NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: what to grow for stock-feed (self sufficiency)  (Read 2242 times)

farmershort

  • Joined Nov 2010
what to grow for stock-feed (self sufficiency)
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:47:33 am »
Hi All,

we've got 26 acres to play with, and certainly wont fill it all with pigs/sheep/goats. So, of the space that's left, what should we be growing to be able to fee our stock in a self sufficient manner?

fodder/sugar beet?
swedes/turnips?
oats?
one of the other cereals?
pumpkins & squashes?

We will have the following to feed:
Sheep (x50 perhaps)
Pigs (x 2 sows, 1 x boar, plus up to 20 piglets to fatten at any one time)
Goats (x 5 max - milk and cheese forthe house)
chickens (x10 or 20 max -dual purpose)
ducks (x10 max dual purpose)

Harder work than bagged feed, of course, but still....

Voss Electric Fence

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: what to grow for stock-feed (self sufficiency)
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 09:24:21 am »
I would refer to John Seymours book to see what he recommends.


For over wintering sheep/goats/cattle rec whole crop/lucerne/hay.


To establish a safe protein level with feeds there are so many variations would take some working out no doubt someone can help with this but growing so many different crops should be fun! 


Sugarbeet is for finishing and swedes good for sheep. Take a lot of work harvesting all these.  Also some research on the yield and consumption.


My layers mix comprises of maize, wheat, beans, minerals and oils.


My only concern would be lack of knowledge/experience in growing cereals and crop failures/poor yield for the expenditure.

heyhay1984

  • Joined Jun 2014
Re: what to grow for stock-feed (self sufficiency)
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 10:33:04 pm »
I think with 50 sheep plus the goats I'd be concentrating on producing grass and then hay- having plenty of grass will reduce the need to supplement feed the sheep, and your hay bill in the winter, if you need to buy it in, could easily be more than your bagged food bill!

I've ignored the pigs as although they'll enjoy whatever you can give them as an extra there really isn't any substitute for a bagged food in most circumstances (I've read around and asked on here- believe me I'd like there to be!). You will need plenty of pig paddocks taken out of your 26 acres too if you're rearing them outdoors. However I have reseeded trashed paddocks with jerusalem artichokes one year, the sheep enjjoyed the foliage and the pigs that went on after dug up all the tubers. Other times I've used forage rape and stubble turnip mix from Cotswold Seeds and again found this useful for all sorts including poultry to peck at the foliage.

So if it were me, I'd keep most as grass as your main food item will be grass/hay and then reseed pig paddocks, as and when you rotate or empty them, with the rape/turnip mix or similar. But others with more experience may suggest otherwise, just my thoughts  :)

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: what to grow for stock-feed (self sufficiency)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 03:45:14 pm »
very well said.  Perhaps planting a herbal lay would be an option you'd have quality grass and top notch hay. No need to supplement.  Option for supplementation could be lucerne.

 

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