Thought I would explain the use of our lovely sheep for anyone new to following our facebook page
These are our lovely sheep, borrowed on occasion from Abbotts View Alpacas
, who are situated on the other half of Abbott's View Farm. The sheep are all rarebreeds, are pets (not food!) and alot where bred by us. The brown sheep are Manx Loughtan, and the whites are Greyfaced Dartmoor's, and then we have quite a few of their offspring who are crosses of the two.
The Greyface are extremely cute and teddy bear like and absolutely love a scratch, whereas the Manx are more stand off-ish but make better grazers.
We also have Skippy (white sheep with a black face and horns) who was given to us by a neighbor when her friend died, and we have no idea what she is! She has had two lambs, Louie and Louise, and she is the herd leader of all the sheep. She's extremely friendly, and a giant pig, and will go anywhere for food making moving the herd by shaking a feed bucket extremely easy as they all follow Skippy!!
Our sheep are extremely helpful at keeping the grass down before the horses to onto the tracks in Spring, and before the horses come off the tracks and go into the winter middles (they eat alot of the fresh new green grass leaving the older standing hay for the horses, unless you leave them too long and they'll eat it all!)
This is the first time, however, I've had to use the sheep to eat the grass down on the tracks in August!! The weather's been insane this year, promoting grass growth more than ever before.
Following heavy rain and a day of sun the grass shot up, so to be safe we reduced the size of the tracks and put the sheep on the reduced section. I think it'll only take them a week to eat it down, and then we'll start letting the horses back on the rest of the tracks.
The sheep never go on track at the same time as the horses- their wouldn't be enough space and it could go wrong if a horse had a hoon and a sheep couldn't get out of the way! We keep them where we want them using hurdles, and then electric fence on the horses side.
The sheep aren't just great for helping with the grass, they are also great at helping with worm burden. They hoover up all the horse worm eggs, and as they can't survive in the sheep as a host, the worm eggs die and this ends their cycle.