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Author Topic: Tree eating sheep  (Read 7090 times)

Sandyknox

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Dumfries, Scotland
Tree eating sheep
« on: December 19, 2014, 08:34:52 pm »
My sheep managed to get out in amungst some trees a couple of days ago and they have stripped the bark all the pay round the tree , does anyone no the best way to fix this , thankyou
S.Knox
Voss Electric Fence

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 09:24:09 pm »
the tree will die  :'(

YoungRasher

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • DERBYSHIRE
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 09:26:37 pm »
Mine did the same and so did the sheep at work. I've not noticed it before. we'd already started feeding them hay and lick buckets. hoping someone else can tell us why they're doing it.

YoungRasher

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • DERBYSHIRE
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 09:27:18 pm »
There's going to be a lot of dead trees in derbyshire then.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 12:21:25 am »
If the tree is totally ring barked then it will die.  Sometimes there is a strip of bark left which is sufficient for the tree to survive, but it will never thrive.

They do it because that is what sheep do, especially the primitive breeds.  There are all sorts of vitamins and minerals just under the bark layer which are good for the sheep, plus they get forage from the leaves.
Just check they don't have access to any poisonous trees  :tree:
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 06:51:20 pm 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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 05:23:32 pm »
Yes, and don't listen to folks who tell you that Shropshires don't eat trees.  I've just hired a ram to a chap who has a Christmas tree farm who can put you right on that subject!

Graemscifi

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 03:39:29 pm »
what kind of tree? mine love rowans but tend to ignore birches, and will sell thier little sheepie souls for willow. as for stopping them you could put three or four posts in around a special tree and use wire or rails to deny them reaching that tree, but i would only do this for special trees cos of the cost. i dont recomend barb wire as they will rubb on the posts. good luck

regen

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 10:10:04 pm »
Ours always seem to this in late nov/early dec and it seems to coincide with the grass becoming sparse. Feeding hay does not seem to stop them and they persist until brought in for lambing. Mostly it is willow which invariably recovers even when completely ring barked.

Horses also sem to adopt the same behaviour.

Regen

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 10:29:59 pm »
Just been reading this post... Fleecewife, what trees are poisonous? I know things like Yew, rhododendron, probably Laburnum, but wondered what other ones were? Thank you
4 pet sheep

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 09:31:41 am »
Portugese Laurel is a common hedge plant that's often overlooked in the poison stakes.

YoungRasher

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • DERBYSHIRE
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 12:15:15 pm »
We have 2 acre woodland and is almost taken over by rhododendron (or at least I think thats what it is) Its looks nice with the flowers on but its going to be a problem if its poisonous. My plan was to have pigs in there next year to help clear some of it. If anyone on here can identify it i'll get some pictures.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2014, 01:02:15 pm »
youngrasher - rhodies are a large woody shrub to small multistemmed tree, have very thick dark leaves, shade everything else out, very showy flowers, mostly pink in Spring/early summer. Spreads all over. It's certainly poisonous though I've no idea if pigs would eat it or just root it out.  Yes, post some piccies.

For other poisonous trees moprabbit, I'm not sure. The castor oil plant (ricinus -> ricin poison) is lethal to everything though it's more of a garden plant.  Laurel, yes, rhodies yes, laburnum yes but I think it's just the seeds, yew big time.  I'm not sure with these if it's just the leaves and seeds or the bark too.

There are also lots of poisonous plants, especially in the garden, but of those in woods, giant hogweed (in that it causes the skin to blister), nightshade, foxglove (but sheep tend to ignore it), ragwort, ivy - in large amounts, otherwise it's a bit of a tonic, oleander, euphorbia.  Oak can be a problem if a sheep eats loads of acorns, not because it's poisonous but because it blocks the rumen.  For pigs, acorns were a traditional forage.
I think Japanese knotweed is also poisonous, at least to pigs, although they help root it out.

It would be good to find out a definitive list of plants poisonous to all livestock, with an indication of what they do.  Anyone good at online research?
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

YoungRasher

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • DERBYSHIRE
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2014, 05:16:52 pm »
I'm pretty sure thats what it is. at the minute its all started to bud up. today and yesterday were like spring days here but its raining again now. some of it is the size of a small house. almost like a big dome. when you climb inside its almost hollow with loads of twisty branches along the floor and then up and around.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2014, 08:35:11 pm »
Sounds just like it, so highly poisonous.
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

Deere

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Peak District
Re: Tree eating sheep
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2014, 08:44:54 pm »
That's definitely Rhodies!

There's quite a bit round here in our part of Derbyshire, really noticeable in the spring and early summer with its big pink flowers.
Pedigree Ryelands, Charolais cross Mules

 

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