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Taking the oil out of my milk

January 24, 2010

In our quest for independence from the food grid we try to include our animal husbandry as well.  We raise grassfed beef, but we also keep a family cow.  A dairy cow is a horse of a different color nutrition and production wise.   I do have to feed some grain and buy in some different hay to add to what we raise here on the farm to maintain Della in optimum condition.  Optimum condition to me does not mean high production, but enough milk for her calf and for us without shorting anyone, while maintaining health.

I only had to look back in history a little ways to get away from grain.  Roots.  Root crops for fodder is a practice brought to the United States with Northern European immigrants.  Cool climates not conducive to growing grain are perfect for various root crops for fodder.  I live in a climate like that.  Getting corn to ripen here is not the easiest thing to do.  Root crops?  No problem.  Storing grain or green chop? Ugghhh.   Storing roots?  Easy.

Now I am not advocating everyone do this, I am just throwing this out there because many people want to get out from under Big Oil’s thumb.  Not to mention I want to know what I am eating and feeding to my family.  Grain shipped from ?  Who knows these days.  And if you’re able to grow your own grain and don’t care how much fuel your buying or pig iron you are supporting that’s fine with me.  This is just what I am doing.  I can’t get all the grain out of our operation since I am still eating poultry and pork but certainly I should make every effort to not feed very much to my milk cow, a true ruminant.

When raising roots for your cow don’t expect the pound for pound analysis to be the same as grains.  It sounds wonderful when you’re reading a popular homesteading magazine and someone writes an article stating how pounds per acre mangels will produce compared to corn grown on the same plot.  But the difference is the dry matter of each crop.  For instance  3 tons of mangels are equivalent to 1 ton of good corn silage.  So at first glance roots do not seem worth it at all.  Most tomes concerning feeds continually state that growing roots is not economical, but they are written for large operations.  Growing root crops requires careful soil preparation and some hand work.  Corn or other grains are thought to be a little easier to grow if you are farming.  Always read between the lines.  The information is there.   Look for animal husbandry books written before the 1950’s.  Agriculture as we know it is actually quite young in the scheme of things.  People were cropping and fattening animals long before tractors with air conditioned cabs came along.  And they weren’t growing acres of grain to do it.  I want to strike a happy medium if I can.  To get out of work and never touch a bale or weed a crop by hand is not my goal.

With that in mind, I have been looking for a root chopper.  Luckily a friend had one I could borrow.  I have been chopping Della’s roots with knife, but I wanted to try a manufactured chopper just to see if it made the job easier or was like a some kitchen tools.  You know – the cleanup takes more time than just wiping the knife… .

So first order of business, dig the roots.  Well, actually the first order of business is grow the roots, but you know what I mean.

Next try out the root chopper.

Well, I have to say the root chopper worked great!  The dogs were a pain, though.  It took a while to get a video without barking and leaping dogs.  Once they realized though that the chopper was not killing me and they could sneak a morsel, they quieted down and stayed out of the way of the crank.  The real crank, not me 😉

A chopper this size would have been made for a small farmstead that was feeding more than one animal.  It makes short work of those roots.  I only feed Della 5 pounds of chopped roots per day, and that only takes about a minute to chop.  With the knife about 5 minutes.

10 pounds of mixed roots.

Some small roots do go through without chopping so I check each batch before feeding so I don’t choke my cow.  I always feed a mix of roots too, since each is different nutritionally.  This winter because Della is dry, I have added rutabagas to the regular menu of carrots, parsnips and beets.  Brassicas are a no-no during lactation unless you want cole flavored milk.

Della can utilize the blems and we can cream the crop.  I am posting some root uses in the kitchen over at Simple-Green-Frugal Co-op today.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2010 8:01 am

    That’s really quite fascinating! Could you do this for dairy goats do you reckon? My goats don’t get much grain, and only when they are in milk, but I do like the idea of feeding them something I’ve raised myself. After all that is the whole point isn’t it? I live in the Midwest so the grain that I’m feeding is locally grown and mixed but still………

    Do you have any ideas about supplementing rabbits? My rabbits get free choice hay but I still have to feed pellets, and I know that they for sure aren’t manufactured around here!

    I really enjoy your blog. It’s nice to connect with like minded people!

    Have a great day……….ps, one of my favorite books is Living on a Little Land by George Deyoe. It was printed in 1948 and I rescued it from my high school Ag class. They were going to throw it away!

