Jan 23, 2013

Growing Fodder

With the temps hovering at a balmy -5 today and a promise of almost -35 tonight, I thought I'd feed extra to our critters.  I grabbed the sugar beets out of the cellar and sliced them up for treats.  I've never fed out sugar beets before, I knew that horses usually love them, but didn't know how everyone else would react.
Well...the donkeys love them, the goats love them, the rabbits love them, I ran out before I got to the chicken coop, but from what I've read, the chickens should love them, too.
I grow extra pumpkins and corn every summer to help out with our feed costs in the winter.  Nettles and comfrey are dried and fed out to the chickens and the goats, too.  I've now decided that sugar beets or mangels will be grown to help out.  I think I'll go with the mangels as they get larger. 
  (picture from wolftree farms)

I found a great site that talks about growing your own fodder on your homestead.  http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Growing-Poultry-Feeds-1.html
This site looks to have a lot of information for anyone thinking about cutting feeding costs.
I don't know if I'll be able to grow enough to keep our herd of beef cattle through the winter, but I'm excited to try growing this new crop.

8 comments:

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Us too! We grew mangles this year. They got huge. We grew huge turnips for our animals too. We didn't grow enough - that stuff is gone and now we're using the pumpkins that keep so long in the cold closet. We'll definitely do this every year from now on! We're sprouting barley and wheat for the chickens too and we're just jumping on growing them a bit further for the cows too. I'll let you know how that goes :-)

Cheryl said...

I haven't heard of mangles. We do pick up sugar beets off the road when they are harvesting them around here. I will have to try and cut some up and maybe our steers might eat them better.

Have a wonderful evening.

~Cheryl

Mama Pea said...

We've grown and fed mangels to our animals in the past, too, with success. They also like potatoes (but cooked a little) and, of course, pumpkins and squash. How do you dry your nettles and comfrey in big enough quantities to use as feed over winter? I had ample Swiss chard one year that I dehydrated in our food dryer, but that was pretty labor intensive for the quantity I did.

odiie said...

Freedom Acres-Did you have any trouble with the deer getting the mangles. I'm thinking of growing them in the pasture by my garden.

Cheryl-Mangles are like giant beets. I think the sugar beets are sweeter, though. I've seen machines that are actually made for slicing beets for the critters.

Mama Pea-I cut nettles and comfrey and hang them in the shop to dry. I only get enough to supplement my chicken and goat feed.

Carolyn said...

I've been reading off & on about mangles & beets for livestock fodder, but we've got nothing but rocks for soil so I'm assuming they wouldn't be an ideal crop here :(

Just found you from Mama Pea's place! Looking forward to reading new (and old) posts from you.

Blackberry brambles said...

Thanks for the site, I'll check it out. I'll have to check out the mangles also. Oh and thank you for your visit to my blog!

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is really awesome! I have not heard of mangles before but new that lots of animals like beets. So glad to have discovered your blog!!

odiie said...

Carolyn-Thanks for stopping. I love your blog.

Blackberry-The site is great if you want to feed your chickens from your own farm.

Alicia-Thank you for your visit. I visited your site. You have a lot of great information.

Jan 23, 2013

Growing Fodder

With the temps hovering at a balmy -5 today and a promise of almost -35 tonight, I thought I'd feed extra to our critters.  I grabbed the sugar beets out of the cellar and sliced them up for treats.  I've never fed out sugar beets before, I knew that horses usually love them, but didn't know how everyone else would react.
Well...the donkeys love them, the goats love them, the rabbits love them, I ran out before I got to the chicken coop, but from what I've read, the chickens should love them, too.
I grow extra pumpkins and corn every summer to help out with our feed costs in the winter.  Nettles and comfrey are dried and fed out to the chickens and the goats, too.  I've now decided that sugar beets or mangels will be grown to help out.  I think I'll go with the mangels as they get larger. 
  (picture from wolftree farms)

I found a great site that talks about growing your own fodder on your homestead.  http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Growing-Poultry-Feeds-1.html
This site looks to have a lot of information for anyone thinking about cutting feeding costs.
I don't know if I'll be able to grow enough to keep our herd of beef cattle through the winter, but I'm excited to try growing this new crop.

8 comments:

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Us too! We grew mangles this year. They got huge. We grew huge turnips for our animals too. We didn't grow enough - that stuff is gone and now we're using the pumpkins that keep so long in the cold closet. We'll definitely do this every year from now on! We're sprouting barley and wheat for the chickens too and we're just jumping on growing them a bit further for the cows too. I'll let you know how that goes :-)

Cheryl said...

I haven't heard of mangles. We do pick up sugar beets off the road when they are harvesting them around here. I will have to try and cut some up and maybe our steers might eat them better.

Have a wonderful evening.

~Cheryl

Mama Pea said...

We've grown and fed mangels to our animals in the past, too, with success. They also like potatoes (but cooked a little) and, of course, pumpkins and squash. How do you dry your nettles and comfrey in big enough quantities to use as feed over winter? I had ample Swiss chard one year that I dehydrated in our food dryer, but that was pretty labor intensive for the quantity I did.

odiie said...

Freedom Acres-Did you have any trouble with the deer getting the mangles. I'm thinking of growing them in the pasture by my garden.

Cheryl-Mangles are like giant beets. I think the sugar beets are sweeter, though. I've seen machines that are actually made for slicing beets for the critters.

Mama Pea-I cut nettles and comfrey and hang them in the shop to dry. I only get enough to supplement my chicken and goat feed.

Carolyn said...

I've been reading off & on about mangles & beets for livestock fodder, but we've got nothing but rocks for soil so I'm assuming they wouldn't be an ideal crop here :(

Just found you from Mama Pea's place! Looking forward to reading new (and old) posts from you.

Blackberry brambles said...

Thanks for the site, I'll check it out. I'll have to check out the mangles also. Oh and thank you for your visit to my blog!

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is really awesome! I have not heard of mangles before but new that lots of animals like beets. So glad to have discovered your blog!!

odiie said...

Carolyn-Thanks for stopping. I love your blog.

Blackberry-The site is great if you want to feed your chickens from your own farm.

Alicia-Thank you for your visit. I visited your site. You have a lot of great information.