Hay Making For Livestock – A Quick Guide
Whether you’re raising a small flock of sheep, or a large herd of cattle, there are a variety of reasons to consider hay making for livestock. Here’s a quick guide to the process. If you’re interested in learning more about making hay for livestock, read on! Hopefully this information will be of use to you. Until then, don’t worry! We’ll cover other ways to provide fresh and nutritious feed for your livestock!
Firstly, hay making helps preserve fodder for longer by reducing the moisture content to as low as 10%. This helps minimize the chances of spoilage. It also preserves nutrients and dry matter. Unlike dry matter, hay has a very low moisture content (ten to fifteen percent).
Secondly, haymaking is a labor-intensive process, which requires skilled labor. Whether you decide to buy hay or make your own will depend on your hay making needs. In southern areas, you may purchase hay from someone else and wrap it yourself, while in northern regions, you may need to make your own. Once you’ve made your own, you can either feed your livestock or sell it to others.
Finally, haymaking for livestock requires careful observation. While it’s possible to make hay during the early spring, the weather earlier in the year is likely to make hay making difficult. If the weather is poor and it rains, the harvest could be affected. Some hay is never cut or baled. Moreover, it’s hard to predict how long the rain will last. And the rains earlier in the year have also affected hay making for livestock.
Ideally, you should aim for a crop that has a high nutrient content. The leaves often contain the most nutrients, but some species don’t have sufficient leaves for harvesting. Aim for a plant whose yield and palatability peaks around anthesis. The optimum moisture content for strong hay is between 18 and 22%. When growing your own forage, you’ll also save on labor costs.
Lastly, hay for livestock should have a high digestibility level. Since the animals convert the energy in hay into protein and muscle, it’s essential that you find a quality species with a high digestibility level. This will ensure that your bales contain the right amount of protein and energy for your livestock. And besides, hay makers play a vital role in feeding our country! In this way, a farmer can reap great profits!
In the early days of haymaking, stacked hay was the traditional way of storing it. In wet climates, it was stored in haystacks to last all winter, and eventually weathered into compost the following summer. This type of hay is not the best option for outdoor storage because it’s more likely to mold or spoil. But the method of stacking hay for livestock has evolved into an art, and modern stacking methods involve thatching the top of the bales to keep moisture out.
The world has a new way of harvesting hay
Traditional haymaking methods vary greatly throughout history, but the basic principle remains the same. Forage plants that have reached maturity are cut and raked into windrows. Then, they are allowed to dry in the sun and wind until the moisture content is low enough. This cured hay is collected in a windrow, and is stored in a haystack or barn mow. In traditional systems, hay is the primary feed for livestock, and its use is extensive.
While haymaking is a convenient and cost-effective option, a more sustainable way of producing feed for your animals is to graze on pasture. Grass is an excellent source of nutrition, and is the cheapest source of feed for livestock. For the most sustainable and economical grassland, however, you must first manage the grass. Grass is a major source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for ruminant animals. Once the grass is harvested and stored, it can be stored to feed your animals for the entire winter.
When you’re making hay for livestock, you need to remember that quality matters. You can’t make bad hay; you just have to manage it properly. This means sampling and testing for quality regularly. Testing for quality is important in deciding on the right concentrates to add to the ration. The UNH fact sheet has instructions on how to do this. The best way to ensure the quality of your hay is to test it.
Initially, the process of hay production was done by hand with a scythe by teams of workers. The resulting hay was then dried in the field and then collected loosely on a wagon. Afterwards, the process was automated, and a single person with a tractor could handle giant 700-pound round bales. Haymaking for livestock has been increasingly mechanized, with machines now available that make the process more convenient and efficient.