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MAKING SILAGE

A

Anonymous

Guest
WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO MAKE SILAGE OUT OF YARD WASTE(YARD CLIPPINGS & CORN STALKS) ? AND WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE FOR STORAGE, INSIDE OR OUTSIDE TO AVOID MILDEW BUILD-UP?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes it is possible, but the handling is the catch. Good silage comes from good packing and doing the whole pile at one time. Yard clippings are a weekly/bi-weekly thing, not a once a season event(unless you live in a drought area).

Plastic garbage bags are a good solution as you can individually silage each weeks clippings. Pack the bags comfortably full, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal them. Place the bags out of the way so they aren't damaged, and not in a low spot so they don't swim in a rain storm.

If you keep the air away from the clippings they will ensile and be good feed. If the bag gets a hole, the clippings will mold and be ruined.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Yes it is possible, but the
> handling is the catch. Good silage
> comes from good packing and doing
> the whole pile at one time. Yard
> clippings are a weekly/bi-weekly
> thing, not a once a season
> event(unless you live in a drought
> area).

What would be the nutritional value and how would it best be fed ie. to cows, wean calves, bulls, nursing first time cows etc. Also could it be a little wet or just dry green grass(knowing that green grass has moisture in it)?

> Plastic garbage bags are a good
> solution as you can individually
> silage each weeks clippings. Pack
> the bags comfortably full, squeeze
> out as much air as possible, and
> seal them. Place the bags out of
> the way so they aren't damaged,
> and not in a low spot so they
> don't swim in a rain storm.

> If you keep the air away from the
> clippings they will ensile and be
> good feed. If the bag gets a hole,
> the clippings will mold and be
> ruined.

> Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus
> Farms Alberta Canada
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nutrition would have to be analysed. My guess would be similar to grass hay. Any good feed store has a lab they use. Lush green grass will be on the wet side, but how to allow it to dry and not be lots of extra work is a tough one.

I would feed the silage as a part of the diet, not the whole diet. Usually silage is 65% moisture and takes 2.5 pounds to replace 1 pound of cured hay. using this formula, use 25 pounds to replace 10 pounds of hay. Any class of animal can use silage, make the descision based on amount of silage, feeding period, and number of animals.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Nutrition would have to be
> analysed. My guess would be
> similar to grass hay. ***** I understood from my dairy neighbor that silage was higher in nutrition that grass hay.... am not sure what the properties of silage are, but I thought it was always more wet which is why it has that odd odor. As a point of interest, my mother told that her father (back during WWII) used chicken wire frames lined with tar paper to store/make their silage. Silage apparently needs heat and dry to be properly taken care of? The idea of the plastic bags for the yard clippings is a neat small farm idea.... would the black bags be better than the white ones? also... the dairy neighbor only fed the silage to his milking cows... which is why I always thought that it would be more nutrient rich. one last question.... if we feed grass clippings, do we need to be aware of lawn treatments being used... such as Weed N Feed, etc?????

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A

Anonymous

Guest
The nutrition of silage varies just like the nutrition of hay. Grass clippings may be a high percentage of water with little protien, or they may have been fertilized and have grown slower with less water and be very high in protien. A test is the only way to know for sure.

The color of the plastic isn't that important, as long as it is somewhat uv resistant. Big silage bags are white, but older silage pit covers were black. The main thing is air tight. Silage makes its own heat during the ensiling process, very wet silage will leak moisture. To get fancy, a person could mix some dry hay(ground up) with the wet clippings to absorb some of the excess moisture.

Silage can be better than hay in situations where the hay is at its nutritional peak when the weather is not dry enough to put up hay. Waiting for the weather makes the hay older and more fiber/less protien. Silage can be put up at the right time with just one day of sun as opposed to 4 or 5 for hay.

Jason

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A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the info. Sounds like to much hassle so I think I'll try and dry yard waste for hay. Any ideas to if this will work/
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The only system I can think of for drying grass clippings is a lawn sweeper. Clippings dry very fast if left spread on the ground, and I have seen lawn sweepers advertised. If they work as advertised you could make "breadloaf" type hay stacks. Just keep dumping dry grass on the pile. Still going to be work involved, but free feed always involves work.

Jason

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