Waste or mistakes never happen in a farm kitchen.....only future animal or plant food.

April 4, 2012

When 6-10 inches.... isn't

In any discussion of feeding a ruminant animal with grass (or hay), it is important to clarify the nature of the grass when grazed or cut for hay.  Grazing at 6-10 inches is a common recommendation for cool season grasses. Hay recommendations can vary significantly, but a lot of times the actual cutting is influenced more by the weather than the ideal cutting time. Beware of so called hay (straw) cut after the grass has matured and the seed combined for sale separately. My "ideal" is to graze and feed hay cut as close to the vegetative state as possible....without it being immature. (Immature is preferred for chickens.)

An article of the different stages of grass growth:  Developmental Phases of Grass

By the way, these pictures were taken of the LAWN, not the pasture.  The grazing goal was to trim, not maximize production.

This grass technically falls in the 6-10 inches category,  but the most nutritious part has already been grazed.

This grass is 10-12 inches and has already been grazed as well.  The remaining grass is "stemmy" and over mature.  Percentage of  stems is something to watch for when buying hay as well.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the info and photos!