Izzy eating a tree.
It is a misconception that sheep will eat whatever is green and grows in the ground. This is what I thought, and many others I have come across think as well. Now all the shepherds out will know better, but I am still a shepherd in training.
When we first moved in we decided to give the old garden a rest and turn it into pasture. White clover was our choice after some research. It helped fix nitrogen for the soil, was a good ground cover, provided flowers for pollinators, and animals liked it. What a super plant! We bought a bag, tilled and then seeded the new pasture in white clover. It came up great last year. We were thrilled that it had taken hold. What a wonderful pasture we will have we thought. How pretty it is we thought. We could not have been more wrong.
Sheep are much pickier than we would of thought, at least our sheep are. When they eat the grass it is perfect, 2 inches and looks great. Their little fertilizer pellets melt away after a few days. Obviously I need to look more into the types of plants that sheep like to eat and modify our pastures and lawns for it. I have been watching what the sheep do like to eat and what they will go for first (not in a specific order):
Izzy eating a tree trunk.
- dandelions in flower and in seed
- lilac trees and it’s bark
- spruce trees and it’s bark
- raspberry leaves
- mountain mint
- solomons seal
- kentucky blue grass
- linden leaves
- sugar maple leaves but not the bark
- apple trees
This is by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the things they like. I am going to have to identify a type of grass they will not eat that I believe was a part of the pasture mix we put down.
Today was all about getting the chicken house ready. Currently the chicks are in our shed with lovely straw bale insulation and a heat lamp.For the first while we had them that was great. Two weeks ago we let them outside for the day. This they seemed to like, well most liked. Now they are getting too big for their home and must be moved to their permanent digs.
Making sure that the waterer, feeder, and lamp were all hooked up properly took more time than expected. They all have to be out of the way of the hind end of a chicken roosting which meant trying to “be the chicken.” Corny and silly yes, fun, yes again.
Tonight the coop is going for a test drive and tomorrow the new tenants are moving in. The current chick house will stay functional for the moment though. Our chicks are just beginning to show their true colours and soon the boys will have to be separated from the girls as the boys are too distracting for the girls.
I can’t beleive it, but its here. All Sorts Acre has a website. Setting this up has been hard due to a new and strnge platform I am getting used to. It isn’t pretty so far, but it is here. Thank goodness!!
Enough about websites. We would like to thank everyone who bought seedlings from us last weekend at the Rockwood Market on the Green. It was quite a thrill to sell as many as we did. As a start-up smallholding this was a great experience and it was all of you who turned us into bona-fida growers. We sold something we grew for money! We can’t wait for the next time.
All the seedlings are now outside permanently, unless of course we have a frost. I woke up this morning and immediately looked to see if they all survived. I have heard too many frost horror stories. Thankfully all was good.
Our chicks no longer look like fuzzy balls of fluff. they now have feathers and are about a foot high. Their legs and feet still look too big for them but they get around without a problem. yesterday they experienced rain for the first time. They seemed somewhat confused. Today some got left out in the rain and couldn’t find their way back in. I had to go out and shoo her towards the door.
I love watching chickens. I would have never guessed it was so much fun!