Image of sheep grazing on the UC Davis campus.

Sheep Mowers

Sheep Mowers

The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is collaborating with Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture Haven Kiers in her research project designed to help determine if sheep, which intermittently graze a lawn on central campus, can eat weeds and grass, fertilize and control pests as well as or better than using conventional landscaping methods.

“This is a perfect partnership,” said Tyson Mantor, Arboretum and Public Garden associate director.  “We pride ourselves on the many sustainable landscape maintenance efforts we currently use to keep our grounds beautiful. We welcome sheep to the effort.”

Details

25 campus sheep will be allowed to graze in a fenced one-acre lawn area on central campus (see map). An equally sized adjacent lawn will serve as a control and will be conventionally maintained by Arboretum and Public Garden landscape managers. Sheep will be transported to the site in a trailer and allowed to graze, then, at the end of the day, they will be transported back to the campus sheep facility. It is anticipated to take 2-3 days to "mow" the experimental half of the lawn. Two student shepherds will supervise the sheep at all times. 

Download the full project description

Current Grazing Schedule

  • September 21-23, 2021 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Future Dates TBD (Follow @ucdavis_sheepmowers on Instragram for the latest news.)

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