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Thread: Curitiba's "urban sheep" program

  1. #1

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    Calgary, AB
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    Curitiba's "urban sheep" program

    I recently caught a screening of the movie "A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba" and although I was familiar with their public transit system, I was intrigued by a program I didn't know about that they have there which uses sheep to keep park grass cut.

    The sheep move from park to park grazing the grass which saves on the need for lawnmowers. The sheep are tended by a shepherd who works for the city. From what I have read elsewhere, they also are able to make use of the wool the sheep produce.

    I realize that zoning might be a problem in North American cities to allow livestock within city limits, but I like the idea. Has anyone tried this in other cities?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I've seen it done in Holland to keep the grass shorn on the dikes, right next to tall apartment buildings.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    They use goats here in Albuquerque to control the build up of weeds within the bosque (the forested area along the Rio Grande) as part of a fire abatement program. It also helps control invasive species which are a real problem in this setting (particularly salt cedar, also called tamarisk). Here is a link to a short article about it:

    http://www.hpj.com/archives/2006/apr...eatweedsko.cfm

    I think they are used elsewhere in the west, too.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    My Dad did this on our farm. Our "yard" was approximately 5 acres. Naturally we didn't have time to mow it and with the wind row around and a few other obstacles it wasn't practical to use a brush hog. So we tried various animals. The sheep tended to die. Don't know why. But goats worked just fined. They kept the grass down and fertilized it at the same time. If you butchered them before they got too old it was like eating lamb.
    So I can't think of a good reason not to do this in a urbanized area, as long as it is controled. It would have to be a fairly large area. We kept them chained to stakes so they didn't wander off. Also we would move them around by moving the stakes so they didn't destroy the vegetation. I don't recall an odor problem, but then we had a lot of livestock around.
    In some areas people might steal them for the food. Rustlers was not just a myth in the old western shows.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    We used sheep in our community garden in the small town I work.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2007
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    SC
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    Goats and Kudzu

    I've been told by a very wise woman that:

    a) Goats love Kudzu
    b) Kudzu comes back quickly after being mowed or pulled up, but it does not survive well after being over-grazed.

    Goats + Kudzu = no more Kudzu

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