Author Topic: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?  (Read 14381 times)

nick_sub

  • Joined Sep 2010
How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« on: September 18, 2010, 12:46:39 pm »
I've read on these forums about the maximum number of sheep per acre, but I was wondering what is the minimum number of sheep (roughly) required to keep an acre of pasture from overgrowing? Thanks  :sheep:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 12:55:21 pm »
This is one of those 'how long is a piece of string' questions.  It depends partly on what breed you keep, the quality of your pasture, whether you set some aside in Spring to make your own hay, the weather in any particular year, whether you want the grass to be grazeable in the winter as well as the summer, etc.....  Most people have a topper so they can cut the spring growth back to a reasonable length before it forms flower stalks.
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nick_sub

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 03:13:46 pm »
More research needed I think then but as you may have seen from the other thread, I'm less sure about keeping sheep no. Thanks very much for your reply.

morri2

  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 03:17:14 pm »
Like Fleecewife says, it depends on your pasture and the time of year.  In the summer when there is plenty of grass even poor land could take around 9 or 10 ewes and only just keep the grass down, but in the winter you'd be lucky to get enough grass for 2 or 3.  Here in Wales we have to feed hay from around Dec/Jan as there is nothing left of the grass and we don't have enough grazing to put much aside for the winter months.  If you're just wondering how many sheep your acreage will hold : On  poor grass, go for the lower figure of around 2.5 sheep per acre.  If your grass is good, it will take a few more.  Never overstock though, as you'll only create problems for yourself.  Cheers.

Shnoowie

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Devon
    • Drake Ryelands
Re: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 11:00:44 am »
We have some very long grass at the moment; in one field we have 10 sheep on 2 acres, and in the other we have 15 on 4 acres.  We try to go by a maximum of 5 sheep per acre.  The others are right, though, if your grass is bad/short you will want to halve that number.

Ruralgirl

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: How many sheep per acre to keep the grass short?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 11:45:56 am »
I read in one of the official sheep booklets that a maximum of 5 sheep per acre, however, it is much better to divide your fields & keep moving the sheep to stop a build up of worms.  Also the grass can be better managed.  Sheep like short grass (not too short) if it is too long it can get caught between their cleats (feet) & cause infection.  If the grass in one of the halves of the field getting too long, get it topped or make hay before moving the sheep back on.  I would say 5 sheep per acre gives you enough grass to feed the sheep all year if you make hay/haylage with your grass during the fast growing summer season to provide for the winter months when grazing & nutrition from grass non-existant.

 

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