Friday, July 11, 2008

Corn Stalks...

Well - its THAT time of year again!
"Corn Stalk Season"!

My neighbor has a son who works for a large company that does testing on herbicides (and other stuff...). Every year, he plants "Test Plots" on his dad's farm. Once the tests are over, the corn is shredded down.

They have been - graciously - allowing me to cut some of the stalks down for feed for my goats.

While I DO feed some to them right away, I also dry some of it for feed/bedding this winter. Even dry stalks make tasty feed in January...

I am thinking of trying something new this year. I want to make a "Mini-Silo". I THOUGHT about using some tin for now, but I decided against it. The acids produced by the corn stalks would "eat through" it in no time. I decided that one of the concrete culvert pipes I have would work for this experiment.

I figured that I would just dig a small hole about 1 1/2' deep, and big enough for the concrete pipe to stand in. After that, I'll line the hole with heavy plastic, then stand the pipe - on end - into the hole.

From there, I'll use my chipper to chop the stalks and then pack them tightly into the pipe. If all goes well, then next year, I will know if it is worth trying to do on a larger scale.

I also plan on feeding it to the chickens as a supplement to their regular food. I tried a *VERY* small amount last year (made in a 5 gallon bucket, and chopped with a knife - and the chickens thought it was tasty. It wouldn't be feeding it as a TOTAL food, just to help stretch the hay and other food I have.

I figure it will make good use of something that would otherwise go to waste.

Deb and I went down to the test plot last night and brought back a pickup load full of stalks. I had cut a few earlier in the day and tossed 5 or 6 over the fence for the goats. This time, they saw us coming and all lined up at the fence for more! We tossed in a few - which were promptly ripped to shreds....

All we have are broken and twisted "Corn Bodies" laying were the stalks once were.

Speaking of goats - WHY.....
WHY do they do this?
There are TONS of trees with leaves at "goat eye level" throughout the "Jungle". They are "easy pickings". SO, WHY do they feel the need to STAND ON THE FENCE to reach leaves they have to STRETCH for? They never make things easy.....

I have also found out one very important thing --

NEVER wear a straw hat when bending down to "goat eye level". It looks too much like food, and will probably end up being "tasted"......

Goats are also pretty quick to "get out of dodge" when they are trying to taste something you don't want them to....

The worst part is - when they "grab and go" with something, 3 other goats feel the need to step in between you and the "get away goat" so they can help with the escape.

Sometimes I think they actually PLOT these dastardly deeds.....

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