Author Topic: Fodder beets  (Read 10646 times)

Hilbillie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • St. Mayeux, Brittany
Fodder beets
« on: October 20, 2008, 01:11:16 pm »
I wonder if anyone can advise me please.  We grew a whole load of fodder beets, yellow and red, this year for our goats to eat over the winter.  Its been a backbreaking job but we've now harvested the ones that are a decent enough size, however there are quite a few which didnt amount to anything left in the soil.  Can we rotavate these into the soil or do we have to go round picking the whole lot?  There are also quite a few radishes which went completely to seed, whilst the goats love eating the tops (they particularly love the flowers!) the roots are just too woody and hard and are impossible to chop up (the goats wont touch them whole).  Could we pick the tops and rotavate the roots back in along with the beets?  Any advice would be gratefully received.
Its been such a learning curve this year - next year we will definitely sew a lot thinner and in rows not broadspread, I think it will definitely be worth the extra time.  We've had quite a good crop though and the goats love them.
Hilary

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 10:08:11 am »
  I'd personally be worried that the ones that "didn't amount to much" might be diseased,and wouldn't want to plough them back into the soil,same with the radishes.They'll also become an attraction for wireworms,other soil nasties and mice etc over the winter when food is scarce.
  I know it might be back breaking work to pull them all up,but heart breaking if next year's crop all failed. If the ones you dig up aren't diseased, then chop them up and add them to the compost bin,burn all others..... Ree
They don’t join cliques — more times than not, they stand alone — but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

Hilbillie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • St. Mayeux, Brittany
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 10:45:21 am »
Thanks for your advice MrRee, I think you are probably right, guess its up to the field to pull them all up - not today though, its a bit miserable and feels like an "indoor" day!  ;D
Hilary

Merlin

  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 03:23:29 pm »
Hi,
   would it be feasable to borrow some pigs for a while and put them on the field? they will clean it up for you and should eat the fodder beats.If they don't eat the radishes they will certainly uproot them and leave them on the surface.I put a couple of pigs on my veg plot each winter and all I have to do is rotovate in the spring ready for planting.It's also manured too! I guess it depends on how secure the boundaries are or whether you have access to electric fencing.
regards.
Jim

Hilbillie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • St. Mayeux, Brittany
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 05:07:01 pm »
Funnily enough I had that very same idea myself this morning, the field is secure and we have electric fencing, but dont know of anyone around here who has pigs, plenty of sheep and cows but no pigs.  I had thought of bringing the goats out to eat the tops but it is getting extremely muddy with all the rain and I dont really want them getting that dirty.  They seem to want to spend most of their time inside these days, we are getting through the hay at quite a rate now!  A neighbour has offered to help so in between the rain we will get them all dug up eventually.  Thanks for your thought anyway.
Hilary

Julian

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Elk, Washington, United States
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2009, 12:31:47 am »
OK, I stumbled across this site and thread via a Google search... how did your goats do on the fodder beats?  I've been wanting to plant a large plot of mangle beets for winter forage for dairy goats&sheep, but it will be an experiment.  I don't know if they'll actually eat them.

Also, if you have any tips on feeding beets, I'd appreciate them.  Feeding beets as winter feed seems to have by and large fallen by the wayside, so there isn't all that much information about it anymore.

Edit:

Somehow I just noticed that this is primarily a UK & European forum, where perhaps feeding beets over the winter isn't so uncommon as in the US...
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 12:37:38 am by Julian »

Hilbillie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • St. Mayeux, Brittany
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2009, 09:01:46 am »
Hi Julian

Our goats absolutely loved the beets!  To begin with in late summer I was pulling a few each day, feeding them the leaves (which they scoffed) through the fence and then chopping the rest up and putting down in their troughs in the evening.  Someone told me we spoiled them and should just chuck the beets in whole, if we did that they would walk away in disgust, apart from the fact that they wont pick stuff up off the floor, they will only eat food that will fit in their mouths.  Its a bit of a pain as every afternoon throughout the winter we have to spend some time chopping veg for the goats.  On the Victorian Farm she threw them into this contraption which chopped them up for her, wish we could find a modern version small enough (they've ruined the blade of my food processor!)
The first batch we picked for storage, I made the mistake of washing and topping and tailing and packing in straw in crates.  They went mouldy!  After that I just brushed off the mud and stored them in potato sacks hung up in the cool outhouse, they kept really well.
This year I am going to sow them carefully in drills and thin down so they can grow nice and big, some of the big ones we got last year were huge!  Good luck with your beets, I would definitely recommend them.
Hilary

ballingall

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 12:08:00 am »
  On the Victorian Farm she threw them into this contraption which chopped them up for her, wish we could find a modern version small enough (they've ruined the blade of my food processor!)

We used to have something like that- it was made of cast iron, stood about 4foot tall. You poured your whole veg (I think it was mainly designed for turnips) into the top, churned the handle and out came the turnips chopped up. It was great. Sadly we sold it before we moved house as we didn't have room for it- and indeed hardly used it.

Beth

Julian

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Elk, Washington, United States
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 01:31:23 am »
I'm glad to hear that the beets go over well.  I got some seeds for some old stock beets and was looking forward to sowing them, hoping that they would actually like them.  As far as thinning goes, I had seen photos of beet plots, the captions always noting to thin beets frequently.  I had thought it was odd to have sown them so thickly in the first place, but I recently read that each beet "seed" is actually 2-6 seeds, so that explains a lot.

I have no idea what it it's original intended purpose was, but I found this at a local antique shop for a song and a dance.  With a little work, I'm thinking that it could be a handy little beet/turnip chopper?


garden cottage

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • forest of dean

the smallholder

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 07:24:33 pm »
Hi smallholders!!!Just find your webside,i try to find out where i can buy some mangel seed for about one acre of land,to feed our animals ( sheep,pigs,donkeys and chikens) in lincolnshire.Any idees?Hope you can help us!The smallholders :wave:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 12:05:41 am »
  On the Victorian Farm she threw them into this contraption which chopped them up for her, wish we could find a modern version small enough (they've ruined the blade of my food processor!)

We used to have something like that- it was made of cast iron, stood about 4foot tall. You poured your whole veg (I think it was mainly designed for turnips) into the top, churned the handle and out came the turnips chopped up. It was great. Sadly we sold it before we moved house as we didn't have room for it- and indeed hardly used it.

Beth

We still have, and use, ours.  There's usually one at most farm sales in these parts.

In previous years it's been turnips (which some of you south of me will call swede) but this year we've bought a load of fodder beet.  It's harder to chop than turnip; it's very solid - weighs far more than the same volume of turnip.

BH chops about 7 swillsful a day for the indoor sucklers and the early lambers.  The pigs get theirs whole or nearly whole.

I calculated the feeding rate of fodder beet at using 4kg beet to replace 1kg cake for the pigs.  It's lower in protein than the cake, but mine are finishing now so that's fine.  I've replaced 1/7 of their ration with beet and they're doing great.  I'll tell you how they're finishing in a couple of weeks...

The cattle and sheep took a few days to get the hang of the beet but now they love it and start shouting when they hear and/or see the chopper turning.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
    • Facebook
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 01:13:09 am »
I was given some fodder beet for my goats.  they loved them but I nearly broke my hands and the knife chopping them.  I don't have the space for a big beet chopper so am wondering if there is anything small that would do the job.

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 08:26:49 am »
A sharp garden spade will chop them. Or cut into suitable lumps and put through the garden shredder.

Padge

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Pasture Poultry
    • Facebook
Re: Fodder beets
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 08:52:58 am »
could anyone please tell me when to plant them ???

 

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