000 - Handling and Feeding Forages Kern Hendrix Purdue...

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Handling and Feeding Forages Kern Hendrix Purdue University Animal Sciences Converted for WWW by D. Forsyth
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Whatever forage crop you grow,
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it must be properly harvested, stored and fed to get the optimum return on your investment .
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Numerous methods are available for handling and feeding forages.
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All have advantages and disadvantages and the method you choose will depend on the equipment and facilities that are available on your particular farm.
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When making a decision on equipment or a particular method several factors must be considered.
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Packaging method First the packaging method chosen will influence how the forage can be stored and fed,
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Spoilage from weather and ground moisture and in both the storing and feeding phases you'll have to deal with the problems of weather deterioration and spoilage due to ground moisture .
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Feeding facility needs to allow . .. Finally if a feeding facility is used, it needs to be well planned so as to fill two basic criteria :
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Access to area it must allow access to the feeding area for both the animals and equipment
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Control over amount fed and it must allow control over the amount of forage the animals have access to in any particular period of time.
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Now let’s consider each of these points in more detail
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For example, if the method of packaging chosen is small square bales,
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then the storage facility will probably be something similar to this hay shed.
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A barn or other building may also be used. The point is to have a shelter that protects the bales from moisture and weather deterioration.
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Large packages such as this stack or large round bales have become a major means of storing forages in recent years.
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These methods have become popular because of the labor savings they offer as opposed to that involved in the handling of small square bales.
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Storage of these large packages outside though, especially in areas of large amounts of rainfall still subjects them to the same problems of weather deterioration experienced with the small square bales .
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When large packages are stored outside its not uncommon to have a 20 to 30% loss due to weathering, whether they are packaged as round bales or as stacks .
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This represents quite a loss to the livestock producer, not only in the amount of hay lost physically due to weather deterioration, but also due to the effect the loss may have upon the animals.
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If the quality of the forage is reduced animal performance may also be reduced. Thus, any means of reducing spoilage will be to the advantage of the forage and livestock producer.
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Here we can see that moisture absorbed by the exposed outer portion of this bale caused it to freeze during the winter. The animals therefore were only able to consume the center of the bale.
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2010 for the course ANSC 221 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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000 - Handling and Feeding Forages Kern Hendrix Purdue...

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