Can anyone share experiences with willow fodder for sheep?  What cultivars did you use? Good sources for obtaining cuttings? What density did you plant?  How did it work out? Did the sheep like it?

Thank you !

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Hi Emily! I just planted a willow fodder block for my sheep last Spring, and am adding more density to it this year (and probably for the next few years, as I figure out how dense I want it to be.

I'm sorry to say I don't have answers for your questions, just more questions of my own. My fodder block is not entirely willow; it's got poplar and amorpha fruticosa (river locust) in it too, and my plan is to run a brush mower over it each year to keep it below 6' height. Most likely each time i brush mow it, I'll stick those cuttings right back in the ground to add density. Some won't take, but enough will over time.

I'd love to share notes with you! Have you planted fodder for sheep?

Hi Erica,

Not yet, but we are planning to do so if we receive funding from a grant. The idea is to plant willow, mulberry, and American hazel in hedges or blocks that can be browsed by sheep periodically. Like you, we would coppice the shrubs on rotation and allow them to resprout. I know  providing browse for sheep is frequently done, especially in other parts of the world,  but I don't know anybody growing sheep that way and am short on details.

Good luck with your project. If we get ours underway next spring, I'd love to share notes!

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