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BadWolf 10-25-2013 03:46 AM

Mowing the Lawn with Grazers
 
Our fenced yard around the house is about 1/3 - 1/2 of an acre.
It is home to a flock of 8 laying hens and is where we let our 2 dogs (labrador, pomeranian) out to the bathroom.

We rotated the goats through during the summer, and they trimmed up the trees and destroyed the bushes (which we didn't like anyway), but as browsers they did a lazy job of the grass.

What would be a better option for keeping the grass down, especially in the summer, without having chicken or dog issues?

I currently have some kind of mini equine or a few sheep on my list of possibilities.
The sheep/lambs would be bought in the spring and sold in the fall.
The mini horse or donkey we would rotate around the different pastures as needed. I was thinking if we got a younger one that could grow up around the dogs, then they would coexist better, maybe even be "friends."

Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks :)

Endiku 10-25-2013 02:56 PM

Miniature horses have extremely sensitive systems and are classic air ferns, meaning they get very fat very fast. Grass in more than tiny amounts is not a good idea for them and it can cause laminitis in them. Donkeys are unfortunately the same way.

I'd go with sheep if you're looking for a 'lawn mower' unless someone else has a better idea. I know NOTHING about sheep.

my little rudie 10-26-2013 02:09 PM

ya, i would go with some sheep also. Our neighbors have sheep and i noticed that the paddock we use for training has short, stubby grass.

YellowHorse48 10-26-2013 05:25 PM

I have sheep and I never mow my grass...I put them in the yard when grass is tall, they eat it down and back out to pasture they go till grass in yard gets tall again.They do eat flowers or leaves off young trees so would have to fence them off if have any. I do have one old ewe that will stand on her hind legs like a goat and eat leaves off trees as high as she can but never has ate bark off tree like a goat.

BadWolf 10-27-2013 04:31 AM

Looks like sheep win it 3 to 0.

And thanks for the info on mini equines. I had noticed, in general, how round they all seem to be but never gave it a lot of thought as it being a bad thing. I guess I just thought it was a breed trait.

I learn so much on here. Thanks everyone :)

YellowHorse48 10-27-2013 09:55 AM

Lamb is some good eatin..mite have then butchered instead of selling if have a place close by that does sheep. Around here not every butchering place does sheep.

Yooper 10-30-2013 08:41 PM

As a keeper of goats, I also recommend some sheep too!

Goats will ignore grass if there is browse available, as you found out! I have to mow my goat paddocks, just because they eat everything but the grass, that that grows super long. Though next year I may add in a meat lamb to butcher in the fall (who I'd have to find a way to keep away from the goat minerals, so the lamb doesn't get copper toxicity).


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