Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Willow  (Read 4418 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Willow
« on: January 22, 2013, 05:07:32 pm »
Now is the time to be feeding your sheep a few willow branches, for an extra sweet treat and some vitamins.   We spent a happy hour this afternoon - in SUNSHINE  :sunshine:  and snow - starting our willow pruning and feeding the chopped off branches to the sheep.  First one to the bred ewes, which caused a stampede followed by some happy munching.
 
We have plenty more pruning to do, so will give them all fresh branches every few days.  In return they will give us sticks to use around the place neatly stripped of bark, and smaller twigs for kindling.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Willow
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 05:24:12 pm »
Oh nice, fleecewife, thanks for that, will do that tomorrow.  Do you know if you can use dogwoods too, or won't they have the same desired effect willow has?  It's just once I get going with those snippers nothing is safe.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Willow
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 05:37:44 pm »
One of my hedges has just been laid and it's a competition between my goats and my neighbours sheep who gets to the brash pile first - hazel and willow.

Snow better melt soon so he can get on and fence the hedge before the sheep eat too much off that too.

Blinkers

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire border
    • Glyn Elwyn - Faithmead Herd
    • Facebook
Re: Willow
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 06:00:24 pm »
Now is the time to be feeding your sheep a few willow branches, for an extra sweet treat and some vitamins.   We spent a happy hour this afternoon - in SUNSHINE  :sunshine:  and snow - starting our willow pruning and feeding the chopped off branches to the sheep.  First one to the bred ewes, which caused a stampede followed by some happy munching.
 
We have plenty more pruning to do, so will give them all fresh branches every few days.  In return they will give us sticks to use around the place neatly stripped of bark, and smaller twigs for kindling.

Well I never knew that, thanks Fleecewife.    I always chop them in the Spring and summer for the goats but never thought to offer them to the sheep - will make a start tomorrow......weather permitting  :gloomy: :thumbsup:
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again !!
www.glynelwyn.co.uk

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Willow
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 06:35:20 pm »
Cut half of our willow already and it's been eaten by the goats but really think in these conditions the sheep deserve it more so they will get the other half - thanks for standing up for the sheep Fleecewife  :thumbsup:
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

Richard Underwood

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Cathilas Farm Soay - Hogget & Prime Mutton
Re: Willow
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 06:44:56 pm »
Goosepimple, our sheep loved Dogwood so much thay ate the whole bush and now we don't have any left where they can get at it!

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Willow
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 08:42:50 pm »
Thanks Richard, we have more of that than willow  :thumbsup:
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Willow
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 08:54:51 pm »
Do they like it? We have loads of willow around our oil tank and have just been advised by building control that it all needs to come down. We are building an extension at present that comes within a few metres of the willow and he is worried about our soil composition and the fact that so much willow will suck all the moisture out of the ground and make our lovely new building fall down. Was just going to compost and/or burn it - will gladly give it to my girls!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Willow
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 11:30:54 pm »
They will love it  :yum:   Before you chop down the trees, take some cuttings and start new saplings somewhere away from buildings, then your sheep can have more in years to come  :tree:
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

kumquat

  • Joined May 2012
  • Ruthin, North Wales
Re: Willow
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 09:00:33 am »
Just before the snow started we pruned a load of Hazel, Alder and Ash. Girls have been devouring the brashings like crazy.


Not sure if its just mine but they seem to have a fondness for Rowan, seems to be the first thing they head for, i've had to cover a couple it was getting so bad.....bless 'em
Proud member of the Soay Sheep Society :thumbsup:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Willow
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 03:02:05 pm »
Our sheep's favourite is apple - but you can see why we don't indulge them voluntarily  ;D  It's hard enough to grow apples up here without pruning help from the sheep.
 
There are lots of trees sheep love to eat - willow tends to be the quickest growing.  Just check that what they are eating is not toxic to them.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Willow
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 05:39:18 pm »
Before I rush out and buy some willow cuttings, or poplar, are there certain types they like? Or any to be avoided?
 Thank you
J xxx

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Willow
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 10:01:34 pm »
I gave a huge pile of willow to my sheep last month - they completely ignored it!  :thinking: Perhaps next year they'll be a bit keener.

Having said that, when I bring them up to the garden to have some grass (as there's very little in the field due to all the rain and snow and it's a nice change from hay!), they always head straight to the bird feeders and scoff up all the bread and apples. Luckily they don't like any of the seed or suet shreds!

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Willow
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 11:10:03 am »
I give everyone a slice of wholemeal once a week as a treat, we all need a bit of stodge in Jan/Feb time.  ;)
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Willow
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 10:08:04 pm »
I've been giving mine green ivy - they love that.

I'll try a bit of willow tomorrow though for variety.

 

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