Balage chopping

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6 years 1 month ago #539130 by Little Bo Peep 2016
Hi, we have balage that was cut and is great for the cows but need to shorten the length so it is more palatable for the sheep. Does anyone have experience at doing this? If yes, what sort of machine did you use to cut it up? We are hoping to reduce wastage. We have found that hanging the balage in the fence makes it easier for them to eat, but we've got 300 of the the girls now and that's way to much fence line to hang the balage out on.

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6 years 1 month ago #539131 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Balage chopping
Is your baleage in big rounds, or six packs with conventional hay bale size. If big rounds, maybe you could get hold of a silage knife and slice off with that. A hay rack would prevent too much wastage but feeding on the ground in long runs is probably best for that number of sheep.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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6 years 1 month ago #539132 by Little Bo Peep 2016
Replied by Little Bo Peep 2016 on topic Balage chopping
Medium squares. Last year we put it into long troughs, but are also wanting to feed it to them in the milking shed so need it chopped quite fine.

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6 years 1 month ago #539136 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Balage chopping
I have seen a good operation working which used an ordinary reel mower, (those old fashioned push jobs) It was turned upside down and had a wheel fitted on the side so that a small HP motor with pulley and belt could drive it. They were using it to cut Manchurian rice grass for making into quality paper. It is long tough and the reel mower was effective in cutting. I think from memory they had a hopper to support the rice grass as it fed through. You could get in touch see if they still use that method and how they constructed the cutter.

They are still in operation and called zizania handmade papers. Up in Dargaville

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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6 years 1 month ago #539138 by Little Bo Peep 2016
Replied by Little Bo Peep 2016 on topic Balage chopping
Sounds like a great option. I will look into that. Thank you.

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6 years 1 month ago #539142 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Balage chopping
Remember that it must not be cut too fine (and how fine is that ????) or you risk the animals getting digestion problems,
If you are making your own balage, ask for the grass to be "conditioned" as it is being cut. That might help.
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6 years 1 week ago #539391 by bev
Replied by bev on topic Balage chopping
The contractors that bale it will have knives in the balers, you can ask for knifes out for them to chop as its going through the baler,

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6 years 1 week ago #539393 by Little Bo Peep 2016
Replied by Little Bo Peep 2016 on topic Balage chopping
Thank you. I'll make sure we do that when cutting the balage this season.

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