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OK, now they're spoiled

I just spent an hour and a half sitting on the kitchen porch with a brick and a mallet, breaking up cubes of compressed alfalfa into pieces small enough for the sheep and goats to eat easily. Some of the cubes were so hard, it took considerable pounding to break them up; I don't see how a sheep is supposed to eat that stuff.

I need some sort of machine that can grind the cubes up or something. Wish I still had my grandfather's electric wood chipper.

It was so much easier when we had bales of alfalfa. You'd just pull off a few flakes every day or two and toss them in the manger.



Oh, God, my sinuses are full of alfalfa!

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katcoquettish
Dec. 6th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
seems interesting...
what's an alfalfa?...
sorry, i'm just curious....i don't know anything about what a sheep eats...
captpackrat
Dec. 6th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
It's a hay crop similar to clover. It's high in protein and fiber and it's fairly easy to grow. Since it restores nitrogen to the soil, many farmers plant it in rotation with their other crops.

Farmers cut the alfalfa then gather it together into bales, usually either gigantic round bales about 5 feet across and weighing over 1000 pounds (used for feeding cattle) or into "square" bales about a foot high, 1-1/2 feet wide and 3 feet long and weighing about 50 pounds. It can also be compacted into cubes about an inch square, or made into small pellets (most often fed to rabbits and other small animals).

During the spring, summer and fall, our sheep and goats mostly graze on the lawn, which is grass, clover, speedwell, dandelion, and various other plants. During the winter, the lawn turns brown so we feed them alfalfa, sugar beet pulp, corn, oats, sorghum and a wee bit of molasses.

Humans can eat alfalfa too in the form of alfalfa sprouts.
mikosquirrel
Dec. 7th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
Why can't we eat non-sprout alfalfa? In a salad, say?
captpackrat
Dec. 7th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Mature alfalfa is very high in fiber and would probably be unpleasant to eat. It would be, quite literally, like eating hay.
mondhasen
Dec. 6th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, God, my sinuses are full of alfalfa!

yikes! What will Spanky say? ;o)
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