Monday, September 20, 2010

Lawn Mowers

We ran out of pasture way earlier than we ever expected, the sheep have done an excellent job of deforesting the areas that we had prepared for them. This meant that we had to resort to putting them into the emergency pasture, the front and back yards. Look at how well they keep the grass trimmed.

The top area was on the other side of the electric net fencing. Needless to say we have not had to mow the lawn since the sheep arrived. Note, the goats won't have anything to do with the grass in the lawn.

Since the leaves have started falling the sheep and goats have been chowing them down. I wonder if we won't have to rake this year as well?


  1. When my sister lived here with her goats, I was amazed at how tall the grass got in their enclosure. The sheep would never let that happen!

  2. You probably already know this, but sheep will kill the grass they pasture on. The way they get so close to the roots with their teeth, the grass dies if they are left on it too long, so you have to watch it carefully and move them before they start looking at you for more to eat.

    The goats should do a pretty good job on those leaves as well. Being browsers, they like leaves over grass.

    One of the best ways to manage pasture is to have a mix of animals, they all eat differently, so everything gets neatly done, but you have to be able to rotate the grazing so it's not annihilated. I never seem to have enough pasture.

    Oh, if you have any red cedar, the goats love that. They'll eat the bark as it has anti-parasitic properties, but the tree will die. Not sure if other cedars with suffer the same fate or not. We just have red here. Great way to clear a scrub cedar infested pasture!


  3. Isn't it funny to watch the goats devour the fallen leaves with such gusto? The drier, the better - according to my boys - I think they're a bit like tortilla chips are to us: a crunchy, tasty treat. :-)

  4. Shannon, We had to bring the sheep in to clear out the goat pasture as they let it get too overgrown with the stuff they just refused to eat.

    Faith, Luckily we have a large yard and have been moving them around. The sheep devoured any sapling they could get their teeth on, and I have noticed some bark missing from some of the larger trees.

    Farmgirl, I am going to save several bags of leaves for the goats to eat as treats during the winter. It is funny to watch them trot along and nibble up a stray leave to munch on.......

  5. Now that is a great reason to have goats. We have so many fallen oak leaves in winter down here. I wonder if they like oak leaves too. I could use a couple of sheep to mow my lawn just about now. I may get a couple one of these days!

  6. Mary, FIAS CO Farms lists Oak leaves as "edible".

    FIAS CO Farms is a fantastic site for all things Goat.

  7. Hi Chai Chai, I'm back! Hope you've been well. I've been busy relating my adventure in Thailand (imagine being without internet for 10 days!) in between recuperating...

    I agree with Shannon and Faith (and other commenters here) - I can see that we're dealing with an experienced lot here! - sheep are much better grass grazer. Goats just move quickly from one place to another, so won't do a good job mowing the grass. I have to resort to grass cutting machine on my four acres. With goats you have to watch out that your young plants don't get eaten too

  8. Welcome back Grandpa. We hope to have our lawn back next year with the addition of more pasture area. Until then I am happy that I can use it to keep the sheep grazing, hopefully they don't crop it too close to kill it over the Winter.