Animal silo


Not only in the warm season, but also in the cold, farm animals need to receive a variety of nutritional elements with food. In the summer, they get plenty of vitamins with greens, but in winter there is no succulent grass outside. Silo is an alternative to fresh green fodder in winter.

What is Silo

A silo is a succulent fodder that is prepared by the method of preserving herbs with limited access of oxygen, the harvesting process is called silage. In winter, it is an indispensable part of the diet for cows, horses and other farm animals, because silage contains a lot of nutrients needed during the cold season. To understand what a silo is, it’s worth finding out how to get it.

Silo is a juicy food that is prepared by preserving herbs.

Important! The main thing in ensiling is to create conditions for the accumulation of lactic acid to begin!

Plant mass collected from the field, meadows rammed into pits or trenches. During a certain time, the fermentation process begins, organic lactic acids (up to 2%) accumulate in the grass, which preserve the food, preventing it from decomposition. Air access is important. If there is a lot of it, the plants will start to warm up, lose nutrients and mold will appear. So the amount of air access is minimized!

Humidity silage greenery is maintained in the range of 65-75%. If it is higher, lactic acid will accumulate slowly, and if the humidity is less, the feed will not be able to tamp tightly and there will be a lot of air inside. In order to achieve the required moisture, the feed, if necessary, is poured with plain water or straw is added to the chaff.

What is made of

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Silage may vary depending on the cultures from which it is prepared.

  • Corn silage is the most popular type of feed. Corn produces a quality product with a long shelf life. Corn silage can only be made from corn tops or together with the cobs. Always collect it in the period of milky-wax or wax ripeness.
  • Meadow grass, healthy wild herbs, afterbirth - another good option for making silage. The final product is nutritious, of high quality.
  • Rye, barley, oats are sown, as a rule, interspersed with legumes for subsequent ensiling. They go on ensiling during the period of milky-wax ripeness. In silos they are very tightly laid.

Corn silage is the most popular type of feed

Important! Animals love silage no less than hay or fresh grass. This is a very useful supplement that has a positive effect on the digestion of animals.
  • Alfalfa, legumes, nettle and clover are always ensiled along with grains (oats, rye, barley). By themselves, they are very useful, therapeutic, but have a low energy value. Legumes are harvested at the time of the emergence of young beans, and flower - during flowering.
  • Sedge, reeds and reeds for ensiling are advantageous in that they can be mown 2-3 times during a season. The final product turns out quite good, considering its profitability. They are always collected before the appearance of the panicle!

Also, silage can be made from sunflower, Sudanese, sorghum, and Chumiz.

The advantages and disadvantages of silage

Harvesting pet food for the winter can be a variety of methods. But it is silage, at the moment has the most advantages.

  • During siloing, the loss of nutritional components is only 10%, and during drying, plants lose 25-40% of useful components.
  • Not only fresh grass is used for silage, but also crops such as wheat, corn, aftermath and waste (tops) from vegetable crops. Silage can be made from the fastest growing green crops.

Silage, at the moment has the most advantages

Interesting! For the ensiling can be used as a specially grown crops, and those that grow in the meadows, fields in a natural way.
  • Siloing allows you to get relatively cheap juicy food for the winter or the dry period of summer.
  • Collecting green mass for ensiling can be carried out in any weather.

Among the drawbacks, it is worth noting that it is not very easy to harvest silage, and buying is not cheap. In addition, you need to be able to properly store this product, otherwise it will quickly deteriorate.

Harvesting Technique (Siloing)

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The technology of silage harvesting is called silage. For the manufacture of silage used special pits, trenches, towers. Pits and trenches are always torn out in clay soil and lined with cement so that moisture does not pass through the ground. Silo preparation takes place in several stages.

  1. Green mass is collected from the field and put on the place of preparation.
  2. Cereal, meadow, legume grasses are crushed to 3 cm, and corn and sunflower up to 5 cm.
  3. The resulting ground mass is compacted into silos, trenches or towers. This whole process should take a minimum of time.

    Optimum silo shelter

  4. A layer of moistened clay with a thickness of 15-20 cm is poured over the green mass.
  5. If the silo is harvested in the cool season, for example, in the fall, so that in the pit it does not begin to freeze, straw and earth are also placed over the clay.
  6. Above the pits or trenches with harvested silage, shelters, tents, roofs are arranged so that snow and rain cannot get inside.
Important! You can use only fresh, high-quality silage. Moldy product can not be given to animals, because it can cause severe gastric diseases, especially for horses!
  1. From corn, young grass, sunflower, cereal grass, silage is ready in 2-3 weeks. The bean silo is harvested longer, it can be used only after 2-3 months. Only after that you can begin to check it and sell it or use it for feeding animals.

Quality control

After the silo has lain for the necessary time and should have already been prepared, it is necessary to carry out quality control. No silage harvesting takes place without this final procedure. In order to determine how good a product is, it is judged by several indicators.

Color silage must be from olive to green

  1. The presence of mold and rot. If any, the feed is considered spoiled and not suitable for sale.
  2. Acidity and percentage of lactic and acetic acid. This is done through a special indicator or by smell. If the smell of apple or bread, then everything is in order. If there are acetic notes, then there is a lot of acetic acid in the silo (more than the norm of 30%). Dung smell indicates an abundance of butyric acid. This happens when spore-bearing bacteria are found in the raw material for silage. This product can not be fed to animals.
  3. Color silage should be from olive to green. The darker the color, the lower the quality.
Interesting! Lactic acid bacteria, necessary for ensiling, develop at temperatures from +5 to +55 degrees. Therefore, the temperature inside the silage billet is rarely controlled.

Good silage can be put up for sale. At large productions, it is packaged in hermetic bags, and in small ones it is simply sold out from the pit where it was harvested.

How much silage to give to cows, pigs and horses

Up to 8 kg of silage per 100 kg of body weight is allocated per day for cows

Silage as feed is a fairly valuable substitute for fresh grass, but it can also be given only in strict dosage. Up to 8 kg of silage per 100 kg of body weight is allocated per day for cows. Juveniles eat silage only from 2 months of age. At first, silage is given in small quantities, and by the year the quantity rises to 8-10 kg / day. Adult pigs can eat up to 3-4 kg of silage per day, sheep - 1-2 kg / day. Horses also love silage, about 6-8 kg of silage is spent on the head per day.

How to store silage

For large and small farms silage is usually purchased. In order to keep it well, it is necessary to provide him with the right conditions. The best option is a silo pit, like the one in which the silo is made. It is not very deep, but it is such that all the purchased mass has climbed. It is desirable that the base and sides were concrete, then storage of the silo will be much easier.

Interesting! Frozen silage can be added to the mash animals or given separately, but only after thawing!

The purchased silo is immediately poured into such pits and is covered with a special silage, polymer film so that air does not flow in. If it is necessary to keep the silo all winter, hay and earth are put on top of the film, they will save the product from freezing and spoilage. We must not forget that with the access of air, the silo is kept very little - up to a week or even less, therefore, transportation and sealing in a new silo pit for storage should be carried out in a short time.