Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walden Woods Project - Day 2

The sheep and goats finished off the first acre - it took them about 50 hours.  They did a great job with the annual grasses and forbs (broad-leaf plants).  They also defoliated most of the poison oak.  We'll come back and hit some of the poison oak they missed before we haul them out in a week or so.

In my experience, sheep have nearly as varied a diet as goats.  They are not quite as aggressive with brush - they don't climb like goats do - but they will consume most of the vegetation they can reach.  As our ewes mature and gain more experience, their diet becomes even more varied.

The new paddock I moved them into today is about 1.75 acres, and I anticipate that it will take them about 2-3 days to complete.  My estimate for the total project of 10-14 days seems fairly accurate at this point.  We'll see how the coming wet weather affects their consumption - it shouldn't make any difference.  The new paddock has some soaproot in it - a native plant that grows from a bulb.  The Native Americans used the root to make soap.  I'm not sure whether the livestock will eat it - we'll see!

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