Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Animal Garden Plans
Keeping animals in the winter is always challenging. I know how hard it is on them to go from grazing on new spring pasture grass and garden scraps to dry hay, processed feed and cracked corn. My hens would rather starve than eat a certain feed store brand of layer pellets. That has got to tell me something.
Every winter it is the same thing. It’s cold and boring for them. I always try to think of treats I can bring once the corn stalks have been eaten and the sunflowers picked through. Store bought cabbage, day old bread, a few scraps from the house. It’s never enough and never practical.
This year will be different. This year I am planting an animal garden, along with my own. And even my own garden will be planted smarter.
I have a friend who plants an animal garden. I haven’t ever seen her garden, but I asked her if she could tell me what she grew for what animals. With her permission, I am sharing what she shared with me.
o We plant extra carrots and parsnips (lots!), pumpkins and mangles - also called fodder beets. The sheep and cows fight over the carrots and parsnips and the cows over the mangles. They all like the mangle tops. Pumpkins go to pigs and chickens and the chickens also like the mangles. We've got carrots and mangles stored in buried 30-40 gal. metal garbage cans covered with straw which is working so far. It's a bit tedious to chop them all up but way worth it. I've been looking for a livestock root grinder but haven't found one yet. I'm sure your goats would eat whatever the sheep do. I think most ruminants would also eat turnips, etc. but their milk might taste a bit off :)
Hope that helps!
I am excited at the prospect of having my own animal garden.
Lord knows I have room for it.
What could be better than
healthy treats they can look forward to
and a cut in the winter feed bill.
Did you know that pumpkin is a natural wormer
for goats and pigs?
I looked up what fodder beets were and here is what I found;
Fodder beets are the highest yielding forage crop any one can grow. The energy rich fodder beets are complementing the use of grass or protein rich legumes in the diet of the cattle. In many countries fodder beets serve as the reliable winter storage of feed. In other countries fodder beets play an important role in supplying forage in dry periods late in the summer.
How about you? Do you plant anything for animal feed? Any more ideas for me?