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Sheep in the Orchard/on the Lawn

Posted by unkledon Central CA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 5, 11 at 12:24

Does anyone have experience using sheep to mow the lawn? I didn't have to mow the lawn but once last year--just to trim up the rough spots. I've been experimenting--first staking my two ewes out on the lawn. That worked fine, but when they lambed, the two baby ewes ran free around the house and started eating roses and some other plants. Four is too much trouble to stake out, so I used electric netting, which worked well, but was a bit expensive for the area I need to fence. So, I used electric tape, but they have been busting through it. I will try to "train" them to the electric poly tape better first. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try using deer repellent spray. Since sheep are related to deer, if I spray the roses, they may be not so tasty--supposed to work for three weeks.

Then, in my orchards, theoretically if I spray the trees (most are semi-dwarf and so low that the sheep can eat the leaves) the sheep should leave the trees and berries alone and just eat the grass on the ground. That should work for the week or so that it will take to clean the grass and weeds out of the orchard.

I'll post when I have solutions to my question. If anyone has experience with this, I'd like to know.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sheep in the Orchard/on the Lawn

"I used electric netting, which worked well, but was a bit expensive for the area I need to fence."

You don't need to fence your entire 100 acres! ;-)

Use your netting to form a series of rotating pastures. That may also assist in getting the sheep to eat most of the weeds, rather than just picking out their favorites and letting the rest go to seed.

Are you familiar with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms? Brilliant farmer!

Here is a link that might be useful: Polyface Farms

RE: Sheep in the Orchard/on the Lawn

I agree with belgianpup...and Polyface Farms. I use rotating pastures and it works great! I have Angora goats. But its the same concept.

Maybe only put your sheep in the orchard, during the time of year that the leaves are off the trees. So they eat just the grass...Unless they peel the bark off... Then definitely don't do that! good luck!

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