- October 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm #86249
I’m also working on the beets and squashes angle. The squashes start suffering from freeze/thaw around Christmas, so I feed those out first. I ran out of beets before they started going bad. Trying to increase our production of those.October 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm #86250
I’m happy with the Omega 3/Omega 6 balance produced by a grain/soy free diet, but “Grass Fed” is a magical marketing word, if I could go to all pasture and hay I’d be able to market better.October 11, 2015 at 9:48 am #86251JaredWoodcockParticipant
Good conversation, it seems a lot like the “good soil” debate. Another old time way of getting in good hay is silage. I am not a fan of bale wrappers because of the plastic but if you look into some of the historical alpine hay making; people have been packing hay into small wooden silos for a long time to avoid the need for long drying periods.
As for feeding horses and dry cows low quality forage, I prefer to leave it standing in the field and let them grub for it themselves. If you have easy keepers they can do real well on stockpiled grass and managed woody shrubs. I am not talking about those poor horses you see stuck in a dirt lot stripping the park off of the trees, but a well planned out winter with the knowledge and understanding of browse and stockpiling.
We managed a flock of 40 romney/corriedale ewes on stockpiled grass and some browse similar to how deer yard up, except we were moving them to new yards and using the horses to dig through the snow. It worked well and we fed out very little hay. Our May lamb crop was as strong as ever. It did increase our labor during the winter but that was spread out by saving a lot of time haying and fixing broken haying equipment.October 11, 2015 at 8:53 pm #86256
We could do stockpiled forage for a month or two after dormancy, but the snow gets too deep rather rapidly. My sheep could have walked out over the fence on top of the snow if they’d wanted to last year, but they had the sense to stay in the barn. They’d wander about 3 feet from the door, eat the snowbank, and go back in…October 11, 2015 at 8:55 pm #86257
What species of browse do you use? That would be an excellent use of land I can’t hay. I’ve been considering getting into willow coppice as well…October 14, 2015 at 11:15 am #86266
Could one make silage in barrels? I run a pretty small operation, would be feeding out small quantities, even a wrapped bale would go bad between breaking the seal and feeding it all out.
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