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Grazing their way through the corn field

Escaping Sheep!

Why are grass-fed sheep running to the field! Sometimes sheep with their lambs do escape from their field into something more interesting. When one goes through the gate the rest are sure to follow (see picture). We have had knocks on our door in the middle of the night or phone calls asking if we have lost our sheep or goats. “I have sheep in my yard under my pine trees….or in my driveway….or…and no I really don’t want sheep….” This time though their escape was carefully planned.

Hesitating at gate

They left the gate open… Is this a trick?

 

The great escape

The great escape

 

Disappearing sheep

Disappearing sheep. Are there sheep out here? The llamas mark the spot.

 

Next day

Next day

It appears they like it!

Corn is really type of grass–very tall grass—but grass. Grazing a immature corn stalks can be an option even for grass-fed sheep. If you notice in the pictures, this is very young stalks without tassels. Grazing before the tasseling means there is no corn kernels—no ears—no grain. The protein level is higher in growing grasses compared to the mature grass when the grain draws the plants resources to form seeds for reproduction.

This differs from running sheep in corn fields late in the season after the corn ears have been mechanically harvested.  When the stems are eaten down when immature it will grow back like grass, and seed ears will not have the energy needed to develop. We grow turnips and pumpkins for our lambs and ewes but have never tried grazing immature corn. So this is a first for us and our sheep.

 

 

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