Thursday, September 1, 2011

What the Elders Teach

Early one spring years ago, I sprayed the thistles with molasses water.

I saw the fruits of my efforts this afternoon.

The sheep nibbled down the thistle patch in the side pasture.

I was a newbie to farming when a grazing specialist asked why certain sheep don't eat thistles. His answer? Because their moms don't eat thistles. By spraying the young tender plants with molasses, I encouraged the ewes to eat the thistles. When they did, their young followed their lead.

But what ewes teach the young isn't always good.

I discovered this during a herding lesson yesterday when I watched an old white ewe jump the fence to another pasture. Other ewes followed two by two, until there was one ewe left.

Maybe I should spray the practice field with molasses water.

No comments:

Post a Comment