Stop Mowing and Start Growing with Sheep!
Mowing with sheep saves on money and labour. Sheep are your solution. In addition to reducing pollution, maintenance, use of herbicides, and gas and oil requirements, sheep fertilize while they graze, producing lean, healthy local food and wool products.
Sheep are a great interim solution for vacant city lots or any large lot. Sheep can operate in conditions like steep terrains along powerlines, and they provide holistic land management and brush and weed control through grazing. Sheep can eliminate invasive plants and restore native grasses.
Visit the St. Clair Superior Development Project
Urban Shepherds is working with St. Clair Superior Development (SCSDC) to create a model for urban sheep grazing that can be used to reduce urban mowing and increase sheep production. Cleveland has 3,300 vacant parcels that they spend $3.3 million per year mowing. Urban Shepherds has a flock of sheep mowing in Cleveland. A well-manicured lawn is SCSDC’s goal, and quality grazing is ours.
We have identified other potential grazing opportunities where the land owners, particularly cities, land banks, parks, and development corporations, have an interest in leasing sheep for mowing and encouraging urban farming. We also work with muncipalities and landowners to put in place agricultural zoning and other permitting to make small ruminants in cities possible.
Stocking density depends totally on the amount of forage that is available on each site used for grazing. You can visit our pilot site on Marginal Road in Cleveland between Quay 55 and the East 55th Marina, where we have a small flock of 12. Animals will be moved as the grass is used and moved to new grass that is ready.
Normal shelter for sheep is built on them and it is called wool. This keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition, we will use movable shade sheds to our sheep from the hot sun. What the sheep leave in these areas will be used for natural fertilizer to better the ground and the growth of herbage growing in that area. City water is brought in by volunteers who also check the sheep daily. To supplement the grass, mineral and Sweet Pro blocks are full and available at all times.
Our sheep are a lot like the deer in our area and have a great immunity to most diseases. If anything did happen to one of the sheep, they would be treated by whatever means a vet would suggest. Parasites are a big problem in old pastures where worms run rampant. In unused pasture, such as will be used in this project, it will be low. Sheep are drenched with a sheep-approved drug prior to turnout, observed often for parasites, and treated as needed as often as every 17 days.
The only distress would be dogs or people who may bother the sheep. Sheep are very good at adapting to their environment and become accustomed to sounds and movement in very short time. We will have a guardian llama and a security camera that will double as a sheep watch on the web. In addition, we will have volunteer shepherds to watch over the sheep. Our professional shepherds are very experienced and able to do most anything to help or heal an animal. And, volunteers have our phone numbers for any assistance that may be needed.