New pasture for icelandics

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by perridox, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. perridox

    perridox Well-Known Member

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    We're making a new pasture for our growing flock of icelandics and heard that we should seed it with alphalfa, white clover, and rye grass. Does anyone know about this and the ratios we should use? does anyone have any other helpful hints?
    Thanks
     
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I'm absolutely no good at what to see pastures with, but wanted to say hello and welcome! And...do you need another icelandic? Or three?? :rolleyes:
     

  3. seymojo536

    seymojo536 Well-Known Member

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    Hard to say without knowing soil type, drainage issues, location(ie.state), previous land use.
    Could you give us some specifics. Also are you planning on doing this now or waiting till spring?
     
  4. perridox

    perridox Well-Known Member

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    We're in Western Massachusetts. Half of the area was just cleared (hardwoods) as we are expanding and the other half was grass, and old vegetable gardens. It's only about 3/4 of an acre. It's kinda wet, especially as the grade slopes downward. As for the soil type, I'm not sure but it gets kinda clay-like as it slopes downward, but I did manage to move a little of the earth from the higher part to the lower, but I think I'm gonna have to figure some kind of drainage for the lowest parts to make it completely usable. I'm hoping to plant something this fall.

    And, thanks kesoaps for the icelandic offer, but we're full up for this season (and pretty far from you).
     
  5. carly

    carly on winged flight...

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    Do any of you Icelandic sheepers sell the fleeces, washed? I want to spin some, but cannot wash it at home and the commerical folks have a fit.... :shrug:

    Thanks....

    Carly
     
  6. MommaSasquatch

    MommaSasquatch Well-Known Member

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    I have a few Icelandic fleeces on hand, and two more on the hoof to be sheared this week after we have some consecutive dry days. I could wash them for you without too much difficulty. (I do my washing in a rubbermaid tub) PM me if you want more info.
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That sounds more like a horse pasture. See what comes up. For sheep, you want forbes. Alfalfa is too rich. My pasture and lawn have some clover, but too much clover in the spring will give your sheep bloat.

    If there is clover growing in the area, it will seed itself in your pasture, probably just enough to balance out the pasture. Sheep love all of the broadleaf weeds, and new grass. If you see a lot of little weeds come up in the spring, your sheep will be happy. There are some weeds you won't want in your pasture because the sheep won't eat them and they'll go to seed and the seed will stick in the wool. At the end of the summer, you can mow the pasture to knock down the "bad" weeds.

    We had our pasture disced. The first year virtually nothing grew but some grass, but it was very dry. The next year we had a good covering, and the third year a good pasture. I planted nothing. I would suggest planting turnips, though. The greens stay green after a frost, and your sheep may even dig them up when there's nothing left to eat.
     
  8. tavia

    tavia Well-Known Member

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    be careful of clover. We lost our favorite Icelandic when he snuck under his fence and grazed on our clover lawn. It's been four years and I'm still sad about it....Icelandics dont need alot of rich food, think about where they came from..eating lichen and stuff.....
     
  9. onecowenuf

    onecowenuf Member

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    If you alfalfa before doing a soil test in MA you may be wasteing your money.
    Do a test to see the soil condition, one of the things I'll bet you'll find is that the soil is acidic. If you don't lime before you plant the alfalfa it won't grow worth a darn, red clover won't do much better. Alfalfa likes it neutral to basic. If you don't want to lime look into a clover that is a little more acid tolerant.