Spring clearing is beginning for flower gardens! We have brushy areas here on the farm thick with grassy weeds. This is why we chose sheep in the first place (and for wool). They won’t eat woody growth but will happily forage on all things lush and grassy. When foraging, it’s always important to watch for toxic plants. In our area pokeweed, ivy, irises, chokecherry, St. John’s Wort and Black Locust are prevalent. A quick walk through the area to remove any unwanted growth beforehand, and also supervision, is helpful in keeping them safe and healthy.
Soon I’ll be planting rows of zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, sunflowers and strawflowers. Can’t wait!
And, because I know I will get asked, here are fourteen other toxic plants to sheep to watch for. This is not an exhaustive list so be sure to research your geographical region.
Angela is the farmer and content creator behind Axe & Root Homestead LLC. This historic six-acre permaculture farm is home to two Clydesdale horses, ten honeybee hives, five sheep, two guardian dogs, barn cats and a flock of 40 geese and ducks. The farm produces maple syrup, fruit from a small orchard and loads of garden produce for consumption, preservation and donation to the local food pantry.
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