NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: mole hills  (Read 4813 times)

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
mole hills
« on: November 06, 2011, 09:01:17 pm »
Hello again people, im after some more of your hard earned wisdom. A few mole hills have started appearing in one of the fields i rent. I know they can be bad news for hay, but will they be detrimental to the ewes that are grazing it and about to be tupped? Look forward to hearing your views
Voss Electric Fence

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: mole hills
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 09:22:56 pm »
only if there legs drop into the tunnels :D :farmer:

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: mole hills
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2011, 09:47:18 pm »
Thanks for that, i knew there were a few comedians on here, tho i have yet to meet one! :D

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: mole hills
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 12:09:02 am »
As robert says, no problem to ewes unless they fall in.

Come lambing time, the lambs seem to love lying on the piles of soft soil instead of nice springy grass ( ::)) and this can result in soil getting in their eyes, which then get gummy and sore.  I always worry about germs in the soil getting into docking and castrating wounds, too, although I can't say I've ever seen a problem caused this way.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: mole hills
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 12:36:53 am »
I seem to remember that sheep can pick up listeriosis from eating soil.

The problem we have with molehills is that, because we have a lot of iron in our soil, the sheep ingest this and it prevents the uptake of copper in the gut, which in turn leads to a copper deficiency. Copper deficiency, or more rightly the inability to absorb copper from the gut because of the iron, leads to greying in a band in the fleece in dark coloured sheep, with a more brittle fleece.  It can also lead to some birth defects of the spine.  It was very noticeable that when we got our friendly local gamekeeper to come and catch all the moles, our greying sheep turned black again  :D :sheep:

Our neighbour did complain about all our molehills (we did have rather a lot at one point  ;)) and said that he had known of sheep breaking their legs in the holes so was worried about his flock.  We were able to point out that all the moles appeared to be migrating off his land onto ours, not the other way round, probably because we use organic methods so have billions of earthworms for the moles to eat, whereas he uses chemical weedkillers and fertilisers etc and so has very few earthworms.  So our sanctuary ( :o) for moles was helping him to get rid of them from his land.

Another problem can be if a ewe is lambing when the ground is frozen hard and a wet lamb lands on a molehill it is more likely to stick/freeze to it than to grass or snow - I haven't seen this but was told it is so by a different neighbour who has both moles and the Baltic weather we get.

www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: mole hills
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 12:47:21 am »
I seem to remember that sheep can pick up listeriosis from eating soil.

You're right that listeria bacteria are found in the soil.  Sheep and cattle can get the disease from eating silage that had soil in it (usually from molehills in the hayfield.)

From your experience, FW, the sheep do actually eat the soil in the molehills?  I've seen my collies do it but never the sheep - perhaps it's a primitive breed thing?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: mole hills
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 09:12:52 am »
not such a daft or comic answer after all eh :farmer:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: mole hills
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 10:48:46 am »
not such a daft or comic answer after all eh :farmer:

You're comical and knowledgeable Robert  ;D  8)

Sally, I don't know if the sheep eat the soil deliberately or pick at the new shoots coming through and get soil with them, but they do seem to ingest the soil somehow.  That's one reason it's not a good idea to dump feed on the ground - best to use bakies/troughs.

We had our moles trapped earlier this year but there are already signs they are coming back.  I'm sure he leaves one or two so he will be able to do the job every year  :D  They are quite cute when there's only one or two.... hopefully the terriers will dig them out, but that leaves a man trap, not just a sheep leg trap  :o

www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Mel Rice

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: mole hills
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 01:38:12 pm »
My moles stay out of my field and are omnly in the vege patch!!!They dont seem to enjoy the ex-race horse charging round his field >I know vibration disturbs them.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: mole hills
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 01:47:45 pm »
vibration can kill them      jasper carrot used to do a sketch about his moles (he used to lay in wait for them and shoot them with the shotgun) :farmer:

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: mole hills
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 05:02:32 pm »
wearing a miners helmet and sat on a swivel chair, if i remember correctly....

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: mole hills
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 07:36:32 pm »
It was always said that lambs laid on the mole tumps rather than the cold wet grass and so did a lot better.

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: mole hills
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 09:07:28 pm »
Ok Robert, i will give you that one!  ;D Thanks one and all for the replies, if the little buggers become a pain i will have to shift them

 

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