    • January 24, 2010 9:37 am

      Sarah, I don’t know much about feeding goats, although if they are already eating grain substituting root crops probably would be OK. But you would have to watch their condition and production to see if it was more economical for you.

      I used to have 4-H rabbits and I fed beets and carrots to them as a supplement, but getting them to butcher weight was hard without the free choice pellets, and lots of fresh cut grass or hay.

      That book sounds great! When I was a kid my brother had a Livestock Production book from his high school ag class and I loved that book. I probably learned to read studying that book so hard. It was from the same time period and the photos were great. Lots of pastured animals and poultry in those days still 🙂

  2. January 24, 2010 8:07 am

    Isn’t that chopper musical? Are coles the only veggies that flavor the milk? I grew up thinking that there were two root vegetables: potatoes and carrots. I had no idea the variety available or their myriad uses! I’m loving learning so much about root veg. One day when I get “home” to the mountains, all this info will get put into use!

    • January 24, 2010 9:41 am

      Peggy, I think coles are the only vegetables besides onions of course that would taint the milk, and interestingly enough kohlrabi doesn’t flavor the milk. Although around here, Della would have to fight me for those! She might win though, with those horns, I hope she isn’t reading this…

      Roots are wonderful – so many uses, salad, slaw fermenting and in a round about way – milk!

  3. January 24, 2010 8:08 am

    Della is a beautiful cow. Thanks for the answer to my first question. What does her milk taste of with rutabagas, etc.?

    • January 24, 2010 9:43 am

      JackieC, Thanks! I wouldn’t be feeding her rutabagas if she was milking. Just think of the smell of rotting brassicas in a field and translate that to milk. I don’t want to go there.

  4. peacefulacres permalink
    January 24, 2010 8:35 am

    Very cool Nita!!! And so beautiful. It looked pretty effortless too, but I’m guessing your buff!!!! I’d like to find a grain mill to grind my local roasted corn for the chickens (I did a batch in my home mill and I could of made cornbread!), but I don’t want to spend the $$$ and I don’t need something very big. My bovine girls are doing well on organic oats and BOSS and good hay…and when I remember to cut up some mangels for them. My farmer was impressed with how well they look. I’m figuring that this isn’t as hard as “some” want to make it….if you know what I mean. Anywho…love that old piece of machinery….it’s beautiful!!! (I may have some VERY good news this week!!!)

    • January 24, 2010 9:45 am

      Peaceful Acres, I am hardly buff, it has a huge fly wheel which is doing the work for me. But it is still easier than chopping – I get enough of that in the house!

      Congrats on the condition of the girls! And fingers crossed for your big NEWS!!

  5. January 24, 2010 8:59 am

    Very educational! I have dreams of having a dairy cow someday, but I know it’s not feasible for us here, but maybe someday if we move. My parents think I’m nuts, both grew up on dairy farms and milked 2x a day every day. I guess I am a little nut, aren’t we all? 🙂 Plus one cow is different from a barn full.

    • January 24, 2010 9:28 am

      Thanks Abbie! I can understand your parents reluctance, I wouldn’t care for all my cows to be dairy cows. The beef cows are so easy, and they don’t need me milking them! Hey you can’t be nuts – that would make me…

  6. January 24, 2010 11:54 am

    Wow, you’ve really got me thinking. I am acutely aware of the false sense of security that raising dairy goats and poultry provide. Finding anything but locally grown barley and brome hay are challenging. Our long term goal is to find a piece of farmland that we can have pasture and grow our own hay and grains. But grains are not easily grown here, whereas root crops sure are. At the very least, sounds like I don’t have to worry about growing more root crops than my family can eat.

    • January 24, 2010 8:23 pm

      Emily, we’re in the same boat grain wise – as Allan Nation says, you need to use your unfair advantage. In our location it is cool weather crops instead grains. Grains can be grown but it is is just too hard to duplicate year after year. We always ask ourselves what can we do without, and what can we feed if we can’t get fuel, seeds, etc. That is why we quit the egg and poultry business, we were depending on too long of supply chain with too many variables along the way. You only have to miss a few shipments of feed to realize just what a house of cards the current on demand way of life is. Sure I grow some hybrid vegetables, and hybrid birds, and drink coffee, but I know too that if it all went away, I would be fine. A dairy cow fits in our plan as a very economical unit. She can harvest most of her own food for a great part of year, we can grow her winter food for the cold times, and we can lessen her dependence on outside influences by having her calve in the late spring, when her nutritional demands can be met the easiest. And if I care to gather it, she provides enough fertility to grow our high demand vegetables. And I did not even mention the food value of the dairy products or the calf she can raise each year.

