Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Grazing in fruit tree paddock  (Read 3295 times)


  • Joined May 2013
Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« on: May 31, 2013, 12:48:10 pm »
We have just created a paddock to stop the sheep eating the new fruit trees we have put in, sadly it didn't stop the hares when we had bucket loads of snow earlier this year. We spent 4 hours mowing it at the weekend as it is quite a steep hill which is very uneven. We would like to put some animals/birds in there that would be low maintenance and eat the grass but not the fruit trees. We were thinking geese but know that you generally have to physically put them to bed at night. Is there any way of them going to their hut on their own and then we just have to shut the door, like we do with the chickens? Or does anyone have an alternative animal suggestion. The area next to the paddock has a footpath on it and this area could also do with grazing. There is a disused horse shelter on this land.
Thanx for reading


  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013, 01:41:19 pm »
Can't help with the geese questions, but Shropshire sheep might be an option - they won't touch the trees provided there's grass to graze, and if they do take an interest will only eat the leaves and not the bark.

We run hens under our young orchard, on a rotation. They manage to keep the grass down for most of the year, but from about now until August I'll be cutting the grass in the empty areas every couple of weeks.




  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013, 04:16:42 pm »
Don't know if this goes for all geese, we have Steinbacher (look like greylag geese) and they eat the branches of our fruit trees so we have to put mesh around them.  Actually they ate the window cill on their own house too.  All our sheep (north ronaldsay, castlemilk moorit and soay) would eat them no probs as would our goats and ponies, pigs too destructive.
Hmmm, guinea pigs are good at eating grass  :D  can't you fence off the area and live happily ever after?
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


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 04:41:56 pm »
Our Embden geese have eaten the tops off some willow but so far haven't touched the fruit trees. Spiral guards will protect them but you need to fit them quite high up to be out of reach of geese. Geese are very easy to put to bed at night ours know the routine and just march into their run when we ask them to.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Canterbury Kent
Re: Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 09:08:33 am »
Hi,my geese stay out all night no matter how bad the weather.My orchard contains mainly large bramley trees so they are safe with the geese.There were some smaller trees but they destroyed them,they strip the bark and leaves in no time at all.I give them water in large trugs,they have even eaten the handles off these.
It might be worth trying chickens they eat a surprising amount of grass.



  • Joined May 2013
Re: Grazing in fruit tree paddock
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 03:57:22 pm »
Thanx for all the ideas. I am looking into the Shropshire sheep idea. The geese would have to be put to bed at night as I think the fox would eat them, he sometimes helps himself to the chickens, even in the daytime when times are lean. Also the paddock is right nexto the footpath and the geese may squark at everyone! May see if we can borrow some sheep to trial.
Kind regards



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