Livestock Forage

Soil is first, so that you can grow grass to feed your cow, so the cow will fertilize the grass so you can have the cow and get milk and calves. Chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, cows and horses are all natural fertilizer machines. But the cow is a mainstay of the mature farmstead.

Pasture: “Hemp” (not the cannabis hemp – see the Crops page), clover, legumes, and peanuts all fix nitrogen in the soil.

The traditional standard on many farms was to let a field lie fallow once every 2 – 3 years. Allowing a field or plot to lie fallow means that you don’t grow anything new on it, don’t harvest anything and don’t graze any animals on the land for at least a year. This fallow period allows the land to replenish.

“Hemp” (not the cannabis hemp – see my Crops page) is an excellent high protein forage for goats and (I think) chickens. Additionally, I have this from some blog:

… Things I consider growing for protein include alfalfa or other legume hays (clover , vetch, lespedeza)… . One good protein alternative for me, would seem to be comfrey. At 22 to 33% protein, it can be fed fresh (the goats love it) or dried like hay. Comfrey, like alfalfa, also provides calcium. Grain amaranth is another possibility, with crude protein levels of 12 to 17%. Some folks say though, that since it’s in the pigweed family (reportedly poisonous to goats), it shouldn’t be fed to them. Many other goat owners however, report no problems. Something I haven’t tried yet but plan to experiment with this summer, is flax seed. At 20 to 25% crude protein, it seems worth a try.

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