Kelly Smith wrote:
i am think more along the lines of what R Scott mentions - i want to be able to cut the branches and walk away; let the cows do the work, and ill be back to get the branches for chipping
Adrien Lapointe wrote:...the author was citing a study where they studied the carbon composition of Auroch's bones (cow's wild ancestors) in the UK and found that it was mostly a woodland animal. I haven't cross-referenced the claim, but I thought that it seemed plausible given the fact that cows seem to enjoy leaves.
Cattle are forest animals. They are not pasture animals. You have to chase them out on to pastures. Really, cattle belong in cool forest swamplands. They love it. In summer, they spend all their time up to their bellies out in swamps, eating the swamp grasses. In winter they will come back into the forest edges.
That is where we got them from. That was their habit--the white ox of the forests of northern Europe. We are talking here of beef cattle. Dairy cattle are much more highly evolved than most beef cattle.
1: instead of just relying on annual pastures, have areas of permanent, high-mineral mobilization herbs throughout all your pastures-- dandelion, chicory, comfrey.
2: Have evergreens, standing, high-nutrition tree crop within forage range that the cattle will coppice.
3: Have high-sugar summer pods that will carry cattle through the semi-arid seasons. This group is critically important to range capacity.
4: Also, you must have a winter high carbohydrate source--large nuts and acorns.
5: These are the truly perennial components--the fruit of trees that stand in pasture.
Cj Verde wrote:
I stay away from cherry altogether. The only maples I feed are striped maples,...
"The leaves of the wild cherry trees, especially wilted ones, can kill livestock by depriving them of oxygen," said Hobbs. "Wild cherry trees leaves and twigs contain prunasin, a cyanide that when ingested, can be fatal."
The poison becomes harmful when the leaves are exposed to stress that causes them to wilt. The wilting breaks down the prunasin and releases the cyanide.
Cattle and horses are the main victims of poisoning by wild cherry trees. Symptoms include gasping, weakness, excitement, dilated pupils, spasms, convulsions, coma and respiratory failure.
We've yet to experience toxicity issues with any of our animals (including the horses) from eating tree fodder (including red maple and cherry), but that doesn't mean there isn't a significant risk and EVERYONE should ease into this one. Some of the things that we do to minimize the risks are:
1. keep animals +/- continously exposed to sources of browse so that their curiosity of something novel doesn't compel them to gorge
2. make sure there's plenty of other stuff to eat (like forages) - not just a couple of maple tops inside a small electronet paddock. Livestock are often able to dilute or neutralize toxins if they have a diverse diet of other plants and plant compounds.
3. A balanced mineral mix seems to help (and plenty of fresh water). A local cattleman here had prussic acid (wilted cherry) poisoning issues here a couple of falls ago. Vet finally determined it was linked to selenium deficiency (the cows were only receiving white salt blocks)
4. Stressed animals are usually going to be more susceptible than healthy ones
5. I haven't found any information comparing the nutritional quality of tree leaves over the course of the growing season, but suspect they maintain a fairly high level of crude protein until they start to change color in the fall
The practice of collecting twigs and leaves for fodder for domestic animals is a very old form for fodder harvesting. Leaf fodder can be collected efficiently with small iron tools and the practice has a history at least back to the Iron Age. Almost all species of deciduous trees were used for animal fodder, also some conifers. Altho ugh the harvesting of trees for collecting fodder was widely practised all over Norway, the choice of species, techniques and utilization varied from area to area, as did the names given to tree management.
Pollarding (“styving”) refers to the process of topping trees, i.e. cutting back branches at a height of 2 -3 m, above reach of grazing animals. Lopping (“lauving”) is the actual fodder-collecting. The branches were cut into smaller pieces (approx. 1 m), bunched and tied together. The bunches of twigs (“kjerv”) were dried, and later stored in barns or stacked together (“rauk”). Young shoots were sometimes cut directly from the tree bases or as suckers (coppicing). Some farmers set aside areas that were cut frequently. In some areas, leaves were collected
for fodder by plucking them (“rispelauv”). Raking up autumn leaf-fall (“rakelauv”) was practised mostly for the use as bedding in stalls.
Branches especially from Ulmus glabra and Fraxinus excelsior were sometimes collected during the winter for twigs (“ris”) and bark (“skav”) and later fed to animals. Bark from Ulmus glabra was
peeled, cut into small pieces, mixed with water and given especially to dairy cows during the winter and early spring. Bark of Ulmus glabra was also valuable for its use in human nutrition (bread,
A wide range of landscape elements and biotopes have been formed and maintained by farming techniques including leaf-collection. Most of the human-influenced and human-dependent vegetation types are under great pressure from extensive disuse, overgrowing and encroachment, vanishing due to inexperience with maintaining and preserving them.
Diogenese simpson wrote:In the middle ages they used to call it tree hay ,trees were specifically pollarded to feed animals , a large willow could supply up to a ton of feed ...
Kevin MacBearach wrote:...Unfortunately the only over prolific stuff growing around her (besides Douglas Fir) is cherry trees.
... I wish I had some of those more high protein trees here like the Elm, Ash, and Willow. Maybe it's time to start plant Black Locust.