To our readers here at Chicago Boyz – I am looking for some information about a tool. For those not in the know, I am the proud owner of a working hobby farm. We now have five cows, three horses, six chickens, three cats, and a partridge in a pear tree.
We are raising our cows on pasture grass and hay only, no grain. I have been noticing a lot of thistles and burdoc out there in the pastures and I hate looking at it. The burrs also cause problems with my cattle as the breed we are raising is Scottish Highlands and they have a lot of hair.
I have been contemplating going back to the future and buying a scythe to cut this crap down. I cut a bunch of burdoc with a hand snips and it was drudgery – from what I have read a scythe would be a great tool for me. Our pasture is very uneven with a lot of rocks and dips – not good for a mower. Also, I like to exercise so the actual work doesn’t scare me at all, and my obliques could use the work. On top of this we have electrified fence that is constantly being grounded by high grass/weeds so I would use the scythe for that maintenance as well.
My question is to all of our readers – have you ever used a scythe and is there a particular design that I should look for? Any particular blade style that would suit this sort of work better? Most that I have seen have adjustable handles on the snath (the snath is the long handle part) so that should make most models fit my six foot frame. Is there a better wood for the snath? I plan on purchasing a wetstone to sharpen the blade while working, as well as a peening jig to peen the blade when needed. Any comments/advice are appreciated, especially from some of our readers who may have actually used a scythe back in the day for hay harvesting.