Saturday, October 5, 2013

Winter is Coming - Time for Silage

With the crazy winter weather our friends to the north of us had, I think in Iowa we are all aware the winter could come anytime now. During the summer our cows get to graze on grass. However, in the winter that grass is dead and covered with snow, and trust me cows don't do so well on snowballs.

Two types of feed that famers commonly feed their cattle in winter are hay or silage. On our farm we feed some of both. Hay is grass that was cut during the summer, dried and then baled into round or square bales. For the first time last year, we also fed our cows silage. Silage is the corn you see in the field chopped, leaves, corn, the whole darn plant, into small pieces. It is then packed into a pit of a bag where it "cures" so that during the colder weather it will be ready for the cattle. Silage can also be made made out of other times of crops. 

The boy and a silage crew worked on putting up the silage for our cows this week. This is a neat YouTube video he made showing just a little bit of the process. 


  1. Not many people know what silage is actually made up of, glad you took the time to explain it. Its a good demonstration that farmers can use all resources and recycle, so to speak, to feed the cattle. Where I am from not a lot of people use a ton of silage because we tend to get a good harvest of hay, but I know around Iowa where more corn is grown and especially feed lots, they use lots of silage....and did I mention that it stinks, but the cows sure do love it!

    1. Silage definitely has a unique smell! However, I love the smell. I think you either love it or hate it.


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