Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Fern/Bracken  (Read 6282 times)

rockstar

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • powys
Fern/Bracken
« on: May 27, 2012, 12:44:32 pm »
I have just under 2 acres split into two grazing plots. I have 5 ewes and their lambs and rotate the grazing every 2 weeks.I have small areas of fern i need to contol to stop it spreading.Is the fern/bracken still poisonous to sheep if i strim off and leave to wither for 2 weeks?

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 05:39:49 pm »
The best way to control it on a small area is just to keep cutting it and keep cutting it. Eventually the root system will weaken, but there is no quick fix.
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Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 07:10:38 pm »
I saw a program on telly recently about clearing bracken - and instead of cutting it they were rolling it in a way that breaks the stems but doesn't cut through - the effect of which means that the sap continues to rise but this leaks out and thus hastens the death of the plant.  Perhaps google that and see if you fine more details. :)

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 08:01:24 pm »
Bracken probably still does have some toxicity after being cut; but animals, I believe, need to eat quite a bit for the cumulative effect to poison them. It was traditionally cut for winter bedding; so can't be too bad!

You may want to see this thread

http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=19506.0

Constant topping, harrowing and (as said) crushing or discing the rhizomes will reduce it. Asulox spray was the best thing (and I did the worst of mine with it last year). Unfortunately its sale was prohibited from the 31st December last year and all stocks must be used up this year (so if you can find someone who has a bit left?). Spraying needs to be done in early autumn just as it starts to go brown.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 09:27:59 pm »
Bracken thrives where soil humus levels are low so you could (depending on the size of are) mulch very heavily with lots of manure etc.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 09:43:40 pm »
Bracken thrives where soil humus levels are low so you could (depending on the size of are) mulch very heavily with lots of manure etc.

Are you sure?

There is a Welsh saying (and I don't speak Welsh so apologies if it is wrong) 'Aur dan y rhedyn, Arian dan yr eithin, Newyn dan y grug' which means "Gold under bracken, Silver under gorse, Starvation under heather"; meaning that land that will grow bracken is more fertile and valuable than land that will grow heather or gorse.

Some facts on bracken and control

http://www.brackencontrol.co.uk/Bracken+Facts

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2012, 12:02:22 am »
You tend to find bracken in clearings in woods amongst other places - I would not say these places are especially lacking in humus...

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2012, 08:49:08 am »
Yes I had read the same as foobar and we are pallet surfing ours (its on quite a slope) - wait till fully emerged then flaten with a pallet and jump on it, flip pallet over for next strip and repeat - fun for all the family!!  Then just go back uphill and make sure stems folded, the ones that pop back up the next day kink by hand.  My old neighbour advised us against cutting (saying theyd grow back worse, like thistles), but Id probably give that a go if it was a flat field and I had a tractor + topper).  The pallet surfing has definately not got rid of it, but it does look thiner this year, so will repeat.

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012, 09:16:12 am »
I saw this horse drawn bracken basher (or very similar) at the Royal Welsh Show last year.



Basically it looked like a flat roller with angle iron welded on to it. I reckon that people who have a lot of bracken could easily make one or just use a Cambridge roll.

That said Asulox did a fantastic job on mine last year. My topper has a roller on the back and that will now keep any small bits of residue under control


Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 09:30:03 am »
That's the fella I saw on the telly!


(I'm glad I didn't dream it! :)

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 12:01:38 pm »
we are pallet surfing ours (its on quite a slope) - wait till fully emerged then flaten with a pallet and jump on it, flip pallet over for next strip and repeat - fun for all the family!! 

Brilliant!! I'll have to give that a go on our steep slopes.
 
We have been trying various methods to control ours. In places where we have been able to get the tractor, the places where the tyres have gone seem to have less growth - so I agree that crushing seems quite effective. Cutting is hard work and quite soul detroying as you have to keep on doing it - but, after 4 years of repeated cutting, we are seeing results.  Had our first attempt with Asulox last year so just monitoring the new growth now - still too early to make a judgement.
 
The sheep don't seem to touch the bracken and ours have been forging tracks through it indirectly doing their own bracken control which is actually proving quite effective. We got the Highlands to help with this but I think the sheep have actually done a better job.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 12:10:48 pm »
Hi rockstar, my poisonous list says this:
 
Bracken Fern     Pteridium aquilinum     Toxicity Level: Med     Toxic Parts: All   Toxin: thiaminase
 
From the list if it says 'all' then that means roots and leaves even if wilted.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

rockstar

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • powys
Re: Fern/Bracken
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 08:55:06 pm »
Thanks for all the advice .I have been pulling some out on small areas, i will try the other ways :thumbsup:

 

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