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Author Topic: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree  (Read 12806 times)

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« on: December 22, 2011, 04:23:59 pm »
Are (green) pine needles poisonous if eaten in large quantities? I cannot find it anywhere, so I hope they will be ok????

My neighbour (I rent his field) has this morning cut down one of the pine trees on the perimeter of the field, it fell into the field and it's now stripped is bare! (He takes the tops for Xmas trees....). The branches are out of reach for the sheep normally, so they have never eaten them.... but they must be tasty! These are pedigree Shetlands in the field... so far they seem fine, do I need to worry about this?

This was a normal pine tree, not Lleylandii or similar.
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Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 08:37:13 pm »
We've got a list of plants poisonous to sheep and nowhere is pine mentioned, so I think they should be fine.

(Not much use to you now, but we've got an article in draft listing beneficial and poisonous plants for sheep, will get it finished tomorrow.)

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 08:44:22 pm »
My sheep eat all types of soft woods with gusto and never seem ill, they really love very young pines eating needles and bark if given the chance. So your sheep should be ok

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 08:48:54 pm »
I think pine needles can cause abortion in cattle if eaten, but haven't read anything about sheep.  I think they have different absorption mechanisms to cattle.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 09:12:18 pm »
My ewes on the moorland farm would munch on any overhanging pine when they were next to wooded areas and as far as I know never suffered as a result. 
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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 10:15:18 pm »
Ok, thanks. I was just so surprised at the speed with which that tree was demolished... I never thought that sheep will eat pine needles with such an appetite...

Last winter they gnawed and de-barked all the willow and apple tree branches that were in the field after coppicing - kept them occupied in all that snow when there was not much else.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 11:37:42 am »
Our Llanwenog ewes used to virtually climb the pine trees to eat them! but watch if you have horses my pony had a terrible colic from eating pine

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 12:08:44 pm »
Just as a matter of interest, I heard somewhere that Shropshire sheep are used to graze around Xmas tree plantations because they are just about the only breed that doent like pine needles.

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 10:50:13 pm »
 :thumbsup: they should have nice smelling breath for a day or two,
This will make a nice change for a sheep !!
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

Dougal

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Port O' Menteith, Stirlingshire
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2011, 03:43:53 pm »
saves the grass... bonus!
It's always worse for someone else, so get your moaning done before they start using up all the available symathy!

Lostlambs

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Canada
Re: My sheep have just eaten.... most of a pine tree
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 01:12:58 pm »
In an organic book I've read it states that evergreen needles were once used as a natural dewormer,I don't remember if it was specific on the type of tree. Has anyone else heard of this?

 

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