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Author Topic: Life of opened Silage  (Read 12917 times)

Simon O

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Bonkle
Life of opened Silage
« on: October 26, 2012, 08:51:13 am »
I am sure I have read something on here about this before but cannot find the relevant thread. Once opened how long does silage last - is about 4 days the limit? Does this depend on temperature? What happens to it past this time - is it unpalatable or is it harmful? Presumably the remnant can then be composted once this time is up.
I ask this because I have had big bale silage made as never got the chance for hay, and not used it before, and don't think my stock will eat a bale within its use-by time. Is it likely to be very easy to split a bale to give part of it to someone else?
Just trying to plan ahead once I start to use it!
Simon

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 03:25:59 pm »
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=18808.0
think this might be the link you want or you could pm 'lill' and get her to ask robert he will know!
Mandy :pig:

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 03:34:31 pm »
Why is it that you have to use baled silage up so quickly? I'm used to clamped silage - and that, once open, keeps going all winter. There's always some spoiled stuff at the cut face, especially if you don't cover it properly, of course.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 04:32:13 pm »
If a bale is unwrapped it needs eaten up within 4 days, less is better.  50 Swaledales or 40 Texels will eat a bale in 4 days, or round about 12 cattle in 2 days.

As Ina says, it's the exposed face that spoils, so if you can think of a way of slicing it you could maybe eke it out a bit that way.

If it's been made for some months, the slicing approach would probably work - slice off enough for one day, the next day slice off what was exposed yesterday and feed that, and so on.

But if it's very recenty made there's a risk of the wrong sort of bacteria getting in and causing the wrong sort of chemical reaction - I wouldn't take that risk, I would find someone to share it with you.

HTH
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 04:40:38 pm »
Listeria is the biggest risk
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 08:14:09 am »
Listeria is the biggest risk

Oh, now I thought the listeria thing was when soil was in the bale?  Or does that bacterium also get going if air gets to the silage before fermentation has ended?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 05:04:56 pm »
Oh - yes - I was thinking more of haylage. Listeria is pretty ubiquitous but haylage isn't fermented like silage so that probably has something to do with it. We had a lot of soil in our haylage last year :-(
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Simon O

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Bonkle
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 01:01:31 pm »
Thanks for the above posts. I think I am OK on the listeria front as the cut grass seemed pretty clean of soil.
On going back to my Tim Tyne sheep book I realised when I reread his section on hay and silage that I didn't concentrate enough first time round as he has something to say on this matter: 'If properly handled, a bale of high DM silage, once started, will keep for a surprisingly long time - we have had a bale open for as long as a month, feeding a bit off the outside layer each day, with very little evidence of deterioration.'
He does not say anything further about what proper handling means, but this would tie in with what Sally said earlier. As Ina says, at the local farm the clamped silage remains open with the cut face being fed progressively to the animals. I wonder if slicing the wrapper off one end then taking a circular slice of silage then rewrapping as well as possible would be worth trying.
When I have time I will need to do a bit more research on this.
I imagine it is not very easy to cut a slice off a silage bale. I wonder if chainsawing would work.

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 05:18:11 pm »
you can feed it until it goes smelly and mouldy... if it overheats - ie still wet in the middle it will go off quicker if it smells like rotten fish it is finished ..throw it on the muck heap
Ian

downsized

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Life of opened Silage
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2012, 12:20:18 pm »
We made 230 bales of small bale haylage this year for the first time in July, (got fed up with the weather, so took the plunge and bought a small bale wrapper) was got perfect so will be interested to see how it turns out, adfvantage with SSBs is that you can just use it a leaf or two at a time without exposing the whole lot to the air. As soon as I collect the shetlands I'll open the first bale. Sam's sheep will get the hay we managed to get.

 

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