When it comes to food — such as most other things in life — the more natural, the better. What a farmer feeds their animals has a direct result on their health, as well as the quality of any products they create. Farmers typically have a few popular options when it comes to feeding their livestock. One of these options is silage — preserved pasture, which allows farmers to keep feeding their livestock when grazing isn’t optimal.
Why is silage growing in popularity among farmers — and how does it stack up to hay? We’ll explore below.
Silage is essentially “pickled pasture,” or fodder that’s been fermented to feed cattle or sheep during dry seasons. Grasses or other crops, such as rye or maize, are cut, fermented and compressed until they’re ready to be fed to the livestock.
The process of making silage is more extensive than simply cutting and drying hay, which leads to the question — Why do farmers make silage? What’s the advantage?
Silage is stored using plenty of moisture, which allows it to retain a higher percentage of nutrients than a dry storage option. While the process of silaging won’t add any nutrients, it does a great job preserving existing nutrients. During dry seasons in particular, this helps the cattle or sheep stay healthy and strong.
Furthermore, the importance of silage is in its energy. It often serves as a high-energy source for animals such as cows. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. This makes it a low-cost option for fattening grazing cattle.
Both silage and hay are popular ways for farmers to feed their livestock when they’re unable to graze during the winter. They’re both comprised of grass and considered a preservation method of forage.
However, despite overarching similarities, these two styles certainly have their differences. The primary difference between hay and silage is that the former is grass that’s cut and dried to use as animal fodder. Silage is fermented and stored in a silo before used as food. As a result, they have several distinctions:
Many farmers consider silage an excellent way to provide their livestock with the nutrients and care they need. If silage isn’t an option for your farm, consider Nature’s Best Organic Feeds! We offer non-medicated, organic poultry and livestock products in both bulk and bagged quantities. Our premium line boasts superior quality through every step of the process.
If you’re interested in providing your farm animals with the healthiest option possible, consider our family-owned and operated business. With almost 75 years in the business, we can guarantee excellent service that will help you find what you need! Contact us with any questions or place your order today.