Old Way of Growing Feed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by big rockpile, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    There is lots of folks on here growing their own feed.Seems lots make it too complicated.But I know being poor hillbilly,we would plant Corn,then either turn the Cows and Hogs in on it,let them eat it all down.Or we would pick it by hand put it in a Crib,feed some on the ear,or run some through Hammer Mill,and Alfalfa,Cotton Seed mill,Salt and Molasses.

    Then we would also Plant Sorghum Cane,cut it Shock it up,then take wagon out get some give to the Cows.Smelled so sweet.

    If we wanted Pasture,we would go cut Firewood,clean it off slick,turn Goats out on it let them kill all the sprouts,then put Turkeys on it to Fertilize it,then scratch the ground up put some good Grass Seed on it.

    I know some one will say this isn't right or take too long.But as a Kid living out in the middle of nowhere,not that much equipment,we made it work.

    big rockpile
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    rockpile,
    good practical info for your region.
    Things like sorghum cane, cotton and molasses don't avail to be grown in may parts.
    Here also, for example when a woodlot would be cleared there is a profustion of willow and maybe poplar, alder and such from the shoot. Don't know about those for goats, but moose do well on the buds and tender shoots of poplar that I know of.
    I would love to try growing sunflower for seed and feed.
    Buckwheat will go to grain here, but harvesting a smaller areas isn't handy by manual methods. I guess oat hay would be good with the seed heads harvest for feed and such. Corn varieties might be okay, but not ripen every year, etc. in growing seasons with fewer days then what you have down there.
     

  3. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Thats a good system Rockpile. Everything has its place on a farm doesnt it?


    Moonwolf- I too want to grow sunflower seeds. The black oil kind.
    How are you planning on harvesting the seeds?
     
  4. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    when we lived in MI we used to bale our oats...all the stock prefered this hay to any other. We usually plant a few acres of OP field corn....just take a couple of buckets out and picked enough for the cows daily...draws the deer in for easy harvesting,too! We usually plant buckwheat for our bees...an early crop left when ripe will drop seed and replant itself for a later fall crop if you live in a temperate climate like we do in southern MO. Want to try sorgum this year...have neighbors who make molasses and it is so good. Cows love it,too. They also love pumpkins and we grow alot of these letting them trail along the edge of the garden. DEE
     
  5. Homesteader at Heart

    Homesteader at Heart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    480
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Suriname, South America
    Hello Mutti:

    At what stage did you cut the oats for baling?
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    I can't grow it this year, and not a field. I would have to harvest it manually either way. Growing along a perimiter is a good idea, say lining a road or around a chicken coup, etc. ? Once estabilshed and growing strong, the sunflower helps to inhibit grass around the stalk. Black oil seed is probably the way to go, yes. I think for my puproses would be to dry the seedheads away from the birds once harvested and store like that to feed to poultry by letting them pick away at the seeds without any mechanical separation or harvesting. How does that sound?
     
  7. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Sounds good.
    If you were to hang it upside down, do you think the seeds would eventually fall out?

    I feed black oil sunflower seeds to my horse, and goat and would like to grow some for them, but cant see myself peeling out seeds for a long period of time.
     
  8. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    central New South Wales, Australia
    Always with any cereal hay, you bale it when the grain is forming but not yet mature, and the stalks and leaves are still green. The test is to shuck down to the grain, then squeeze it. If you squeeze a sweet milky fluid out of the forming grains, it's ready to cut for hay. The milkiness shows that the sugars are beginning to turn to starch. If it goes much further the plant will start pulling all the nutrients out of the rest - the stem and leaves - and throw it all into the grain, which is fine if you want grain but no good at all if you want hay.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,275
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    For best protien & all, you want to cut it before it heads out. This is a stage of _rapid_ growth of the oats, so you have a small window to cut. One day you will see no heads, 3 days later you will see 20% of the heads sticking out. You shoulda cut when you saw less than 5% heads appearing.....

    Another way is to raise oats, combine it. Bale the straw. Oats typically has a lot of very light kernals that blow over the combine. If you work the ground lightly, or get a drenching rain, this lightweight oats will sprout & grow. You can cut & bale this for hay. Some years work better than others, but again harvest as heads want to pop out, or as soon as it is big enough to harvest - fall wants to get in the way. :)

    --->Paul
     
  10. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    We'd try to get the oats when around 50% were heading up....too dry and the oats all fall off in harvesting or storage. One problem though is the number of mice you will have in your hay mow....be sure and have some good barn cats!!! We never see mice/rats around our barns --have two altered toms who keep the situation well in hand. Our "working" cats are always fixed....no unwanted kittens and they stay to home. DEE
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    For sunflower seeds, after the heads are dry make a screen from hardware cloth over a box and rub the head across the screen to make the seeds fall off. You can shell them by running thru a roller mill spaced far enough not to crush the seed.
     
  12. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Cool thanks.
    Ive always wondered how the shells were taken off in large numbers. The animals can eat the shells no problem, but I definately like mine de-shelled.