Taking care of your livestock and preserving feed for them is an important task. Most cattle feed manufacturers suggest that it is best to make silage whenever possible instead of offering your livestock some sun-dried hay.
Silage can be made using multiple methods, but the easiest one is to pack all the chopped crops into a pit so that there is no gap or the possibility of oxygen pockets left in the silage. One of the main reasons feed, like hay, gets spoiled is due to oxygen packets.
In this article, we go through the process of making silage properly, while looking at other important aspects of the whole process. Here are some tips that you can use while you create your own silage for your livestock.
Before you start the process of making silage, it’s best to plan ahead of time. Plan the right time to start the preparation of silaging. This will allow you to get the best quality feed when you get the crop cut.
Make sure you cut the crop at the right time and harvest right after the process. Once you have the crops, start the packing process immediately while your other loads are coming for packing. An important thing to remember is to cover all the pits so that there are very low chances of spoilage.
Before cutting the crops, it is important to identify when you should cut them. For most of the crops, it’s best to cut them when they are still at the soft dough stage.
You can identify this by verifying if most of the plant is green with a low yellowish tint on top of it. You can also squeeze the kernels to identify how soft they are.
Cut the Crop
Using the right machine for cutting the crop is important, so make sure you are using the best swather for good results.
Using a swather allows you to avoid shredding seeds from the crops which can happen if you use something like a windrower.
The next step is to harvest the silage, but you should give the swaths about 12 hours to dry down a bit of moisture. Again, using a high-quality machine for harvesting should be preferred, such as forage harvesters.
Once you have harvested all the silage, it’s time to take the chopped forage to the pit. It is important to ensure that the silage is placed as close to each other as possible. Use silage wagons to carry forage to the pit, and it’s best to carry them only when the wagon is full.
Ensure that you are packing all the silage after each day of harvesting the crops. If it’s possible, assign one person for packing, so they can start the process as soon as the loads get delivered. Using a tractor for such an operation can help out a lot.
Once you have packed all the piles, make sure that you have covered all of them immediately after doing so. You do not want to get any of them spoiled later on.
It’s best to use plastic to cover the silage in your pit. Do not compromise with the quality of the cover, get some high-quality plastic from your supply stores.
If you cannot use most of the common tools that are used in the process, it is better to get a silage baler. Silage balers are manufactured to help you create round bales without much work. They will also wrap these round bales in plastic wraps or films as well.