Today I was out cleaning out the horse barn. I put round bales of hay in and she eats on it for about a month and then there is a big mess of manure and left over hay that has to come out before the next bale can got in.
I usually spread this job over several days because I do not have the stamina I used to have. I am 71 years old and an avid horse lover. I take the manure and hay mix out and spread it on the pasture area the horse is allowed to run in. This gives the ground new nutrients and some moisture control so everything does not just drain away in a hard rain.
When I moved in with my sister five years ago I took over the pasture cleaning and house and barn maintenance. My sister is in this business with me but she is not as physically able to do the outdoor work as I am. She did buy a tractor so I could really get the place in better shape more quickly. The pastures were full of cactus and brush that was taking over the area the cows were supposed to be grazing.
I noticed that the grass was not getting what it needed and was being shaded by the cactus and brush. So I started by hand clearing cactus and cutting brush with a sawsall. I used an old lawn tractor to pull a small trailer around so I could collect the cactus and brush and limbs in it and carry them to the burn piles. I have burned a lot of brush by now.
The tractor allows me to knock down young ceder trees and push them out of the ground with a rock bucket. Then I can pick them up with the rock bucket and take them to the burn pile. Cedar burns fast and hot which set the other brush on fire without problems of trying to relight the fire all the time.
In Texas we have lots of times when it is too hot or dry to burn so we have to be aware of when the burn ban is on and off. This year has been fairly moist so not too many burn bans have been declared.
I have been using the rock bucket to rake the top of the ground and move rocks and other natural material that I am not burning into rows to help hold the dirt and rain. This will allow the water to remain on the pasture longer and keep from washing the dirt away. The dirt is very thin anyway because of the rocky ground in the Texas hill country. So building up some soil is very important to getting more grass for the cows.