The Flock and Scrub Spruce

We took down three Scrub Spruce that had grown up in the wrong place and needed to be removed.

They were cut down and hauled down to the big barn to be thrown in the pens for the goats and sheep to nibble on. Spruce needles are exceptionally high in Vitamin C
They contain carotenoids an are rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

I have heard that its possible that this can also do a light deworming, I have heard positive things in this regards including a girlfriend that does her own fecals and has checked before and after use.  I have not done so, but I do believe that it is a very good for their overall health and that can only be a good thing 🙂

If I had true growth in the pastures my sheep and goats would not be very interested but that is not the case, they are getting fresh air and a bit of time out while I am doing chores but otherwise they are in dry lot due to both the rains (wet pasture) and the fact that the pastures are just starting to grow up now. Add in that I have done some re-seeding and I need to keep them off the land itself.

I am pleased with the growth rate on all the babies but I will admit that I know they would be doing even better if I had them on pasture. Its going to be a tricky thing this year, I had so many losses last year that so far this year I will not allow the flocks out without being with them. I am not sure how that is going to work for the whole season. Hubby says we are going to make a smaller paddock that is very safe to give them a bigger outside loafing area and then use hot lines as we rotate them around the pasture, he is hoping that just as the hot lines will keep the sheep and goats in, they will keep the coy-wolves out. We will see.  I do not want to lose a single lamb or kid this year.

We didn’t forget Red the pig, when we were digging out wild parsnip, coming second year burdock roots and such.. it all went into big old 6 gallon buckets and three were hauled down and given to him to enjoy.

I have a lot of clean up this year in regards to brush clearing, and I intend to harvest them at the best time possible to use them as fresh tree hay for the flock.



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15 Responses to The Flock and Scrub Spruce

  1. We just have coyotes here, but they wont dig under or climb over our fences so they don’t pose much of a problem. I know lots of coyotes will happily dig under fences, and because of that we had to bury wire out from ours, but then later we found out that the ones in our area wont dig under. Are coy-wolves more like wolves or coyotes in behavior?

    • The current ones are more like wolves, they are pack hunting including hunting deer locally, for years I had crosses that were more like the coyote and never had any issues with them. I have had sheep with no losses from the local pack for 12 years and then we got a new pack in and we had a massive habit loss, the local farmers cut down over 200 plus acres of forest in the past two years and pushed them out of the bush to start hunting more in the open land and the small farms. Last year, we could find their path from the bush, to field, where they crossed the road and trail up between the corn for cover, there preferred dig under spots, anything small enough to be hauled out, was.. to big to do so.. including a full grown ewe, half eaten and then left what they could not take.. it was truly brutal here last year, We need to retrain them that this farm is NOT part of their hunting grounds.

  2. We also have bears, mountain lions, and bobcats – those pose more of a problem to us. But I was just specifically discussing coyotes and wolves. 😉

    • Our local black bears have never been a issue at the farm, just something to watch for in the woods when riding the horse’s but I wear bear bells always when riding just for this. We do not have the mountain lions but we do have the bobcats and we have lost a lamb or two to them over the years but they are here and then move on. We have always had a bit of a issue with the fox’s, coons, and the weasel family when it came to the small stock.. but that can be worked around.. not everything can be free ranged.

      • Bears are our biggest problem here. They are super acclimated to humans and not scared of them and instead see them as a food source (garbage, pet food, livestock, etc). They break into cars, houses, campers, barns, coops, whatever they can. It is really sad because it is the humans’ fault because they got them all used to eating garbage by not being careful to lock it up. Now the bears have had generation after generation where the mom teaches the cubs that humans mean food, so they don’t know any other way to eat.
        Second biggest problem is aerial predators, owls and eagles especially, but they are only a problem for the chickens. But the guard dogs seem to have more trouble keeping them away. Then bobcats. They will take our chickens and our young lambs. And they are smart enough to pay attention to whether the guard dog is in the same pen with the livestock. If the guard dog is nearby, but not in the same pen, they will jump into that pen and grab livestock and take off with it.
        Then mountain lions are last on the list. We have only had two lion encounters in 11 years of farming in this location. Neither one got away with anything, the LGD kept them back. They weren’t like the bobcats, they stayed back and watched from afar but weren’t willing to approach with the dog there, even if the dog wasn’t in the same pen.

      • Thanks for that detailed overview, I hear you on the bears, that can be a real issue, do they do a lot of bear hunting in your area? We have both spring and fall bear black bear hunting in our province

      • It is limited here and they limited how you can do it so that it makes it really hard to ever get one. Mtn Man got a license two different years and didn’t even see one during season, so we gave up on that. Thankfully, they have stayed away since we got our new LGD who is much bigger than our previous LGD. Hopefully that continues.

      • Yes, on the livestock being so useful, that would make it much harder for sure

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