Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
One day I was riding out to feed the pigs in the back pasture and I saw a yellow burst of color above the tall grass. "What the heck is that?", I thought to myself. As I got closer I could see it was a sunflower. Not only one sunflower, but a whole patch of them. At least 10-15 sunflowers dotted a few different areas.
These just so happened to be the paddocks where the goats were grazing in June. While we keep the goats on pasture 100% of the time when they're not milking, we also feed them a cup of grain during milking time. It helps them keep body condition and provide nutrients and minerals that our pastures don't contain (i.e. selenium, copper, etc). I estimate that about 5-10% of the daily intake comes from what we feed on the stand. Over time we hope to lower it, but that will take genetics and pasture improvement, along with mineral supplements. Anyway, zero input is a goal, but for now we feed a little on the stand to prevent animals from dying.
As a side benefit we now have sunflowers all over the place. There's black oil sunflower seeds mixed in their rations, a few of which apparently passed through the goat's systems and were planted in the fields. Just yesterday I noticed an entirely separate bunch on another tract of the farm.
Then I went out to pick one for Sweetbreads and I noticed these big green plants that kind of resembled corn. A strange looking "cob" was growing out of it. Decidedly not corn, but something along those lines. I started thinking about what it could be that was also in their feed. I knew some sorghum was in there, but I had never seen a sorghum plant, so I posted a pic on our Facebook (instead of Googling it) and sure enough our awesome Facebook fans had no trouble identifying it as sorghum.
It got me thinking about dropping some squash seeds and other kinds of seeds into their rations. I wonder if they would grow? We could try different types of grasses and other plants as well. Who needs a tractor when you have a herd of goats?
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