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Author Topic: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)  (Read 5151 times)

LornaC

  • Joined Mar 2015
Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« on: July 17, 2016, 09:51:54 pm »
Hello :-)

We are considering getting some Hebridean ewes (just 3 to start with). We have land with varying quality of pasture (but none is particularly good).

There is also an area of land that has been taken over by sticky weed (cleavers) nettles and docks (the amount of sticky weed is unbelievable) Would the Hebs eat this or would we be best keeping them out of this area?

Also we have one area where the grass is quite long and needs cutting (which we have to do with a scythe!) but there is a rumour that Hebs might eat the long grass and so therefore there would be no need to do all the hard work of getting it cut. Is this true??

Thanks  :)


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 10:55:00 pm »
Gorillas eat cleavers  ;D  They roll it up in balls and shove it to the backs of their throat before swallowing.  The trouble with sheep eating cleavers is that they don't have hands to make it into something they can swallow.  It's not that they wouldn't try to eat it, they may well do so, although ours haven't.  It would be the difficulty of taking some into their mouths without several square yards worth following.  The nature of cleavers, which have very thin, easily broken roots, means that they would soon cover the sheep with the stems, and with the seeds, spreading all around your pasture.  Cleavers are very difficult to get rid of manually - we have loads of the stuff, although not in pastures.  The nettles and docks would be fine, although they would spread those seeds around too because they would catch in their fleece.

For your grass, how long is long?  How large an area would your ewes be grazing?  Three would be spread very thin unless there are small paddocks, so would probably concentrate on eating the shorter stuff.  If your grass has seed heads on then your ewes would not be able to eat it down before winter, so it would then collapse into a rotting mat, not good for your next year's grass crop.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2016, 10:26:26 am »
No problem here with cleavers ( we call them sticky buds!) my sheep ( Ouessants)  love them and eat as many of them as they can get hold of. Granted you will find them in the fleece until the sheep get on top of them.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2016, 11:12:14 am »
Cleavers are very good for the blood, they are essentially a blood purifier.  Here is an article about them https://altnature.com/gallery/cleavers.htm
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

LornaC

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2016, 01:08:36 pm »
Thanks for your replies  :)

The land available for the sheep will be divided into 3 small areas. There will be a 4th area being added next year but this area needs to rest for a few months first. 2 of these areas are grass (mixed grasses not top quality pasture) and one of these has long grass. If this is a problem we will get to work scything! I've tried to add a photo of the area - hope this help  :)

LornaC

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 01:14:36 pm »
Just to add that first area is approx 1/3 of an acre and there will be 3 sheep :-)

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 01:46:57 pm »
Our sheep eat them and our ponies love 'em.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 03:09:59 pm »
It looks as if the long grass would make the kind of hay Hebs like.  They are not fond of the high input, single species hay which is best for heavier and faster growing breeds.   Is there any chance you could use it that way?   Then you get a lovely fresh aftermath after about 6 weeks, which is good for building your sheep up prior to the winter, plus you have your own hay to feed them over the winter.  Maybe there's someone about who has a small baler who would do it for you?  Or just have a scythe fest and do it yourselves.  If you are going to scythe it anyway, you might as well turn and stack it too  :farmer:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

LornaC

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 03:17:22 pm »
haha ... yes I think we will have to scythe it. We're not entirely sure how to do anything once it's scythed though but we can give it a go. If it's  case of turning it to dry it and then just piling it in a heap I think we'll manage but I have a feeling it is more complicated than that! we can give it a go and see what happens.

The weather is so bloomin unpredictable though - so fingers crossed this sunshine holds (although I don't think it's predicted to!)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2016, 03:54:15 pm »
They had a piece at the end of Countryfile on making hay by hand yesterday.  It was Simon Fairlie and his partner Jill at Monkton Wyld, for those that know them.

Basically, scythe it, then floof it up / turn it a couple of times a day until it's dry (or if it's a very light crop and you live somewhere sunny and warm, maybe only once or twice), then, once it's dry enough, gather it in or stook it in the field.  Everything else is about saving it if it rains!

And the fresh shoots of cleavers are nice in salads and sandwiches, by the way.  Taste a bit carroty.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 10:52:09 pm »
Did you see an item on spring watch about an NZ plant called Pica? Sp?  now that's a nasty sticky bud.  Nothing will eat it.   Every time I offer cleavers it's taken with relish, they all love it.  As WBF says its a good tonic.  I ve read that the sticky balls can be dried out and ground down to make a chicory like coffee  :yuck: :tired:

Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 07:18:55 pm »
Cleavers?
Around Dundee/Angus they're called 'sticky willies' but only on Mondays-Saturday's.
Sunday's they're called 'Adhesive William'! :innocent:


Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Re: Hebridean Sheep - Sticky weed (cleavers)
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 09:20:13 pm »
...Sunday's they're called 'Adhesive William'! :innocent:

I can believe it for Angus, but I doubt many in Dundee could spell adhesive let alone say it!!!  :thinking: :innocent: :eyelashes:

 :o ::)

 

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