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Hey Guys,

I have been planning a farm for some time now and plan to raise rabbits, goats, chickens, and pigs.

I have done some volunteer work on farms that have used hay and pellets as feed during the winter.

On my farm (whenever I buy it) I want to raise my own winter feed for my animals. I do not want to raise corn or hay since it seems to be rather fertilizer/petrol/machine intensive. I was wondering if anyone knows about old farming techniques from before the steam engine.

I think I read somewhere that livestock used to be fed squash/pumpkins during the winter. Will that work? How about sweet potato? Or regular Potato?

Any input welcome
 

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Google 'mangle beets'. Look up what each animal eats and see what you can grow; you have to be willing to put in some sweat to grow some things, and some grains are part of that. Storey's bookstore has [or had] a book on small scale grain raising...don't need a combine, etc. to do it, either.
 

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Hey Guys,

I have been planning a farm for some time now and plan to raise rabbits, goats, chickens, and pigs.

I have done some volunteer work on farms that have used hay and pellets as feed during the winter.

On my farm (whenever I buy it) I want to raise my own winter feed for my animals. I do not want to raise corn or hay since it seems to be rather fertilizer/petrol/machine intensive. I was wondering if anyone knows about old farming techniques from before the steam engine.

I think I read somewhere that livestock used to be fed squash/pumpkins during the winter. Will that work? How about sweet potato? Or regular Potato?

Any input welcome
Good winter feeds:
Squash, pumpkin, cabbage, turnips, beets, dried corn, chopped and ground up corn stalks, barley, wheat, any grain crop and hay (which is simply cut grasses).
 

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Forgive me for harping on goats - it's my new thing hehe - but goats are really good at foraging since they are related to deer. They *like* to eat browse like shrubbery, blackberries, brush, cuttings, and garden leavings - but you do need to remember that ALL animals have protein needs and you need to carefully calculate them according to the type of feed you plan to give them.

Horses have very touchy tummies and can die if fed a weird diet. I imagine that medieval horses were tougher stomached than today's highly bred creatures. Maybe a mustang would work :)

I know you didn't mention horses, but I wanted to give you an example of how things can go awry. If you are depending on your animals for eggs, meat, milk etc then the quality of feed directly impacts the end result or lack thereof.

I found this link and it looks really helpful.

Good luck and keep us posted. I am interested to see what you come up with!!

:eek:)
 
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