Its highly nutritious leaves and stems are usually consumed by folding the sheep upon it where it grows, there is no green food upon which they fatten faster.
It matures early and is quick to fatten.
Large herds of swine fatten, in summer and autumn, on the beechmast and acorns of the forests, returning in winter to the lowlands.
Ten years before, John Worlidge, one of his correspondents, and the author of the Systema Agriculturae (1669), observes, " Sheep fatten very well on turnips, which prove an excellent nourishment for them in hard winters when fodder is scarce; for they will not only eat the greens, but feed on the roots in the ground, and scoop them hollow even to the very skin.
The smaller size of the flocks and the breeding of sheep for meat rather than for wool, the cultivation of English grasses and of extensive crops of turnips and other roots on which to fatten sheep and lambs, all tend to change sheep-farming from the mere grazing of huge mobs on wide, unimproved runs held by pastoral licences.