As the pastures close down for the fall and we turn to feeding out hay to the pasture animals, while the birds can still peek away for a good while.. the truth is that if you have a large garden and you have small stock or large stock..
There is a garden fodder to be used as extra calories in regards to helping reduce your feed bill and increase you butcher weights and help bring your over wintering livestock into winter in prime health.
What is Garden Fodder?
Anything that you are bringing in off your fall gardens that is not human quality can be looked at in terms of garden fodder. Good Examples would be
- Root crops Tops, examples , turnips, beets, carrots or parsnips While you might want to take the small baby leaves on many of these for wilting and or drying for human use.. when you are looking at 22 or 40 foot rows of these, you are not going to be able to process all your greens.. Cut and haul those big bowls to your stock, these can go to chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep or pigs. You could also feed out to beef calf but some of these might give a off flavour to milk so careful there.
- Root Crops themselves. When we did out our crops.. we all have them.. the ones that are eaten into by a mole, or got a deep split in it, or in the case of the potato’s above in the photo, deep curves in the growth that means that if I tried to peel it, it would prove very little use after its done and it would prove hard to get the dirt out to use skin on. in their case, they were cooked and then cooled and feed to my fowl flocks as a yummy meal for them.
- Plant stocks: While a few plants can not be feed to livestock, like tomato or potato or rhubarb leaves.. or elderberry leaves and branches.. most things can be feed out as fodder.. picked the last of your beans, pull up the plants and toss them over the fence for the goats or sheep or into your trough for the pigs.
- Fallen fall fruit, apples, pears, plums.. they will be gobbled up.. don’t feed to much at the same time, give a set amount each day if you have limited stock to not overwhelm their systems.
Its just a bonus that a good percentage of plants produce a useable amount for livestock to go along with the part that we can use for people..
So before you put it into the compost pile.. check to see if it can be used for animal fall fodder..
Good to mention about the milk flavour….I was totally daydreaming this year on that – yep – half a dozen or so jars labeled ‘broccoli butter’ in the freezer 😂
About prepping those double-lobed taters (carrots, etc…) Because I don’t have critters to feed and all scraps go to compost I like to cut right down the crevasse between lobes and then scrub (or peel if really necessary; )