Monday, 13 October 2014

Making animal fodder

One of the big challenges we will need to tackle is how to produce our own fodder for our animals instead of buying industrially produced feed. We feed the goats branches we chop from hedgerows and trees (where there is a need to manage them). The goats love the fresh leaves. This is fine whilst the trees are in leaf. What about the winter? Well, one thing we are trying is drying bundles of nettles and thistles for the goats. There are plenty of them around. The bundle in the picture above was put together on Sunday.

In the following picture you can see Pinkie, our new goat, trying out nettles we dried a few weeks ago.

We have collected some hay from the grassed area behind our local community centre after it was cut by the council but it is not the best of quality. So we have had to buy in hay - 2 of the huge round bales (we searched for a supply of the old fashioned rectangular bales but few farms now produce them). They are too big to get through the allotment gate so they are standing on the path outside. We will shortly build a barn and then break up the bales and transfer the hay into it.

Nevertheless, we need to step up our fodder production if we are to become fully self-sufficient.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to roll the bales so that the round side is up to shed the rain. As they are they will be getting wet in the center of the bale and spoil.

Also since the big bales are harvested in a spiral, you can un-wrap the bale and un-roll a layer. Then re-roll the layer into a manageable size and tie on each end like a toffee. Then you can carry them to store like logs in your barn.