Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: lawn clippings for silage for sheep  (Read 23382 times)

macvity

  • Joined Jan 2012
lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« on: November 18, 2012, 10:49:23 pm »
lawn clippings for silage.i use this grass for feed for sheep.i store in plastic barrels for the winter.it smells realy nice and they love it.do anyone else do this on here what do you think.

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 08:36:27 am »
Yup we have done it for a few years now. We fill the blue barrels weigh the grass down and fill again! then we pour about a couple of pints of molasses into the grass, seal the barrel with the lid , pallet wrap and turn them upside down for a good seal. Lawn cuttings are excellent as they are short and no air gets among it, long grass is no good for homemade silage in barrels. When the grass is used it is really sweet and crumbly and my sheep love it. One of my friends runs a grass cutting service so he brings us his as well, as long as he knows it is clean grass, ie no poo or chemicals. Some folk just use black bags but you have to be sure that there are no cats , birds or vermin, cats etc to make holes in the bags . I have Shetlands and they dont get hard feed , just barrel silage, hay when the grass is frozen and licks. We only had to have one large ring of silage last year when my OH was away for a week and he thought I was going to die if I fed the sheep ::)

macvity

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 12:45:32 pm »
hi hermit.thanks for the reply.this is my first time i have tried the blue barrels it works great.i put only grass in the barrels no molasses in but next year i will.i only have 10 ewes.local farmers had a look at my silage they say its better that the black silage bales.we had so much bad weather here in ie over the summer oh what summer lol it was so hard for farmers to get good silage here.where do you get your blue barrels and what do they cost.i also have a grass firm i cut over 10acres of grass a week alot of grass.my local farmer is happy with all that grass.i only fill 20 barrels for the winter so i want alot more next winter.

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 12:57:32 pm »
Hi , most places up here cannot send blue barrels back to the mainland as it is not worth the deposit on them so they give them away. I suppose cause of the deposit you will have to buy them , but be careful what has been in them. Most up here are from the fish farms and they are always free to uplift just to get shut. A lot of crofters do the blue barrel silage, it is excellent stuff and if you have a few sheep it stays fresher than opening huge bales.Plus I find if you have a huge bale the sheep hang around and make mud, if you feed them from the barrels once a day they go back to the hill to forage .

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 01:08:14 pm »
We're going to try barrel silage next year.

Laurieston

  • Joined May 2009
  • Northern Germany
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 09:41:19 pm »
I have never heard of this before, sounds great.  Does it matter if there are some leaves in the cuttings and how long does it take to turn into silage?  Does it then keep well, or does it have to be eaten quickly?  I spend quite a lot of time cutting my lawn, and normally throw the cuttings away, but if I could use them for something useful that would be even better.

Laurieston

macvity

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 10:53:18 pm »
hi laurieston.this is my first year i have have put grass in barrels for silage.i have dumped so much grass over the years it was a waste.i baught 10 sheep last year so i came up with this crazy idea of storing this grass.i cut alot of  private lawns they pay me for cutting i get the best of grass for free lol.i opened a barrel today there was leaves and twigs in there all was eaten.i get 3 days out of one barrel for 10 sheep.the quality of this silage is better that any silage bale here.you have to try it to believe it the smell is realy nice two.im sorry now i did not make more only 20 barrels alot more next year.sorry to be going on.

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 09:58:20 am »
This sounds a really good idea! We have great trouble trying to get rid of our grass cuttings each year. Am I right in thinking that you just get a barrel, fill it with grass cuttings, squashing them down as you go to exclude air, add molasses if you want to,  then seal it up and leave? Hermit, I wasn't quite sure what you meant by 'pallet wrap' the barrel? How long do you leave it for? When its ready to use,  do you just fork out what you need and keep the rest in the barrel? How long will it keep for when its ready? Sorry for all the questions  but I've never made or used silage before for my sheep and I'd like to get it right! Thank you!
4 pet sheep

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 10:43:03 am »
Hi , pallet wrap is the giant clingfilm stuff that buiders merchants use to wrap stuff onto a pallet. While you are filling a barrel you must keep it weighed down and air excluded until you cannot possibly get any more in ( it is surprising how much it squashes down)  You must really compress it , that is why long grass is no good as only machinary can compress that enough. You put the lid back and wrap the pallet wrap around the lid to keep any air out, then tip the barrel up( extremely heavy so doing this as close to your feeding area as possible)We put the barrels in order so first made first used but it is ok to use in the same year. We fork it out of the barrels into feed troughs, it is crumbly and very sweet. One barrel lasts us about three to four daysand we just pop the lid back on to keep it clean. Good luck, our sheep cost only a couple of mineral licks last year.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 04:54:57 pm »
What is the molasses for?  Does it aid fermentation or act as a preservative, or is it just to make it taste sweeter?

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 05:15:58 pm »
I was told to put it in. Originally I thought it was for sweetness but when watching the Wartime Farm, they used it to aid fermentation. I suppose it does both.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 06:11:38 pm »
Is there any chance you could take a pic of the barrel and a close up of the silage please Hermit, that would be really helpful - and what do you weigh yours down with?  This is really interesting, I could do with spending less on livestock and it doesn't sound too much hassle.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 10:45:18 pm »
Second the above questions, we have loads of grass cuttings that have to be disposed of and if I can make sheep feed then brilliant!  How long can you keep the cut grass?
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

macvity

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 11:58:04 pm »
hi guys.you have to keep the grass in the barrel for 6 weeks for it to ferment i did not put any mix with the grass its perfect with a realy nice smell from the silage but you have to get a realy good seal i have barrels with a lid with a type of oring seal.all i do is put one barrel on top of the other and a old paving slab on the top it works for me.but like hermit say you have to get in and push  down the grass well to get all air out.when i open off the lid from a new barrel the grass has gone down two inches.remy you should try it.it works.i will get pictures later of the silage.

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: lawn clippings for silage for sheep
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 09:20:07 am »
Sorry but I cant do piccies, you need a degree to work my OHs supa dupa camera. I hopefully am getting a point and press for xmas. :fc:   I will try and get one when we open the barrels when we start feeding the sheep. I weigh the silage down with a breeze block on a round barrel sized board  on top of tucked in plastic sheet compressing the grass and keeping it sealed as it fills. It is very simple really and free!

 

lawn clippings preserved in plastic barrels for silage

Started by macvity (23.04)

Replies: 5
Views: 2198
Last post October 24, 2021, 12:02:35 pm
by Dan
feeding lawn clippings to sheep?

Started by trefnantbach (19.27)

Replies: 7
Views: 6216
Last post March 25, 2011, 03:58:27 pm
by Hermit
Lawn sheep

Started by Bumblebear (11.11)

Replies: 11
Views: 4240
Last post August 04, 2012, 06:08:58 pm
by Small Farmer
Sheep as lawn mowers

Started by sallyw (10.98)

Replies: 12
Views: 4210
Last post March 31, 2010, 09:59:00 am
by plumseverywhere
success with barrel silage for sheep!

Started by trefnantbach (10.59)

Replies: 11
Views: 7578
Last post January 28, 2012, 02:51:58 pm
by Croftgary

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS