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Do Sheep Eat Grass?

Do Sheep Eat Grass

Grass is one of the primary types of foods that sheep eat. They are ruminants, so their digestive systems are well adapted to eating grass and other similar types of foods.

In addition to grass, sheep will eat clover, hay, brush, alfalfa, and other types of vegetation. 

Sheep have a primarily herbivorous diet. They are ruminant animals, which means they have four different compartments in their stomach and often regurgitate cud to chew it for long periods of time.

This allows them to store foods and let them ferment for a while and use it later on. They’re also very well adapted to other similar foods such as clover and brush.

Can Sheep Survive on Grass Only?

small sheep

Sheep would be able to survive by eating grass only without any major problems. The reason for this is that they can store grass in their stomach for later use and even thrive on eating grass alone.

Sheep are grazing animals. They will graze the grass on a pasture and it will suffice for them to survive completely. This means they’re low-maintenance animals as they don’t need to be fed very often, especially when they are out and about. 

In fact, grass will be one of the primary foods for sheep. They can easily survive on grass only. That’s a great strategy to use because the grass is easily available, not very expensive, and sheep will be happy to eat it.

And in the winter, you can also use hay to feed your sheep and they will be just as happy.

Suffolk Sheep

There’s also one more advantage to feeding grass to your sheep: they can be used as natural lawnmowers.

You will be able to keep your pastures healthy and tidy by using your sheep to graze the grass. This will not only promote a healthy look to your pasture, but you’ll also be able to keep your sheep fed.

However, many experts and farmers will tell you that it’s better to keep sheep on a varied diet.

Feeding sheep grass only can work and sheep will have no problem living like that, but in the long-term, keeping some variety in their diet is much better. This way, they will get other valuable nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

What if You Don’t Have Grass?

sheep wool

If you don’t have pastures or grass that you can feed to your sheep, then you can also use hay, which can come useful in the winter. Alternatively, you can use other sources of food such as grain, pellets, seeds, and other foods.

Sheep are very resourceful animals and they don’t take a lot to be satisfied. You can easily feed them grass only, but if that’s not an option for you, then don’t worry. Sheep are easily sustainable if you offer them other foods as well, so you can keep good care of them by feeding them other foods, too.

Some people consider feeding sheep pellets. This is a specialized type of food that you’ll be able to feed your sheep. It will contain the right amount of nutrients to keep your sheep healthy, including protein. But you’ll also want to be a bit careful where you buy your pellets from.

sheep wool

Another great way to keep your sheep fed is to use hay. This is a natural alternative to grass. If you don’t have a pasture or an outdoor area where your sheep can graze grass, then hay is excellent.

It’s easily available around the world and in most cases, it should also not be too expensive for most people.

There are also some other alternatives that you can use instead of grass. For instance, many people feed grain to their sheep.

However, you should also take note that too much grain can be potentially harmful to sheep, so you’ll want to keep a level of moderation here if you decide on grain.

Other potential sources of food include seeds, alfalfa, clover, and brush.

Will Sheep Ruin my Lawn?

sheep

If you have a lawn and you want to keep your sheep there, then the good news is that sheep won’t ruin your lawn. They will only graze the top-most layer of the grass and will not pull out the roots, so your lawn will remain undamaged.

Sheep are often seen as natural lawnmowers because they are great at shaping landscapes and eating grasses and preventing the grass from growing too long. This is great for those who are worried that their sheep might be ruining their lawn or their pasture.

The truth is that sheep won’t eat roots and won’t pull out the grass they eat, so you won’t have to worry about them ruining your grass.

You can even use your sheep on a smaller lawn if you have one, and if you’re worried that your sheep will ruin your lawn and pull out the roots, then you have nothing to worry about.

sheep

If you’re worried that your sheep will ruin your lawn and you don’t want to risk it, you can also mow the grass yourself and feed the clippings to your sheep.

This is not a great alternative though, because sheep won’t ruin your grass always. But you can consider it nonetheless if you’re truly worried about the state of your lawn.

What Types of Grass Do Sheep Prefer?

Sheep prefer the following types of grasses:

  • Timothy
  • Orchardgrass
  • Tall fescue
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Italian ryegrass
  • Kentucky bluegrass

These are only the main types of grasses that sheep prefer, but they will be willing to eat a wide variety of grasses. In fact, sheep will like to eat almost any type of grass you feed them because they’re not very picky about what they eat. You’ll be able to feed them just about any type of grass, really.

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Conclusion

To conclude, sheep like to eat grass and you can use it as a primary source of food for your sheep. But you will want to keep some variety in their diets because sheep might need some nutrients to survive, such as vitamins and minerals. Make sure you keep some variety in the foods that you feed your sheep.

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