Sheep controling weeds- will they?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Xandras_Zoo, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Will sheep eat blackberries? Richmond BC is infested with them (our yard too!). Would the sheep control them? How about crabgrass?
    Also, is crabgrass nutrious for them? If it isn't, what plant is?
     
  2. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    My barbados eat the leaves off of all shrubs and trees, including blackberries. In fact they prefer them over grass.
     

  3. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    Yes! Sheep will eat every leaf they can get to on blackberries. One of our oldest ewes went straight for the berries when I let them into a new area to graze. They won't eat the stems, but if they have access to the blackberries for a long enough time, they will continue to eat the new growth. They really like it!!! Often, I will find a ewe dragging a long stem around that got caught in the wool..... Once they eat the leaves, it's easier to see the stems to cut them down. The tender new growth dosn't stand a chance then!

    The only type of "grass" our sheep won't eat around here is what I call swamp grass... very common in damp pasture in the NW... the stems are waxy and cylendrical and very tough.... I end up using roundup on that every few years cause it's the only thing left after the sheep graze it down.

    So.... Let your sheep have at those black berries! Just watch for any that get stuck!
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't say mine prefer then but yes they do get around to chewing them down.
     
  5. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Blackberries? Weeds? We don't have them in my sheep pasture. We have sticks. Used to have bushes, too. Now we have sticks. Happy sheep and dead sticks.

    Hope that helps! :D

    Sarah
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    :haha: Me too! My Icelandic sheep demolished what I thought was an inpenetrable blackberry patch... overgrown and just nasty. We'd been trying to figure out how to get rid of it for years!

    One lamb also got stuck in there... just wound around the brambles and stuck. Had to cut the poor thing out, but once she was out, she plowed right back in again.

    They also, I should add, bent the fence so they could eat my rosebush!
     
  7. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    So, if they eat the blackberries and the rose bushes, could a platoon of them make life miserable for the really nasty rose brambles? Poison ivy? Grape vines? If so, me for sheep!
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I'm here to tell you.. my Icelandics demolished the blackberries, went to town on the roses (not good.. I like my roses!), and ate my grapevines to nothing. Don't know what they'd do with poison ivy though, we don't have that. But the rest? From an Icelandic Sheep's point of view: yum, yum, yum!
     
  9. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Quailkeeper - what you didn't tell them is a barbado is closer aligned to being a goat than a sheep. They are much more likely to be browsers than grass eating grazers like most sheep.
     
  10. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    No barbados are definitely sheep. There is no way I would raise goats. :p As you can see a lot of different breeds of sheep like weeds, blackberries, etc.
     
  11. Mouse

    Mouse Well-Known Member

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    Yes, sheep will eat poison ivy. But don't let them near you after if you'r allergic to it, the oil stayson their noses, ouch, lol.
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Oh no! No lamb kisses? :waa:
     
  13. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    My sheep will attack weeds before they attack grasses. I do know they will eat strip young pine trees kill them. :no: Becareful if you have any burrs in the pasture, they are hard on the shearer and his equipment. :(
    The sheep eat the burdock but if they have burrs I strip the burrs off before I let them in the pasture. Cockleburs are so darn sharp, I will cut them with a spade and make a small fire to dispose of them. They are nasty. Then, the little stickers are bad, too.

    I heard a guy invented velcro from the way cockleburs hold together. His hunting dog was so full of them and he liked the way they held things together. Sure glad velcro is not as sharp as a cocklebur. :haha:
     
  14. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Your sheep eat burdock? Man, that's the one weed I have to handle myself. My cheviots compete with my goats for the blackberries and weeds, the grass gets eaten after the tastier stuff is gone.
     
  15. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know sheep --but I do know Cockleburs!! I agree with 'Landlord'--We have them on our farm and they are the worst thing for ANYTHING with hair... I have a Brittany and when we return from our farm, I spend hrs. getting the burrs out of his hair. We have been pulling up the things for 20+yrs now and have gotten a good 'hold' on them but they have (what we in the south call "tri-seeds") their seeds can live for yrs in the soil --until the are tilled enough to come up to the surface.. Nasty little buggers.... :no: :no:
     
  16. grobert3

    grobert3 New Member

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    My barbado sheep will eat poison ivy, poison oak, and cedar trees.
    Tom R. Shakey Tree Ranch
     
  17. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    My flock loves spiney pigweed. I heard pigweed was supposed to be toxic but none got sick from stripping those durn plants of all their leaves.