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How do I get rid of Alfalfa?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chick_a_dee, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    We have a large field that was seeded last year-ish with Alfalfa, which has done amazingly, however we don't need the alfalfa, or want it, and now it's starting to migrate into our lower field which is mainly just pasture grass (suitable for horses). Our neighbor said something about when you turn it under, you have to wait a year to seed because it's poisonous, but I was thinking of just over-seeding it until it was smothered by other, equally strong-willed grasses/forages.

    Would that work? What other grasses/forages do you suggest? I live in the Prince Edward County/Centre Hastings area of Ontario, Canada. We have horses, who don't need alfalfa or other "hot," forages/grasses like it.

    Also, as a side question.... We're looking into getting some sheep, we decided against goats after meeting three very sweet sheep at a horse boarding stable I tried a horse at. What breeds are best for small farms, how many would you suggest getting, ... there is a farm near us I'm certain that sells "starter flocks," would that be suitable to first-timers? Living conditions.. We have a stall at the back of our barn which we were going to turn into a goat stall, it has a look-out hatch, dutch door on the stall front, has a cement floor, and is probably 8x8, or 10x10 -- would this be adequate? Do sheep like being stalled? or "penned?"


    Any other information would be great!
     
  2. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    alfalfa hay is getting a good price right now, could you have someone bale it and sell it? Im not sure what you could plant to get rid of it but I dont think its poisonous if you plow it under, I think its just puts alot of nutrients in the soil. I know people here who rotate with winter wheat.
     
  3. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Georgia
    I wish I had that problem. I pay $11.00 bale for alfalfa and that is my price from a friend.
     
  4. Cason

    Cason Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old is the stand? It will usually die it's own death around 7 years in our area.
     
  5. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Get some sheep and feed them the afalfa. We give $8 per square bale for it and t's very hard to find down here in the South. That's what we feed our sheep and they do GREAT on it. If you can get Shetland sheep they are THE BEST. They are smaller than most sheep, easier on the pasture and way more friendly. The only drawback to them is they have to be shorn in the Spring. We have a little 10x10 stall with a door on it but we keep the door open (unless one is in there giving birth) and they come and go as they please. LOVE my sheep, wish I had 200 acres to put thousands of them on.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am totally not understanding why you would be in a hurry to get rid of it - an alfalfa mix hay will not make your horses hot or silly or anything like that, in fact a mix hay is quite a good all-purpose hay for horses. Feeding only-grass hay often gives you mildly protein-deficient horses; feeding an alfalfa mix can let you meet their nutritional needs just fine from hay alone with no grain/pellets needed. Anything you can do to avoid 'having' to feed grain/pellets is a positive step towards healthier horses, in addition of course to being much simpler and somewhat cheaper.

    But anyhow, to answer the actual question:

    Do you want to use the lower field for horses? Just put them in there now; the alfalfa will be basically gone by next fall and *totally* gone thereafter. I promise. It does not stand up to grazing well, and grazing plus winter = no more alfalfa. It is perfectly safe for the horses to graze a pasture with alfalfa mixed into it, btw.

    If you do not want to put horses in there right now (e.g. if there are fence issues), just hay the field (you can sell the hay if for some reason you do not want to feed it, but see above) and DON'T reseed for the next couple years. In this region, alfalfa hayfields need reseeding every 3 yrs or so or they *naturally* go to all grass. So the so-called problem will rapidly take care of itself.

    If you want to hasten things along put horses (or anything else that will eat alfalfa in there) and you're back to the previous paragraph.

    Pat
     
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Just a note...I'm not sure about sheep or goats, but you wouldn't want to put cattle out to pasture down green alfalfa. They will bloat on it unless they are on bloat blocks or if it's been frozen down already.
     
  8. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Quote:If you put the cattle out on a full stomach they won't eat enough to bloat. Cattle will bloat on any green pasture if they are first put out on an empty stomach. By turning them out on a full stomach they won't eat as much right off and it will have something to mix with.
     
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Quote:I agree here. Alfalfa is a good forage, why get rid of it?

    The problem with killing it out and reseeding is with alfalfa itself. If you want to put corn or something else in there your fine. Direct seeding into the alfalfa stand to kill it out isn't going to work if it's a good stand because it is established and it will smother whatever you are planting. If the stand is poor enough to do that then you already have your grass. But once again, why do you want to get rid of a good quality feed?
     
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:If you put the cattle out on a full stomach they won't eat enough to bloat. Cattle will bloat on any green pasture if they are first put out on an empty stomach. By turning them out on a full stomach they won't eat as much right off and it will have something to mix with.

    That's true to a certain extent, but they're still subject to bloating. We never put ours out on the alfalfa ground unless it's froze down.
     

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