Re: Living on Love & Fresh Air
- Jeff and all, Thank you for your insights. The problem for temperate climates is feeding livestock when the fields are dormant. Hay can be put up for winter and root crops. Turnips, Rutabagas and beets were used here historically. Sprouted grains are the early stage of grass which animals often eat. The problems with e.coli in factory farms is due to many factors all of which are against nature. Can you suggest strategies for feeding chickens in winter? I don't advocate any livestock beyond fowl and these I consider a luxury. Chickens do fit well in my system because they consume all household waste and provide eggs and some meat and some fertilizer. Steve G
In email@example.com, "Jeff" <shultonus@...> wrote:
> > Dear friend,
> > Thanks for the information. Sprout grains to domestic animals is good idea.
> Another topic was animal feeds. When
> > > animals were given their choice of sweet feed grain or organic oats they > chose the oats. It was mentioned that sprouting grains for livestock is a > way to extend and enhance the food value of your grain crops. The sprouted > seeds are more easily digested by animals and will create healthier, less > stressed livestock.
> > >
> Actually, using sprouted grains is a ridiculous idea!!
> while it does increase the feed efficiency of the grains,....
> first grain finished or fed livestock is another terrible inventioin of 20th centruy industrial farming... it only makes sense when using 3 ton tractors to pull 24 row tillers, planters and combine harvesters...
> and the cattle are relagated to small mud/manure lots to fatten
> even the dairy industry is moving from grains to perrenial hays (alfalfa) and to grass feeding...
> all ruminants (horses, goats, buffalo, cows, sheep, etc) are natural grass feeders, it grows, and the animals self-harvest....
> using grain is redundant because is wastes resources planting, fertilizing and harvesting, then storing and feeding to the livestock,
> and worse it creates problems such as
> mad cow disease (when they add rendered by-products to increase protein)
> deadly e. coli 0157h7 (which only grows in the acidified stomaches of grain fed cattle-grass fed beef is too basic..)
> and lower omega-3 fat content than grass fed
> among other things
> grain also uses more soil moisture and in many cases irrigation to grow than grass or hay forage would....
> finally, the idea of sprouting grains again, while making a bad idea more palatable (literally and figuratively), does injustice to the water system again...
> water is required to sprout the grains... in a world where water resources are precious this seems like a silly idea....
> animals evolved to eat grass should eat grass period!
> anyone associated with natural farming should quickly relize.. natural farming is based in what happens in nature....
> I gaurantee that no wild animal comes across sprouted grain. lol
> barring a flooded field of unharvested crops....
> sprouted coconuts perhaps.... but not grains....
> Jeff and all, Thank you for your insights. The problem for temperate climates is feeding livestock when the fields are dormant. Hay can be put up for winter and root crops. Turnips, Rutabagas and beets were used here historically. Sprouted grains are the early stage of grass which animals often eat. The problems with e.coli in factory farms is due to many factors all of which are against nature. Can you suggest strategies for feeding chickens in winter? I don't advocate any livestock beyond fowl and these I consider a luxury. Chickens do fit well in my system because they consume all household waste and provide eggs and some meat and some fertilizer. Steve GYes I was primarily referring to cows (and horses and goats and sheep).. hay and swath grazing are recommended for feeding off season of these animals
Chickens have several advantages- primarily that wild chickens do frequently eat weed and other seeds in their diet.. they actually are adapted for it.. .so grain to chickens is okay in my opinoin...
the health of chickens is greatly enhanced by access to greens..
I suppose that spouted grains would help in this during winter...
although wheatgrass (fully sprouted and actively growing in soil) and alfalfa re-wetted might work okay too though... I've heard that the important ingrediate is actually the chlorophyll and recently sprouted grains may not have enough.....
It's been a while since I've sprouted alfalfa for salads.. perhaps this would be a better solution yet than grain sprouts....
over dinner conversation..
another factor with feeding sprouted grains specifically to cows.. is that their is a salmanella like bacteria that can infect cows via the sprouted grain, and like salmanella.. it poisons even after the bacteria is dead...
- Steve G.
For winter feeding of chickens you might have to decide how to evaluate
the success. Most traditional feeding methods assumed you would not be
trying to get egg production over the winter, simply maintain the flock
until spring. Thus the nutritional requirements are different. There
is a natural cycle of spring hatching, summer growth and fall slaughter,
leaving a breeding flock for over-wintering. Production is then keyed
to the productive growth period of the land.
Some suggestions for winter feeding: This assumes the major factors to
consider are vitamins, carbohydrates, and protein.
Meat and fish by-products are under-utilized locally and on the farm.
Chickens can consume, as omnivores, large portions of meat and this was
a standard method in the past. Small operations in your local area may
actually be throwing these by-products away. A little known fact is
that chickens have peak performance with 26% protein as compared to the
16% usually recommended.
Growing worms is a great way to get through the winter. This operation
is easy and requires little financial input. It does take a long time
to get going and requires some work along the way. Worms don't grow
much in the cold of winter but can be stocked for winter from the
Legume hay can provide much of the vitamins and have good protein
levels. Comfrey is also good as a winter green feed.
Waste hay has a wide variety of seeds and insects that will provide a
lot of feed. If spread deep in the fall, these areas can be foraged
even in the winter. Otherwise, spread over the chicken runs in winter.
To provide carbohydrates, consider fodder or sugar beets. They are easy
to grow and store well. Also, you may have success with squash,
carrots, etc. Try to pick vegetables with higher sugar content and
store where they won't freeze. Finally make up the slack in your
provender with lower cost grains. Home grown grains are easy because
the chickens can do all the threshing. Sunflowers are also good home
grown feeds. Sprouting helps but this lowers the carbohydrate level and
not easy over a long period of time. I would sprout if there was no
better source of greens and then I would sprout to the green stage.
Chicken will forage for a percentage of their feed any time of year that
the ground is not covered with snow.
Steve UP of Michigan
> Can you suggest strategies for feeding chickens in winter? I don't
> advocate any livestock beyond fowl and these I consider a luxury.
> Chickens do fit well in my system because they consume all household
> waste and provide eggs and some meat and some fertilizer. Steve G