Friday, August 16, 2013

DIY Organic Root Feed

In my research related to homemade organic animal feed, I came across a few references to root feed.  Apparently, this is actually a very old method that predates hay balers.  Before the technology existed to preserve grass in large quantities for winter feeding, farmers would sow a big plot of root vegetables that would basically remain preserved underground until the roots were needed.  Carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips were all favorites.  John tells me that turnips are also great for pig farmers, who can run other grazing animals on a field growing turnips and then turn pigs out to "root" up the roots once they're ripe for harvest.
We happened to have an excess of carrots and beets still in the refrigerator, so I decided to see whether our goats showed any interest in this fare.

Large scale operations would use a food grinder to make the feed more manageable.  I used my food processor.

Razz is a fan!

I'll make a note of this successful experiment and possibly plant a fall root bed with an eye toward winter harvest.  We couldn't grow enough to cover all our feed needs, but we could supplement the goats' diets and perhaps cut back on our conventional grain use.

1 comment:

  1. There was a lot of vegetable farming where I grew up in CO and we sometimes got huge truckloads of "waste" carrots or potatoes to feed to our cattle. Of course, my mom would make us dig into the center of the pile (since the outside veggies were exposed to the sun/heat and nighttime freeze) to use for our own dinner. :) ("Waste" carrots are just broken, too large, weirdly shaped, too small...basically not uniform enough for packaging for grocery stores. There's nothing wrong with them, otherwise.)