      Your goals sound great, and in the meantime I am sure your stock would love your excess root crops!

  7. January 24, 2010 12:15 pm

    I love Della: ) Is she a Jersey? I saw your post on roots and introduced some to the sheep yesterday. They loved it and they thank you for your post. I actually read a 1940 book on sheep and they talked about people growing potatoes for sheep! I will slowly introduce and see.

    • January 24, 2010 8:35 pm

      WF, Della is a Guernsey, a breed that used to enjoy much more popularity and now is on the watch list the the ALBC. While I would like to say that I am ahead of the curve on the A1 & A2 milk issue, we have always kept Guernseys for house cows, so I can’t take any real credit for being a stick in the mud 🙂 They are best known for their high beta carotene milk and butterfat and the milk is marketed as Golden Guernsey. TMI, I know… .

      As for the sheep I think they relish all roots crops, but like any other stock need a good quality forage with some protein, like a good legume mix pasture or hay for winter feeding. I am sure your sheep will relish the change 🙂

  8. January 24, 2010 12:59 pm

    Wow. This was a great read and very informative. I definitely would like to have my animals off of the food grid. With rabbits, that’s a hard one. I do hope to have a milk cow next year since dh absolutely put his foot down to a goat. Just gotta get that fence up…

    • January 24, 2010 8:42 pm

      Paula, thanks for stopping by – a fence is nice but you can tether a cow… . I am an enabler, so watch out, I might try to talk to you into a milk cow!

  9. Andrew permalink
    January 24, 2010 3:02 pm


    Just wanted to say that I love your blog. Thank you for taking the time to keep it because am learning a lot and getting heaps of inspiration.

  10. January 24, 2010 4:25 pm

    Tools like your chopper are always nice to have. It’s good that you can harvest them so easily this time of year.

  11. Cherri permalink
    January 24, 2010 6:39 pm

    I have recently stumbled upon your blog, and all I can say is WOW….your cow is lovely, your dogs are gorgeous (however I am partial with four Aussies of my own). Your hard work and diligence is amazing. I wish you were my neighbor. I have learned many of the lesson you live the hard way. I was born and raised in Las Vegas NV. I know your eyes are rolling…. My husband and five daughters and I relocated to a small piece of land in Utah. Compared to LV this was the country. I thought I moved to Mayberry. I thought that my nearest neighbors where far away. Compared to LV they are, just not as far as I would now like. Don’t get me wrong I love my neighbors, the closest one happens to be a world champion bronc rider, and a great guy. But, I wish I understood how hard farming is. I mean really understood… and how much land it takes. You cant just buy 2 acres of land and go off grid in the middle of the desert. Which is where I live, compared to LV I thought I moved to the country, you know flowing streams and fields of grass….WRONG. I have a wonderful Dexter cow her name is Candy, we milk her, that is when she lets us. (seems Dexters are not as tame as some others) So now we are doing a little at a time, I have chickens that lay wonderful brown eggs, we have had dairy goats, I sold the last of them when hay prices went up, we do not have the water to irrigate fields but thats ok because we dont have any fields. We also have two horses, and two beef steers that are just about ready to butcher. I have oh so many questions that are difficult to answer. I really just wanted to say that I enjoy reading about your daily life and although I am jealous knowing now that I can not achieve what you have, I am not sure I have the time, the perseverance or the mental fortitude. Do you by chance know a way to keep the weeds out of my garden, it is bad..and I do not mean oh I have a weed or two, I mean even with string row markers the weed seeds and plant seeds grow so thick together that they are not distinguishable from each other?

    • January 24, 2010 8:54 pm

      Cherri, Hi! I’ll leave the eye rolling to my teenager! Hey, 2 acres is better than town right? Thanks for all the compliments and you never know you may have the mental fortitude since it sounds like you’re doing quite well considering how dry your area is.

