Can sheep and COWS graze together?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Sarah J, May 16, 2004.

  1. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Southeast Iowa
    Not wanting to hijack the goat thread, I have three sheep and one Holstein calf. I have one automatic waterer. I'd like to avoid getitng a stock tank for the sheep...can I put them all together in the same pasture? The two areas they are currently in are butted up next to one another and could easily be opened up to form one larger pasture. But the one that is almost fenced in (and therefore not being used yet) doesn't have a waterer or even a close *source* for water...

    I have one adult Suffolk, her 4 1/2 month old lamb, and another 7 week old lamb who will be weaned within the month. The bottle-fed Holstein calf is also 4 1/2 months old and weaned and on grain and hay/pasture.

    Can they be put together or would that cause problems this summer?


  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Sheep can be carriers of a respritory ailment (Hamophilous Plural Pnuemonia??? I forget if thats it and I'm sure that's spelling incorrectly) that is deadly to cattle, with an extremely high fever and respritory failure in under 12 hours. Now that said not all cattle are suseptable, not sheep are carriers. I lost one out of three calves I was raising a few years ago when they got together but remember I had over 400 sheep or lambs at the time. I would think if your calf was going get this he would have already. Your main problem is mineral, sheep can't eat cattle minerals and sheep mineral isn't meant for calves. The calf might be aggresive as it gets older but may not be too. Holsteins can be a pain in the rear, not that Brown Swiss steers are always fun either. Same for goats and sheep too really.

  3. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Right now we just have one jersey steer who will be butchered this fall. Last fall (he was about five months old) we moved him in with the sheep because winter was coming on and I didn't want to have to drive hay down to the other pasture. They have done very well together. In fact, the cow is a good guardian for the sheep. He is constantly keeping an eye on my lambs. I keep the cow's mineral lick and feed him his grain in an area that the sheep can't reach. I don't know anything about the respitory ailment which Ross mentioned. In the sheep books I have read, it mentions using cows, horses, donkeys, etc as guardian animals for your sheep. Becky
  4. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Several years ago I ran a bottle raised limousine calf with my sheep until he was over 400 lbs and sent to sale. The biggest problem that I had with him was he nursed off my ewes once he was denied the bottle! We grain fed them seperate. That was tricky at times but if one carries a big enough stick it can be done.

    It would be a good idea to vaccinate your sheep, and your calf, against blackleg and malignant edema, two clostridial diseases that don't normally effect sheep but that can be passed on to them by cattle. If you usually only vaccinate with CD&T you might want to consider using Covexin 8 to cover them from these two nasties. Covexin 8 will also help with the tetnus and the clostridials C & D, which commonly effect sheep, as well as several other clostridial diseases that don't normally effect the small ruminants.