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Pasturing Sheep

Pasturing Sheep image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Every flock master is anxious to get bis sheep at pasture as early in the spring as possible. This is a laudable and wise practice, but is soinetimes done ut the expense of the pasture and not always to the best advantage of the ñock. If the pasture is blue grass and of ampie extent the sheep may be turned on as soon as the grass fairly appears. If the pasture be of clover the dainage to the field will, perhaps, not be severe, but if of timothy and clover, sheep, which gnaw very close on short pastures, often do irreparable damage by eating away the bulb at the surface of the earth, which is a part of the plant, and absolutely necessary to the existence of this grass ; indeed, a meadow may be mown with a scythe so close as sometimes to kill tho erop. How much greator, then, the necessity of feeding sheep until the grass is sufnciently high, so that no danger may occur in that direction. Many farmers believe that every day gained in turning the stock to pasture is so much feed saved ; such however, is not the case, for every extra day tho nock is kept in the yards the grass is gettingbetter and better, and when the flock is turned on after a week's delay, perhaps, $he pasture is in such a condition that the animáis are uot obliged to gnaw to the very roots to get a scanty supply of dead grass mixed with a few short spears of soft and watery blades. Besides this, if turned to pasture too soon the flock is alniost as much inclined to refuse good hay as when turned on full pasture. The oonsequonce ia they stop jrowing and lose flesh, and the wool becomes prematurely loose, and, in any event, is reducod in quantity and quality. Do not be in too great a hurry, thereFore, to turn out in the spring, especially if a few warm days may have started the grass. Cold woather will surely intervene - perhap3 severe storms of rain, snow and sleet. The grass will keep, and the sheep will be lar better off in the bain ar in good warm sheds, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing tliat you can keep theui up to their feed without loss of appetite or deterioration of the wool. Once checked at this season, wool does not so readily recover as earlier in ;he season ; and, as the anitual begins to ;hrive on the grass, aud warmer days come on, instead of growing, it loosens and sometimes begins to drop off before shearing time. - Weatert Rural.


Old News
Michigan Argus