New Guys in the Goat Shed!
Actually, they're mostly gals. Ramat Hanadiv's goat shed welcomed 20 young tenants this week: 19 ewes and one ram, all just four-and-a-half months old. The newcomers, merino sheep from a herd in the town of Nov, on the Golan Heights, are being integrated into our established herd of goats in order to help with grazing tasks in the Nature Park.
Sheep have different grazing habits from those of goats, and for many years traditional herds have combined both goats and sheep. While goats generally prefer to browse on woody plants like shrubs and trees, sheep are most enthusiastic about grazing herbaceous plants. Hence hungry sheep can serve as another tool in the targeted management of Ramat Hanadiv's broad landscape. As the woolly creatures nibble away, for instance, they can regulate the growth of herbaceous plants among the olive groves and vineyards and other areas where we want to focus grazing on herbaceous growth, not woody shrubs. The friendly-looking sheep will also expand the interest and diversity of the herd.
In order to continue learning and improving our knowledge and management skills, we'll follow the progress of the sheep and gather data about their grazing in our Mediterranean shrubland. In the meantime, we wish our new residents an easy and pleasant adjustment to the good life at the Ramat Hanadiv goat shed!