      As for the weeds, the best way to get rid of the weeds, is to devote 2 areas for your garden. One you till and and cover crop and till several times during your growing season to get those weed seeds to germinate and then you kill them by tilling. If you do this several times during the growing season you will have gotten rid of quite a few of the weeds. This is called fallowing – you won’t really be growing a crop per se, but you will be cleaning your soil. The second year you plant in the ground that you fallowed the year before, and fallow the other. And one important tip is don’t let any weeds go to seed, even if you have to mow them down instead of pulling them. Just look at those weed plants (before they set seed of course) as free fertilizer and organic matter for your soil. Vegetables are a very demanding crop, soil and fertilizer wise. Also by tilling a little earlier than you want to plant if possible, you can let some weeds germinate, till them under and plant your vegetables. Hope all this helps!

      Oh, I forgot to mention – 4 Aussies! I have my hands full with these two! Gotta love them, they are smart dogs.

  12. January 24, 2010 7:12 pm

    You can add me to the list of interested livestock holders. I have the same thought about being less dependant on imports.

    Do you have any hints about figuring a nutritional balance.

    I see carrots parsnips and I guess mangel beats in your mix. Is there anything else in there? Oh and the rutaBagas.

    I’ve been thinking that I could easily augment with some sunflower. We do it on a small scale now. It’s a matter of working it into our planting rotation. And mangel beets are on our list to try. But I didn’t realize roots could replace grain.

    • January 24, 2010 9:42 pm

      MMP, I’m feeding parsnips, carrots, beets, and rutabagas. She is dry hence the rutabagas in the mix. Mangels and sugar beets grew well but I hill my root crops with soil instead of harvesting and root cellaring. Too much of the mangels is above ground to make that worth my while since I am doing it by hand. It could probably be done on a large scale though, with a hilling attachment for potatoes, and here I am lucky enough to store my roots in the ground since our soil does not freeze very deep. I lost a lot of each mangel to freezing. So that is why I don’t grow them, although they yielded well enough, it just didn’t translate to harvesting and feeding.

      Here is a brief breakdown from FEEDS AND FEEDING, by MORRISON Roots and tubers are watery and are low in dry matter. However, the dry matter roots and tubers do contain is of high quality, being low in fiber, highly digestible, and high in net energy per pound. Roots and tubers are therefore more like watery type concentrates than roughage.

      Roots and tubers are carbohydrates, low in protein and calcium and with small amounts of phosphorus. Carrots and sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A, all other root crops little or no Vitamin A, and roots and tubers do not supply Vitamin D.

      All this makes having a good quality part legume hay on hand for winter, in addition to the roots a must. I also believe you have to take into consideration the condition of the soil the roots are grown in. Poor soil will yield poor results like in any other feed. My question is about your goats, do they need browse all year to maintain good health, since they are browsers more than cows or does alfalfa with its stems work OK? Unfortunately these old feeding books concentrate on conventional livestock species for the feed suggestions so goats are not even mentioned since they were/are a minor “crop.”

      I don’t know if any of this helps or not, but it is certainly worth a try – and you can tell pretty fast by milk production if you’re helping or hurting. I think too, that animals like variety in their feeds just like us at mealtimes.

      • January 25, 2010 6:56 am

        The goats do get plenty of browse 9 months a year. Winter months I feed a mix of grass and alfalfa hay and a small anount of grain. I haven’t had trouble keeping their condition up over the winter, even if I milk a goat through, so it must not be all bad. But I would like to find some other feed stocks that I can feel better about. Thanks for the information.

  13. January 24, 2010 7:40 pm

    About 1998 I came across a draft horse condition, EPSM – Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy. It seems that for a long time, a very few draft horses would experience loss of mass and muscle in the hind quarters, being unable to rise to their feet after anaesthetic, and a few other conditions. It seems that genetically, 65 percent of draft horses, many QH and some other light horse breeds, and any crosses of these breeds including mules, have a genetic predisposition for EPSM. The mechanism that triggers symptoms in some few horses is unknown, as far as I know.

    What happens is that a symptomatic EPSM horse (called PSSM in QH), the horse fails to digest grain properly, resulting in a specific type of starvation and damage to muscles during exertion. It turns out that most cases of shivers, stringhalt, and other nearly random muscle and strength related maladies are EPSM symptoms. The therapy is the same as avoiding symptoms – take the grain out of the diet.

    The EPSM diet includes 1.2% to 2.1% bodyweight in good quality forage (like grass hay) – this part is the same as for a grain based diet – then instead of grain, 2 c. vegetable oil like corn, soy/salad, or canola oil, per 1,000 lbs of bodyweight. 1-2 IU Vitamin E, and Selenium, and the regular minerals and salt, fresh water, exercise, etc.

