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Winter feeding of cattle

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Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14526

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 19 7:10 am    Post subject: Winter feeding of cattle Reply with quote

Saw something interesting the other day. There was field of kale on a well drained slope with bales of haylage or silage every so often. One bale was open and there were cattle grazing in the field. It is usual to keep cattle inside round here in winter as they tend to poach the ground too much, and lose condition on poor grass, so I found this quite interesting. Has anyone seen this before, or is it a new idea?


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6367
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 19 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relatively common here. Sometimes used as a way to build up a poor field. Just keep moving the bale feeder to make sure the manure, and "waste" feed get spread about.

That being said, we probably have a lot more time with the ground frozen.

Ty Gwyn

Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4473
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 19 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years back I saw it for the first time in this area,a modern dairy farm down the road used this system on some high ground they had acquired ,not sure what crop they had growing,kale,rape or stubble turnips,but bales were placed across the field so when the electric fence was moved on the cattle had access to new silage bales.

Like Slim mentions a way to build fertility on dryish ground,similar to the old method of folding sheep on an arable crop,

The old with a new twist,here they would be up to their bellies in muck if they were outwintered,yet the farm nextdoor all the cattle are still out.


Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 9062
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 19 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our fields are pretty much a marsh at the moment. Definitely would not work here.


Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 2201
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 19 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The system is common here as well, in Mid-muddy-Wales It seems to be used with sheep too, but mainly with store cattle, before housing and before the severe cold sets in, when exposed cattle would rapidly loose too much condition. We don't have too many dairy herds where I am, but I guess they do the same. I call it "The muck spreading feeding method" where the animals feed and fertilise as they eat. It saves a lot of cleaning out and straw costs!

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