Author Topic: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?  (Read 1013 times)

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Hello.
Just recovering from our first lambing experience. Never knew it would be so exhausting!
Anyway, we lambed outside and the sheep's favourite spot to lamb appeared to be under the trees.
Unfortunately our Hebs seem to like eating our tree bark (the old apple trees are favourite, but they try anything, including leylandii. (Even with a mineral lick on hand to chew on)
As our trees seem to have survived, maybe now is the time to try and protect them.
The only trouble is, we have quite a few.
I don't want to fence the trees off completely as the sheep like the shade and shelter.
I just wondered if anyone has a tried and tested and economical way of tree protection?
Thank you.
Joanne xxx
 

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 08:55:25 PM »
Standard method is four posts and either rails or net around each tree, can be done with three posts :farmer:

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 09:10:03 PM »
maybe electric fence off where they are chewing (since that can be closer in to the tree than post+rail/mesh protectors)?
But must admit we are a bit short on trees in the wild and windsweptness here so any trees are planted well away from greedy Shetland mouths :-))

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 09:22:08 PM »
My Shetlands eat anything they can reach - and have taught the GFD's their naughty ways.  Fruit trees stand no chance.  I caught one this afternoon standing on the top row of the stock netting and another leaping into the air to eat leaves about 6' above the ground  :o .  They are fed, honestly ::)   They are all houdinis too.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 09:52:20 PM »
Sorry but Hebs and trees don't mix.  One of their uses is to eat down and control scrub regrowth, so they are just trying to do their job  :eyelashes:
 
You could wrap chicken wire round each trunk, but you would need to keep a close eye on it as the trees grow or they would be strangled.  It would need to be the 6' high size.

PetiteGalette

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 12:14:55 AM »
We have our sheep in a large enclosure with a hedge on one side for summer shade. They are not Hebs and have oodles of lovely grass with loads of different 'herbage'  and clover amongst the grass. What do they start on first? The hedge; the laurel; the camellia; the sweet chestnut bark.......... Do they go for the young gorse or bramble? Do they heck! Have they read the manual regarding things sheep must not eat? No way!
A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them.  ~Leonard Louis Levinson

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 08:37:39 AM »
Thank you for all your replies. Chicken wire might be the way to go.
I have tried to explain to them that they are killing off the very thing they love to sleep under and have a good scratch up against, but they don't listen.
Bearing in mind that they will still have a good rub up against anything, I assume chicken wire is still Ok for horned sheep?
xxx

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 09:27:55 AM »
Small mesh is ok as they can't get their heads right through.  You might occasionally find one which has managed to pull the mesh off the tree with its horns, especially a tup.  The other day we had to bring our whole flock in as one ewe was found wearing a licky bucket around her neck by the handle, spooking herself and the rest of the flock, and of course preventing her from grazing.  They can usually find a way to do something comical - your job is to make sure they don't die if it  8) .  Perhaps before you commit to wrapping all the trees you should try just a couple and see how they get on with it.  We have wrapped our orchard trees without a problem  :sheep:

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 09:34:45 AM »
Thank you. It's a good idea to start with a few trees I think.
Your post Fleecewife really made me laugh with your sheep's head in a bucket. We get hours of enjoyment watching our Hebs bounce about in the evening.
Right, off to post a Weaning question next and then tree wrapping xxx
 

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 10:29:28 AM »
Swales can do that too:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 11:46:53 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D   I'm glad it's not just us  :D :D   
 
We had a Jacob once who got the bottom half of a traffic cone around her neck - took ages to catch that wild one  ::)   No idea where the cone came from but I suppose someone slung it over the fence.

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 03:16:09 PM »
Have you tried removing their teeth :-J

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hebridean sheep are eating our trees- any tried and tested ideas?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 03:35:44 PM »
Have you tried removing their teeth :-J

 ;D  Unfortunately it has other side effects  :D   Also it would stop them from eating the bark but they could still gum the leaves and twigs - which is just what my ancient old toothless biddies do  ::) :sheep:  like old crones chewing their betel leaves.

 

How to stop sheep eating trees

Started by Buffy the eggs layer

Replies: 2
Views: 1381
Last post August 05, 2012, 11:15:51 PM
by Fleecewife
Hebridean Sheep

Started by Dizzycow

Replies: 0
Views: 155
Last post November 13, 2012, 10:29:17 AM
by Dizzycow
hebridean sheep questions

Started by happy larry

Replies: 16
Views: 1613
Last post June 06, 2012, 12:20:59 AM
by SallyintNorth
Hebridean Sheep & SSSI - Advice needed

Started by xxmillyxx

Replies: 4
Views: 1396
Last post March 30, 2009, 08:01:18 PM
by Pigtails
Keeping hebridean ram with hebridean ewes

Started by JMB

Replies: 2
Views: 417
Last post January 19, 2012, 07:35:31 AM
by JMB

Forum sponsors

Thomson & Morgan G.J.W. Titmuss Scottish Smallholder & Grower Spring Gathering Smallholder Shop Innovative Timber Structures Load Handler

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2014. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS