Fodder tree management

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Mike_E_from_NZ, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Tell us more manfred!
    As an alternative to roundup ive been using cardboard covered with a layer of manure, good for moisture retention but snails are a bitch (duck deficiancy)!!!
    A good hoe is always an asset to tree establishment!
     
  2. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    Hi Andrew,

    I cannot translate the whole book (it is almost the size of the bible) .
    The biggest part of it is describing which trees were used, how and when they were cut for different uses in different areas and altitudes etc.

    The book´s list of woody plants formerly grown for fodder (foliage and twigs) use in the Alps:

    Acer pseudoplatanus
    Acer campestre
    Acer platanoides
    Rhododendron ferrugineum
    Rhododendron hirsutum
    Malus domestica
    Malus sylvestris
    Cytisus scoparius
    Betula spec.
    Pyrus communis
    Pyrus pyraster
    Rubus spec.
    Castanea sativa
    Hedera helix
    Quercus pubescens
    Quercus suber
    Quercus ilex
    Quercus robur
    Quercus petraea
    Quercus cerris
    Sorbus torminalis
    Alnus incana
    Alnus alnobetula (=viridis)
    Alnus glutinosa
    Fraxinus excelsior
    Fraxinus ornus
    Ficus carica
    Amelanchier ovalis
    Picea abies
    Pinus spec.
    Carpinus betulus
    Cornus mas
    Cornus sanguinea
    Corylus avellana
    Erica carnea
    Calluna vulgaris
    Vaccinium myrtillus
    Rubus idaeus
    Sambucus racemosa
    Sambucus nigra
    Larix decidua
    Tilia platyphyllos
    Tilia cordata
    Prunus armeniaca
    Morus rubra
    Morus nigra
    Morus alba
    Sorbus aria
    Sorbus intermedia
    Viscum album
    Populus nigra
    Populus tremula
    Vaccinium vitis-idaea
    Prunus d. ssp. italica
    Robinia pseudoacacia
    Rosa spec.
    Aesculus hypocastanum
    Aesculus carnea
    Fagus sylvatica
    Sophora japonica
    Sorbus domestica
    Ulex europaeus
    Ilex aqufolium
    Prunus avium
    Abies alba
    Prunus padus
    Ulmus glabra
    Ulmus minor
    Ulmus laevis
    Sorbus aucuparia
    Juniperus communis
    Salix alpina
    Salix cinerea
    Salix fragilis
    Salix appendiculata
    Salix myrsinites
    Salix viminalis
    Salix eleagnos
    Salix pentandra
    Salix reticulate
    Salix aurita
    Salix daphnoides
    Salix caprea
    Salix helvetica
    Salix alba
    Salix hastata
    Salix retusa
    Vitis vinifera
    Vitis vinifera ssp. Sylvestris
    Crataegus monogyna
    Cataegus laevigata
    Prunus d. ssp. prisca
    Pinus cembra
    Prunus d. ssp. Domestica

    What was completely new for me: Not only green foliage and twigs were used for fresh or conserved food. Autumn foliage collected from the ground was also used.
    I had thought the autumn foliage was only used for litter, as it has hardly any nutritional value for the animals. But the people collected it, moistened it and let the fungi and bacteria do their decay work. This broke the lignin down and enriched the foliage with fungal protein, making it an acceptable wintertime fodder.
     
  3. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Thanks Manfred ! sounds interesting

    please inform us of any details we might need to know ,,(I have most of the plants on the list and want the rest)
    Many of the old tecniques may be of use here
     
  4. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    The problem with these old techniques is the excessive amount of manual labor involved.
    I think it is out of the question to imitate them in developed countries, maybe except as a backyard hobby.

    They mainly used the tree fodder for winter and for times in summer when the grass did not grow well (drought etc.).

    To use foliage in a modern agriculture you would need to find a way of management where the animals self harvest und trim the trees.

    Young sprouts have an impressive content of crude protein. According to the numbers given in the book elder has up to 30% and linden 28%. Elm and ash follow with 27% crude protein in dry matter.
    The sprouts cannot compete with soybean expeller but are far ahead of grass and alfalfa.
     
  5. void_genesis

    void_genesis Junior Member

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    I'm setting out on my place to see if I can develop just the system you describe. I want to combine the benefits of Salatin/Savory style rotational grazing with the benefits of having taller fodder shrubs and coppiced trees. The rotational grazing means the animals return to a place just as the plants are reaching optimum maturity and nutritional status. The fodder shrubs give vertical layers to catch more sun, deeper roots to sail through droughts and increase water infilitration, and wider biodiversity gives a broader spectrum of nutrition.

    It is somewhat labour intensive in that you have to move the animals in their small electric pen every three days or less. I expect the tricky part will be getting the amount of animal pressure and timing right so I don't have to prune out branches of the shrubs that grow beyond animal reach. If you are doing dairy then it is a much bigger job to milk a decent sized herd twice a day. For meat animals it may be harder to justify the labour of moving the fence, but if the reports of a 50-100% increase in the stocking rate on these systems are valid then it is a much more cost effective option than buying more land to make a similar increase in income.

    Just a note on the list of species for forage- the rose family ones can contain cyanide producing toxins if they are not handled properly, so do your research before using Prunus, Malus or Pyrus leaves for fodder. Rhododendrons can be toxic too. Changing any ruminants diet can be risky even with non-toxic plants so always introduce new stuff slowly.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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  7. void_genesis

    void_genesis Junior Member

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    Brilliant link. That is yet another source I have seen saying it is possible to double stocking rates by using rotational grazing and pasture diversity improvement. Id be nervous relying on just one key species like that though.....seems to be asking for trouble. Then again Im probably asking for trouble by trying so many species.
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Notice the rows of Leucaena left high. That row could be Albizia lebbeck and grazed as soon as the leaf dropped for a Winter feed. It also fits in with the high summer shade required and Albizia doesn't prevent grass growth.

    I actually found that by typing in for pictures of cows eating Leucaena. Thought the article and slideshow were worth sharing, minus the pic of any cows grazing. Just the aftermath.
     
  9. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    This link is most motivating!
    Do you know any nitrogen fixing tree or brush that can be used in cold climate?
    Ash and linden and some other woody plants could sure used for a system like this here. And the tree roots could even help with my wet winter soil trampling problem.
    But how could I get enough nitrogen fixed for such a system? I have a lot of white clover on my pastures. Alfalfa can be sown and grows well for a year or two. But then it vanishes. I think because of the wet, acid soil.
     
  10. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    instead of lone stands of alfalfa, i mix in birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus, a variety called viking which stands taller). it seems to not mind our wetter soil/location.

    also look into planting different grasses which can stand the traffic and conditions, there's a lot of variety out there to select from.

    for a fodder bush, i have not tried it as a palatable feed for cattle as it is a legume, but we have one called Baptisia australus (blue false indigo). it might not be useful, but it sure is nice looking, grows quite tall, but dies back each fall. legume. not native to europe so this may not be available...
     
  11. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    There is about 1,5% Lotus corniculatus in the grassland-mixture I buy. But it was never able to establish as a noteworthy part of the turf.

    Baptisia australis seems not to be used as fodder anywhere? Does it perhaps have a bitter taste or something?
    The pfaf database has no information on its fodder-quality, too.
    https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Baptisia+australis
     
  12. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Manfred: Siberian Pea Shrub. The 5 links I opened after googling mentioned fodder. Of particular interest, it's used as a fodder for reindeer in the Article circle.
     
  13. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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  14. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    double post...
     
  15. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    trefoil takes a while to get established. if planted in competition and you are mowing then it's likely not having much of a chance. alfalfa, red clover, grasses, etc. will likely give it a challenge as they grow taller at first.

    baptisia, i was curious if it had even gotten beyond ornamental status. my guess is that there are better and well known plants you can already use -- much safer! :) but i do like the color and shape/habit of this plant. no idea if it is palatable or edible for cattle... i should not have included it. sorry for that.
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    https://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/pasture\peashrub\caraganachina.htm

     
  17. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I already have 50 Siberians in the ground, and am stratifying Russians seeds right now. I plan to use the seeds from these bushes as a starter and mineral supplier to my compost work, until this town changes it rules on keeping chickens, then the girls will get them first. No noisy Barackos in my pen though...
     
  18. Manfred

    Manfred Junior Member

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    Do your shrubs produce a relevant amount of seed that could be used as chicken feed?
    I remember a discussion at selbstvers.org about planting them in chicken pens as a grain producing fodder plant. But nobody there hat information about the grain yield.



    And does anybody have information on Senna hebecarpa and Senna marilandica?

    Some say, Senna is a nitrogen fixer. But on this site I read at least S. marilandica does not add nitrogen to the soil?
    https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/md_senna.html

    Here they write about plantig it to feed wild turkey by the grain produced:
    https://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/wildflowers-forbs/senna-marilandica-maryland-senna.html
     
  19. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I just planted them, they are only 20 inches tall. Can report I left some in the open (with no protection) this winter, and while the mice rabbits deer have chomped on everything else left unprotected, the long cold winter extra hungry critters have left the Siberians alone. They do have these tiny little thorns...

    Also bought Lupine seeds and will be working these into my pioneering nitrogen fixing program, which is mostly Birdsfoot Trefoil.
     
  20. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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