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Author Topic: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....  (Read 9819 times)

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« on: October 24, 2012, 10:38:59 am »
should I worry/remove?  We've had the power company doing a load of tree surgery this week (about a winters worth of oak sycamore and hazel felled  ;D ;D ;D ) I'd struggle to process it more quickly than I am, but interested to know more - are leaves as nutritious for them as grass, do they self regulate ?  I know that are happy to graze on hedgrow bits and bobs- but they are going mad nibbling the leaves off the felled trees so I'm crossing my finger thats OK.  I could move them to a different field but its had someone elses sheep on it so is in quarentine period... so wouldnt want to do that unless strictly necessary.   Daft question of the day over!  Cheers Fi
Voss Electric Fence

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 11:07:05 am »
 :wave:  FiB


Don't know for certain. Someone wise will be along soon, but just from observation, mine eat lots of hedgerow stuff and when we had to do some cutting back a few weeks ago they gobbled everything as we were cutting. There wasn't much oak in it but lots of hazel and so on. We were a bit worried but they are still here  ;D . Maybe if they are hungry/ grass is poor they might take more than is good for them but otherwise they seem to self regulate ..... in my limited experience.

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 11:17:19 am »
Thanks - glad to know I'm not alone in thinking these thoughts ( I nearly deleted post straight after writing)!  They are on aftermath - only moved them at the weekend, so shouldnt be desparate.  The leaves must be tasty. Or maybe they are just easy!   They dont seem any the worse for a solid day of leaf scoffing :fc:

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 11:32:33 am »
They should be fine, but I wouldn't let them eat vast quantities of the oak leaves, especially if they are still green.  Make sure they are eating plenty of something else too.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 11:45:39 am »
Not a daft question at all...
Mine went crazy for pine needles last Xmas as our neighbour (they are in his field) felled a couple if his trees to take tops for Xmas trees.... they gobbled the lot wihtin a day. I was sick with worry... but they are all still around. So much so, that after said neighbour dumped his Xmas tree in his garden, just wihtin reach through the fence one ewe got badly stuck and we had to cut the fence to get her out... but she did get most of the tree all to herself!
As said I think the only thing to maybe take out is excess oak branches.  I would leave the other ones in and they will also take the bark off for you!

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 11:47:48 am »
Not sure about the leaves but I do know that acorns are poisonous so make sure they don't get the munchies for those!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 11:48:36 am »
Well, with goats:

Oak is fine if not too much at once, the leaves have high tannin levels which can give them stomach ache and constipation. Too much ash causes scouring and too much sycamore can cause bloat (as sugary), all are fine in smallish quantities. No evergreens though the odd strand of ivy is fine.

Ok on hawthorn, rowan, beech, birch, willow.

Avoid the seeds and berries of all of them.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 12:09:48 pm by jaykay »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 11:52:53 am »
Further to jaykay's post - watch out for acorns too.  I don't think it's that they are poisonous but that they are round so stick in the rumen and don't get broken down.  They can apparently block the animals insides.  I haven't seen this myself (we don't have any oaks big enough to have acorns  :D )  but I have heard reports.
 
They are probably stocking up on minerals and vitamins from the bark, ready for winter.  As said above, don't let them have too much oak.
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

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 12:03:48 pm »
 :o :o :o  I've seen mine eat acorns. Huge tree in the paddock and impossible really to keep them away from without losing most of the grazing. Not sure what I can do?  ???

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 12:17:14 pm »
Glad you said that ITH - I had just started worrying proper as, without moving them, there is no way i can limit them - they have a smorgersboard of 3 felled mature oak trees (inc acorns) at their disposal.... but then I started thinking - untill last year the sheep had the run of that woodland anyway - so they must have some sort of self regulation wrt acorns (they didnt have such access to the leaves as they do now though).  They do seem to have lost a bit of interest now (proabbly got indigestion?) just have to keep an extra close eye out over next few days..... Thanks all, Fxx

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 12:23:42 pm »
I would assume that acorns are only a problem if the sheep don't crunch them up before swallowing them.  In the report I heard, sheep were wasting away from apparent starvation but on opening them up they were full of undigested acorns, so there was no room for food.   BUT lots of people have sheep which appear to come to no harm from eating acorns.  So just keep an eye on them.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 11:17:43 am by Fleecewife »
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: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 12:47:52 pm »
I read that all parts of the oak are poisonous in any quantity to horses.  And sadly for those of us with lovely old oaks in our paddocks... it is also addictive.

However, we've had natve ponies out under oak trees for part of the year for years and years and never seen any problem.


I'd guess that there could be some problem with sheep eating oak to excess (in addition to the indegestible acorns as outlined by Fleecewife) - but as with a little bit of ivy sometimes being a tonic to a ruminant, hopefully they do know when to stop.
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

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 01:43:26 pm »
From things that i've read, if the animal is local and has grown up in the presence of your oak trees, then they know they are there when they want them and thus don't gorge on them.  But if you bring in an animal that has never eaten it, then it will gorge on it and is therefore most likely to suffer.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 03:39:07 pm »
From things that i've read, if the animal is local and has grown up in the presence of your oak trees, then they know they are there when they want them and thus don't gorge on them.  But if you bring in an animal that has never eaten it, then it will gorge on it and is therefore most likely to suffer.

Good point
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

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Sheep going crazy for oak leaves....
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 08:34:45 pm »
Dry some foliage whilst you have the chance and store it, oak leaves are a marvelous remedy for scours brought about by too much lush eating ;) ;)
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


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