    To feed the vegetable oil, I take 1-3 pounds of the forage ration as alfalfa pellets – or beet pulp shreds. Add the vegetable oil, and serve the “horse salad” twice a day (split the hay and oil between feedings).

    Dr. Beth Valentine, at Corvalis, OR, claims that horses get no nutrition from grain but the calories. Removing the grain from the horse’s diet avoids complicating the EPSM condition, but the addition of fats addresses a specific need the horse has. Any equine – draft or light breed, pony, or mule – does well on this added fats (grain free) diet. Other, non-EPSM horses also do better on the added fats diet. Horses with chronic colic often experience fewer episodes. Horses that get “hot” from the grain tend to mellow as the oils produce moderate and sustained fluctuations in blood sugar levels, as opposed to the sharp starch-influenced blood sugar peaks and valley grain may produce. Horses on an oil-based diet, they found at trials before the Atlanta Olypmics, recover from exertion quicker and tolerate heat better than do horses eating a grain-based diet. Plus, you don’t have grain bins sitting around, waiting for an errant horse to eat itself into colic.

    During digestion, according to the beet pulp shreds bag, the shreds turn into high quality forage type feed. I am wondering, now, how much benefit there is to the horse, cow, pig, or other animal the sugar beet pulp vendor wants me to feed their product to, in processing out the beet juice. I know the beet pulp is sold to profit the sugar processor, as finding something salable in the discards from extracting the juice to make sugar. Would raising mangel-wurzel be the equivalent of the beet pulp shreds, or are the shreds inferior to feeding the whole sugar beet – or the mangel-wurzel?

    I heard a radio report, that in the UK they tried feeding rape seed oil (canola) to cows – and got a lower-cholesterol milk. Maybe Della could do with less grain and more Crisco. . 🙂

    • January 24, 2010 10:03 pm

      Brad K, grain feeding has brought all kinds of problems in grazers. Glad you found a remedy that worked. My daughter feeds her geriatric horse corn oil on his feed too. Although more for winter energy since he still has lots of get up and go.

      As for the beet pulp, it is a by-product and most likely a GMO one at that, since many sugar beets are GMO now if not my design, by contamination.
      But if you’re not eating the horse, feeding beet pulp would not be the same as feeding it to a meat animal.

      Just off the top of my head I would think the actual sugar beet would have more food value than the left-overs from factory processing. A word of caution though, harvest at least a week or two before feeding, the laxative effect of mangels is not quite so pronounced then, of course standing behind a horse is not the same as standing behind a cow 😉

      Rape is a brassica and flavors the milk like broccoli, we were unfortunate enough to buy some chicken feed with canola oil in it – the eggs smelled like fish! Needless to say our customers were glad when that ton of feed was gone…

      Low cholesterol milk! I want full fat milk!

  14. January 24, 2010 9:52 pm

    I LOVE the design on the side of that chopper!! Could you please get a closer shot of it for me? I could get inspired by that! I wasn’t able to play the video.. my computer is acting up– could be that it is nearly 5 years old– thats OLD in computer years! LOL

    Btw– thanks for your answer on my chicken questions. I’ve been watching my chickens, and the hens don’t peck each other, but one of the roosters is a little aggressive when they mount the poor girls. of 6 hens, 2 hens have a bald patch on their backs. My uncle was concerned and he thought it was the hens pecking each other (I think he thinks I don’t know as much as he thinks I do). I happened to have bag balm on hand, so I dabbed it on their backs and waiting to see what happens next. They are not crowded, big coop for 8 chickens, they free-range all day, and I have plenty of feed and scraps for them. If anything, I need to get rid of a rooster– I’m waiting for a not so cold day to kill one and turn him into chicken soup!

    • January 24, 2010 10:06 pm

      Jenny, sure, we can get a close up for you – people really took pride in their work in those days, didn’t they?

      You’re right on with the rooster observation – they are heck on the girls. Clawing their way up to mount! He will taste pretty good in soup and the hens probably will heal right up 🙂

  15. ben permalink
    January 25, 2010 1:02 pm

    did you say you still feed some grain when your cow is producing or are you completely off grain?

