Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: willow for sheep?  (Read 4954 times)

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
willow for sheep?
« on: September 11, 2014, 09:11:13 am »
I got a load of willow branches for my pygmy goats yesterday, which they are really enjoying.
There are too many branches for two goats to eat before they are all wilted and dead, so I'm wondering if my sheep would enjoy them too?
If someone can tell me whether sheep like willow that would be great!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

undergruntled

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 09:24:47 am »
Mine do!  Mind you they have 'et just about everything else they can reach, hawthorn, hazel, elderberry.  I think they must have a bit of goat in them somewhere.   :innocent:

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 09:30:05 am »
Yes, mine graze the willow trees.

Doesn't it contain low levels of 'aspirin' or something similar so said to be 'medicinal' too?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 09:32:24 am »


Doesn't it contain low levels of 'aspirin' or something similar so said to be 'medicinal' too?

Yes it contains a natural form of aspirin. And yes sheep and goats (and geese if allowed to get near it) just love willow, and will de-bark any young trees readily!

kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 09:54:23 am »
Yup, l grow willow for the sheep and goats they love it.  :thumbsup:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 11:40:35 am »

Yes  :thumbsup:  See my post in your goat thread.  See also the pics on my website of sheep demolishing a huge pile of willow.  Even once they have eaten the leaves they still love to strip off all the bark - which is the bit which contains the Salicylic Acid or Aspirin, so don't chuck it out just because the leaves have wilted.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

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   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
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ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 11:48:57 am »
Same here too, my sheep just love willow branches, and will eat them down to the bark.
So do the donkeys  :thumbsup:
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 01:08:31 pm »
And it dries for fire wood so much quicker once the bark is stripped off. ;D

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 01:26:47 pm »
Thanks so much for the responses, i'll take some out to the sheep right now!
I'd like to try and grow some from the branches, I asked on the gardening section if someone could tell me how to grow from a cutting, hopefully it's something I can do!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 03:37:44 pm »
It's willow - try stopping it from growing.

Just plant it in some soil and keep it damp it'll soon sprout.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 12:13:36 am »
My sheep eat willow most of the year and it is great for feeding to any sheep which are housed.  The new growth on contorted willow is a favourite - no waste fodder :thumbsup:

Paulie

  • Joined May 2013
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 12:20:43 pm »
I'm off to cut some willow for the girls and geese, thanks for this info I've got tons of  the stuff  :D

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: willow for sheep?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 03:49:48 pm »
Just take cuttings about as thick as a pencil, about 20cm long, cut straight across just below a leaf axil at the bottom and a sloping cut just above a leaf axil at the top (this is so you know which way up they go!)  Then just stick them in the ground to the depth of one or two axils and water in if in very dry ground.  They'll put on roots over the winter and start into leaf in Spring.  I generally get about 90% success.

 

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