Grass Big Bales and Kale outwintering

Ffarmwr bach

New Member
I'm thinking of keeping a small suckler herd out until Christmas to save on slurry storage! I have seen ppl place bales out in the field of kale ready for the winter. What balance of kale to silage do you recommend?
 

tinsheet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Somerset
I go on 20 incalf heifers (beef natives) 100 m of face (kale) 1 big bale every other day, kale fence moved every day! Give them about a meter of kale each time, hope that makes sense.
Adjust according to quality of the crop (y)
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
About 50/50 on a drymatter basis

eg 6kgDM kale and 6kgDM silage down the throat (allow for wasteage)

we used to allocate about 8m² per cow per day (800m² and 2 bales per 100 spring calving cows) on about a 12TDM/ha avg crop, as a rough prior plan to scale from.

Mob size; 40 cows will get through a bale a day if you limit their crop intake but 45-50/bale is better.

Not too sure what you'd do for a smaller number to limit the waste because they don't really get fussed on baleage after it's been opened more than a day, and the trodden-in stuff is a nightmare after, so you really need a ring or rack around them until they are gone.
 
Do you not waste a lot of kale and make the field a pain to resow afterwards with the bales in rows ? And I can’t imagine it’s nice rolling a ring feeder on a wet morning

if you’ve got a tractor dropping 2 bales a feed trailer in a dry part of the field sounds nicer
 

tinsheet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Somerset
Do you not waste a lot of kale and make the field a pain to resow afterwards with the bales in rows ? And I can’t imagine it’s nice rolling a ring feeder on a wet morning

if you’ve got a tractor dropping 2 bales a feed trailer in a dry part of the field sounds nicer
It's good for the sole :ROFLMAO:
no machine required in the winter, maybe just the quad to get to the field!
Low cost system
My parents managed last winter with 20 heifers, and their in their 70s, they quite enjoyed it. Dad would do the ring feeder whilst mother moved the fence!
All about delegation.;)
 

JD-Kid

Member
balage would be a pain in the arse like that hard to get plastic off areas pugged etc
have done rounds of straw and hay on grass breaks tho and just rolled them out spread them out in paddock before setting up breaks then unrolling them when shifting the breaks as needed
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
We have Tilled Fodder Beet for the first time this year - would it be the same requirement?
Pretty similar. They love their 'scratch' on beet, I would prefer their diet was slightly over the 50% supplement, but it depends also on the beet.

Various cultivars have higher or lower DM% and some of the soft/ "slurpable" ones you really need about 45% max beet or cows easily lose condition despite being fully fed.

I would also recommend you stagger the bales or use more than 1 or 2 rows of bales, because it yields higher than kale (probably double?) then your cows are on half the area or less.... which means the potential for twice the soil damage where they congregate.
That's why beet for cows is going out of fashion around here again, in a nutshell, it's too successful and basically people aren't prepared to manage the grazing of it properly because the fire's going in the house
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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