Making winter feed:
Great article at the link, and links to more info on the page.
From all the articles, here is a summary:
Silage provides better nutrition than hay for winter, except it lacks vitamin D, and can be produced a couple of bags a day, or from lawn clippings when you mow. Specifically check out small bag silage, which uses bags from grocery sized to large feed bag size. Bags must not have any holes, and thin plastic must be double or tripled bagged.
Silage can be fed to many different animals if you have a mix, like cows, sheep, goats, and chickens. It stores well over winter, and takes less space than hay. You can feed it as the sole food or with other food, like dry hay or bagged feed.
Do not feed more than the animal will quickly eat, and clean out any left over. It will spoil. Try to use an entire bag, or ensure the bag with remaining silage is compressed and well sealed after you quickly take out the portion you need.
The process is a pickling of the green matter, so silage should have a pleasant, slightly sour odor; be light green to a brownish green; and have a leafy, soft texture that is damp rather than wet.
A grocery bag would hold about 11 lbs of silage, and a large feed bag would hold about 33 lbs.
One small bag would be enough for 22 chickens per day, if you figure 1/2 lb per chicken per day.
If you use it as a supplement, a much larger flock would be supported on one small bag, but you could halve your winter feed costs, while still providing excellent food.
(I had a really hard time finding chicken ration info, so if anyone has silage experience, please feel free to correct me!)
Goats and sheep get 11 lbs each a day, or 1 lb if they also get half their food from hay.
A cow gets 30 to 50 lbs, depending on size and if she is in milk. If also getting hay, a cow would get 11 lbs of silage per day.
One study used chicken poo in the silage for sheep and goats, by adding molasses to help the pickling process. The poo increased nutritional value...
Duck weed (the green plant of tiny dot like leaves) that covers the surface of a pond or ditch water can be fed to chickens.
Edited by Kikiriki - 6/2/11 at 10:58am