Sheep vs goats for keeping the grass down

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by halvey, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. halvey

    halvey New Member

    7
    Oct 8, 2007
    Minnesota
    I have about a one acre "pasture" that has mature elms plus some evergreens, bushes and seedlings I planted growing. I used to mow under there, but because of all the trees, it'd take literally 3 hours just for that area. So, the past 2 years I've just let it grow up.

    My plan was to put sheep back there and maybe some goats. The goat idea is pretty much out because I know they'd eat everything they could reach. But what about sheep? Would they leave the trees and seedlings alone?

    I thought about sectioning it off in 1/3 acre parcels and rotating them. How many sheep could I really put in this area to keep it fairly manitained?
     
  2. jBlaze

    jBlaze New Member

    254
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oregon
    I think that sheep are a lot less likely to eat your trees. I have never had sheep though!
     

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I've never had sheep either but in the old days they used to let the sheep loose in the fields to eat weeds since the sheep wouldn't touch the crops.
     
  4. needs to know more

    needs to know more New Member

    118
    Oct 7, 2007
    Washington
    Sheep will eat the trees, don't know if they would before they ate all the grass but they will eat them!!!!
     
  5. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    A friend of mine had sheep and they ate it so low she had mudslides in her back yard.She is much happyer with her goats and sheep wil eat the trees to.
     
  6. Crissa

    Crissa New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Cashion, Oklahoma
    Depends on the sheep. My sheep are a Suffolk and a Cross. They will eat some leaves, but definitely prefer the grass. Oh and they will eat the bark during the winter. Just learned that one myself. If you have any more questions about sheep feel free to pm me. :wink:
     
  7. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    386
    Oct 5, 2007
    California
    Yes they will eat seedling and trees. Yes they will eat the grass more, but if you don't want them to eat the trees that will be the first thing they do :roll: . I have a suffolk ewe who balance on her back legs and waits for the wind to blow the branches down so she can reach them. My dad has a row of mulberry trees that run between his yard and front pasture. One of the new neighbor asked why he trim the side in the pasture so evenly a crossed but not in the yard once the laughing stop we told her the sheep are the one you prune them so nice and evenly a crossed. If the trees can hold the weight of the sheep they will be fine. I would worry about the seedling and make sure none of the trees or plants are poisonous to which everyone you decide to use. Shelly
     
  8. halvey

    halvey New Member

    7
    Oct 8, 2007
    Minnesota
    I should add this to the discussion:

    I was thinking of getting 2 lambs (whenever they first can be separated from their mother), then raise them to 80-100 pounds then butcher them. So, I suppose I'd have them 4-6 months at the most and nothing over the winter.

    I can fence off the part to keep them out of the seedling area, but I do have some evergreen type shrubs, and I think it's a silver maple tree that's more like a hedge/bush. So I assume that'd be destroyed from what some of you are saying?

    My last thought is I could run 5' of chicken wire around the trunks of the elms in an area and that'd give them about a 100'x100' area to be in. The only thing really there I'd worry about are the elms which the smallest are 1' in diameter. But I'd imagine with the chicken wire I'd be ok maybe? Would they eat this down pretty quick? I don't mind feeding hay, but don't want them to eat the 100'x100' pasture down to the dirt.