 4K if you stick them together yourselves (just the bodywork).   We were also given an old David Brown which we use mainly for mowing, turning and baling hay, pulling out the odd stump, but otherwise it's too big for our needs.


Oh and welcome to TAS City Boy  ;D   Congratulations for making the Great Escape  :yippee: :yippee: :yippee:
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 12:32:34 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Backinwellies

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Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2017, 07:34:00 am »
Like said above  there will be lots of conflicting opinions  but that's the best thing about this site you can read both sides of it and make your own mind up. I once would've opted for the quad myself when we started  but my father didn't fancy riding a quad  and there was a small compact tractor for sale from a dealer we know I think it's really just a case of personal  circumstance and choice,  The only positive I would say in it having the quad now would be if it's registered to use on the road you can use out on the road and it will be quicker than driving a compact tractor about,  also going back to the personal preference  my young children can operate the compact tractor I won't be quite so keen or be quite so confident to let them use a quad

Probably not a good idea to make it public your 'young' children use the tractor ........ 13 is the youngest any one should legally be on a tractor. ..... Google HSE.
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

3county farm boy

  • Joined Jan 2017
  • Love my family animals and life's sweet
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2017, 08:41:38 am »
My eldest is 13
Everyday is a day to wake up for

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2017, 04:48:10 pm »
You sound like us some 17 years ago.  You haven't said what your interest is because that is what should drive things. If you have/ want horses fine put them on it.  They are tough on fences and tough on paddocks especially if shod so some electric fencing is a good investment. 3 acres paddock will only support a couple of horses if out 24/7 but will support a small flock of sheep. The machinery you want does depend on the topography but also which livestock you chose to keep and how you keep it. We started with an old tractor but didn't really use it enough to keep it in good order so I now have a quad but we don't have cattle (and lots of muck clearing) so a quad is fine, but not essential.   The reason I finally bought a quad was it is the best for raking the mÚnage everything else is a bit too big. So I agree with the other comments, don't buy big kit until you have a plan.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 05:46:37 pm »
Hi and welcome to the forum from Ceredigion!  :wave: Always great to have new faces aboard and congratulations on escaping the city, my parents did that 20 years ago. We started keping sheep for milk and longhorn cattle for beef, then we moved onto meat sheep, the Lleyn, and water buffalo for ice cream (now in the process of developing units for mozzarella and cheesemaking :) I agree with Davidandcollette take a step back really survey everything and make a map of your smallholding filling in all spots, drains, fences, hedges, etc, etc. Ask yourself what you would really like to do, after all you will have to be looking at it for the forseeable future.  Hope this helps and all the best with whatever you decide, feel free to pick our brains for any info you may need. I would advise reading through the diaries in this forum and investing in Tim tynes smallholding book, it is brilliant.
WBF
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 11:41:33 pm »

Look forward to any comments/advice/direction - advice to "give up and move back to your housing estate city boy", although probably right, will fall on deaf ears!!



That'll be the only advice you won't get on here.

Clueless

  • Joined Feb 2017
Re: ...as it says in my username...clueless!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 08:17:03 am »
All

Thank you so much for the replies and apologies for the delay in responding - funnily enough been outdoors all weeekend!!.  There's certainly some food for thought and the "take stock and make a plan" scenario makes good sense.

One of our neighbours puts two horses on the paddock for a few hours each day to get the worst of the grass down.  The fencing around the paddock isn't really good enough for sheep or goats (I'm told they are escape artists), so horses are working well at the mo (although with the "damp" weather they are cutting the ground up a wee bit - not a problem as I'm sure it will resettle).

I'm amazed at how long everything takes.  For instance we had our hedge cut around the edge of the land (hadn't been done for three years).  That all went well, bloke sitting in a tractor for a couple of hours.  It then took me four hours to gather up the big cut-offs which were threatening to attack our and others cars!  Used to take 10 minutes to mow the lawn previously!

I'll have a good read through the answers above now that I'm at work  ;) and thanks again!

 

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