Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: tree hay / fodder  (Read 6418 times)

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2017, 07:22:11 pm »
Just stumbled across this thread, sorry I'm late to the party!

I cut a whole load of leaf hay in July to experiment feeding to the cattle come winter. I have a friend who is VERY keen on pollarding and knows Ted Green, so we went to his woods and cut branches from 8 different species, bundled them tight like faggots/fascines and stored them in the cow barn, leaning them upright to dry. They dried out within ten days, and tended to stay lovely and green rather than going brown. When dry we piled them flat. They smell amazing!
The species cut were: grey alder, wych elm, oak, hazel, birch, sycamore, grey willow and field maple.
I run a small suckler herd up in the Pennines (around 1000ft), and am very keen to plant more trees in and around the pasture for shelter, which may as well get pollarded from time to time. I am certainly convinced that they will be very good for cow health.
The cattle already love holly in the winter when I can get it. They prefer it to their grass hay.
I have the Woodland Trust involved, so hopefully they will help with the planting.
It's great to know that a few other people are experimenting with this - it would be great to hear more about your experiences!


The Pennines, you say? Hmm.... that's close enough to compare notes ;)
How much are you allowing per head of cattle? How thick a twig/branch will they attempt?

Backinwellies

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Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2017, 08:19:30 pm »
Wish I had seen this earlier in the year !
Linda

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hywellewis

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2017, 12:00:21 am »
The Pennines, you say? Hmm.... that's close enough to compare notes ;)
How much are you allowing per head of cattle? How thick a twig/branch will they attempt?

I've no idea how much to allow per head, we just did a small amount to experiment with: work out how to bundle, best way to dry, if they show any preference etc. My experience of them eating holly and a bit of willow is that they'll eat a bit of twig, maybe an inch or two back from the end of the branch. I've heard that they will strip the bark of some species as well. I'll post a link to video and pics when I feed it in the winter.

I'm over Burnley way. I'll be planting a good mix of species, with a focus on things that can tolerate the wind and wet and that I know grow up here: grey alder, holly and grey willow.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2017, 12:18:25 am »
I've been cutting Ash today, I've left it in the polytunnel before which ruined it, cooked it the winter damp Sent it mouldy.
Will have to see if there is any loft space after we get the hay in (if we ever get it in).
Also got willow, but it hard work getting it up from stream side.

Scallywag

  • Joined Apr 2017
  • Retford
Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2017, 12:20:21 pm »
Its good to hear Hewellewis !!

Try looking into whether or not you can get subsidies for tree pastures etc.. Depending on your individual circumstances, this may be possible.

Saves money, Improves the health of the animals, a win-win situation as far as I can see. And if you can recover the costs, even better !!

Let me know how it goes.
Scallywag
Be careful what you scratch if you've been chopping chillies

Scallywag

  • Joined Apr 2017
  • Retford
Re: tree hay / fodder
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2017, 12:22:34 pm »
Sheep can usually tackle up to 5mm thick shoots, cows up to 10mm
Scallywag
Be careful what you scratch if you've been chopping chillies

 

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