    • January 25, 2010 1:59 pm

      Ben, she still gets a coffee can of grain a day when she’s lactating. I buy wet COB which is flaked corn, crimped oats, and rolled barley with molasses. That amounts to 2.5 pounds a day for part of the year. She will be 12 in March, so I can’t just assume she will keep her condition on hay and pasture alone. Her mom was dairy raised on replacer and grain. I purchased her at 21 months of age, and she only made it to 7 years of age. Her digestive system was always in disarray. Della nursed to 9 months of age and has been much easier to care for in the nutrition department. If I can get a replacement out of her, I will be one more generation removed from unnatural rearing. Think pink!

  16. January 25, 2010 1:12 pm

    Della is beautiful! When is her calf due? Do you try for a spring birth or a differnt time, like winter when production can go downhill.


    • January 25, 2010 2:00 pm

      Linda, she due in May at the same time our beef calves will be born. A good month after grass growth starts here. 🙂

  17. January 25, 2010 7:41 pm

    I feel lucky to have stumbled onto your blog. We’re on our own journey toward sustainable living and have, over the last year, got rid of the last of premixed feeds for our goats, dogs and chickens.

    Now I mix everything by hand, sprouting barley for the chickens, and trying to use locally grown feedstocks as much as possible. Needless to say, its not an easy road in Alaska, as what we have local access to is quite limited.

    I’m dying to put in a bunch of extra root crops for our animals this spring… thanks for the inspiration. Of course, I’ll have to figure out how to store it- since it can’t stay in the ground. Perhaps this is the year that big root cellar will have to get built.

    • January 25, 2010 8:17 pm

      Lisa Rae, welcome, hey what the heck you needed that root cellar anyway right? I have it pretty lucky, it doesn’t get so cold here, just wet. Farmers not 45 miles west or south of here where it is a little drier can even store their potatoes in the ground and dig (if it isn’t too muddy) for winter CSA shares or markets.

      Manufactured feed is for the birds, no pun intended – you’re never really sure where it came from or what is in it. The closest grain grower to us is Azure farm itself, but they can’t grow everything, and it isn’t cheap either. I would rather learn ways to use less than try to duplicate midwest crops.

  18. January 28, 2010 9:55 pm

    While I was growing up – my parents always had a Guernsey. We made our own butter (I hated it… I don’t remember why. Maybe because I didn’t like churning it?)
    Some days mama sold a pint of cream to a tiny little man down the lane who had horrible stomach problems and said the cream helped. Now that old remedy would certainly be poo-pooed.

    Does all this come naturally to you – or do you still have to write lists to remember what needs to be done tomorrow?

    • January 28, 2010 10:15 pm

      Pamela, it’s funny isn’t it,how we have those strong memories about things we disliked as kids – for me it was sauerkraut. Now I like it.

      Me, a list? – it’s all in my head and sometimes it makes it to the blog 🙂 It does come to me naturally and I know it sounds strange but I can see the garden rotations, pasture rotations and the seeds in my mind. When I get tired of that, I conjure up images of my fabric and all the bucket list quilts I want to make… .

  19. February 4, 2010 7:56 pm

    Wow! This is great information. We have two dairy cows and they get a special blend but nothing like this. Definitely something to ponder (and possibly try!).

  20. Selden West permalink
    November 13, 2010 12:16 pm

    I loved the video and the idea of chopping root crops. I am entirely dependent on outside inputs (both hay and grain) and am hoping to reduce those significantly in the coming years. Growing carrots, beets, etc. is going on my list and I’m going to be searching for a mangel chopper/root grinder/ feed cutter! Thanks for the great post.

  21. Mads Stub Jorgensen permalink
    May 6, 2011 11:44 pm

    Here in Iceland, we do feed our lactating cows fodderkale, the trick is to feed cabbage right after milking and let them have, say 4-5 hours between kale-eating and milkingtime.

  22. November 18, 2011 3:19 am

    Thanks for pointing me to this post. I was thinking of feeding roots to supplement our dead grass over winter, but now I see the advantages of cutting back on grain and becoming more self-sufficient. Do you feed root crops all year then? I just assumed it was a winter feed. You have so many great ideas for caring for your cows, I learn something every time I look at your blog!

    • November 18, 2011 6:22 am

      Liz, you’re welcome! I only feed roots during the winter, we have pretty good pasture, and I don’t feed much grain to the family cow anyway, Jane may be a different can of worms though, time will tell how good of job I did raising her 🙂


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