Sheep Weed Abatement

There is a 1.5 acre empty lot behind our house and every year theyd “disc” it to remove weeds for fire suppression.  I’ve heard about people renting goats and sheep for mowing down weeds and thought it would be fun to try, but I never got past the thought. 

A month ago I discovered my niece has 7 sheep and she needs to get rid of a couple.  I contacted the owner of the property behind our place and the said we were welcome to try out sheep weed abatement, but if the neighbors complained we’d have to get rid of them.

So, here are the new editions to our urban farm:

St. Croix Sheep: Maggie (dark brown) and her son Joey and Leo in the back
Sheep Weed Abatement

We had to separate Maggie from one of her other children and she’s not happy about it.  Her bleating for her other son is not making the neighbors happy (we live in a pretty urban area… there just happens to be an empty lot here) and we’re hoping she’ll calm down soon.

Here’s the “pre sheep” lot (click for larger version)
Weeds Before Sheep

I’ll continue to take pictures as things progress… that is assuming the neighbors don’t call the animal cops on us.

Anybody bets on how long it will take these sheep to clear the weeds in the 1.5 acre lot?

5 thoughts on “Sheep Weed Abatement

  1. Hi Rob,

    Sheep like to complain a lot – I am not sure they will quiet down much. I actually passed on some free sheep that my friend was giving away because I had house/farm sat for them knew that they were just too much bleating for me (and I have 5 roosters). Goats are the best weed eaters – they eat everything, but you need a very good fence for a goat. I think the saying is something like “if a fence wont hold water, it won’t hold a goat”.

    Alison

  2. Alison, I’ve heard the same. We went with Sheep because we knew goats would escape. Well, we underestimated our fencing and they escaped. I’ll update this post with the details soon, but long story short they escaped and when we caught them we decided that since they were loud and weren’t eating fast enough we’d be best of letting someone else take them.

  3. I have four sheep on a 1 acre pasture and I can’t tell you how long it took them to eat the weeds down but because the pasture isn’t irrigated I NEVER have a weed higher then 2 inches, if at all. By the way, you didn’t mentioned if your sheep were originally ‘bummers’. This is just a suggestion but if you decide you wanted more I highly recommend getting bummers. My friend has 130 sheep and not one will get close enough for her to touch. My sheep are like dogs….because they were bottle fed. They are sweet, friendly and only cry (very little) at feeding time. Most interesting is my wether who is the friendliest and lives peacefully with the ewes. I can’t think of a better childhood experience for my kids than when they bottle fed these little two day old lambs. P.S. I am so thrilled I found your sight…you have so much useful information that’s affordable even in these scary times. Thank You.

  4. I am a 4-H leader and there is nothing better then sheep for weed abatement in my opinion. I use them everywhere. When my daughters flock got too big we leased them out and are about to do it again. Sheep definately prefer irrigated pasture but if pature is ample they will not eat the bark off the trees and are not as testy with fences.

  5. I have 4 sheep of my own. They are awesome at eating both grass and weeds but do make some noise. I have 10 acres and live in a very rural area. The sheep you have looking at your picture are St Croix Sheep St Croix Sheep and St Augustine Sheep. The mother Maggie is a St Augustine. Which is mix of a Dorper and St Croix. I have both as well and both types of sheep as well and both are very self sufficient.

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