Understanding Silage as a Feed for Your Cattle

production of silage

Silage is a kind of feed that is used to feed cattle in farms and is considered one of the best sources for all seasons. There are different kinds of silage such as corn silage, cereals etc. that are used as a source of feed for the animals.

Production

It generally takes a long time for silage to be turned into a feed as the process includes cutting the crops at the right time and storing them using the right technique that includes ensuring the moisture and air content.

Even the slightest mistake can lead to spoiled silage, hence understanding the right conditions that are ideal for best results is important. There are generally two ways that you can create silage for your cattle.

production of silage

You can either cut the crops within a silo and create a large pile for the silage. Then you will need to pack them together as tight as possible in order to reduce the amount of oxygen to be as low as possible. The aim is to reduce the amount of oxygen present between the crops, which ensures that there is no possibility of mold growth. Further, healthy feed is essential for good health of your cattle.

The second method includes cutting the crops at the right time and moisture, and packing them tightly in a plastic film. Ensure that you are wrapping them in round bales for optimum result. Similar to what the previous method includes, you will need to take care of the excess oxygen while packing the silage. Excess will ruin and only the right condition will result in an ideal fermentation process for a perfect silage product.

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Moisture

The moisture content present in the crops can determine how good your silage will turn out to be. Excess or low amount can result in spoilage, which can lead to unhealthy feed for your animals. Most of the time, cattle get sick mainly due to eating spoiled silage.

The ideal amount that you should be focusing on is fifty to sixty percent. But it can also depend on various factors such as what kind of storage you are using, or how much compression you used while packing the chopped crops, or the water content that is going to be separated while silage is in storage over time.

Most of the experts believe that the moisture content should never exceed seventy five percent. When it comes to corn silage, the best time to harvest is when the crops are about to mature, not just the corn itself but the whole plant has to be considered.

production of silage

Storage

Another factor that can affect how your silage can come out after storing it for a while is choosing the right conditions during the storage process. Depending on the type of storage you are using, you will need to determine the ideal condition for each type.

Further, it is important to ensure that the silage is packed as tight as possible to remove any excess amount of oxygen that can spoil the silage and lead to mold and unwanted bacteria growth. When such conditions occur, your silage will be spoiled and feeding your cattle can cause health issues such as food poisoning.

Hence, to ensure the right fermentation process occurs during the storage, closely monitor the ideal condition while beginning the storage process. Covering the silage with the right material is also necessary. A film of plastic that will block the excess air from penetrating the silage is necessary for ideal results.

Benefits

Ensuring the right conditions for silage to be stored and produced, offers multiple nutritious benefits to your animals as well. If you ensure that your silage is stored with the best conditions, the ideal fermentation process will occur, leading to production of various vitamins in the silage such as vitamin B12, which is known to be extremely beneficial for your cattle.

Providing the right conditions for silage production also ensures that the right amount of carbohydrates, offered by corn silage and other types, is absorbed by the cattle while consuming. Especially during the winter season when it is harder for crops to grow, the right condition for production of silage will ensure your cattle remain healthy throughout the harsh weather.

 

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