This weekend my uncle Rich finished harvesting the corn field next to the Ball family farm. Because of this we have the opportunity to provide an additional feed source to our cows. Cows are ruminant animals, meaning they have one stomach with four chambers. Ruminants are herbivores that obtain their nutrients from plants, specifically grass. The rumen digests through a process called fermentation.
Corn is a great source of energy and feeding corn stalks can be a sustainable way to recycle the left over corn from harvest. We took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday to build fence in preparation for letting the cows graze.
We built a simple electric fence with two lines of wire from one existing fence to another. The four-wheeler and small trailer really come in handy (so does a simple hose wheel haha). The cows were so excited to explore their new home for the next few weeks.
Just like anything, to much of a good thing can be bad. Corn without roughage can cause the cows to bloat therefore we let the cows move back and forth between the corn stalks and the grass pasture. If they run out of grass, we will give them a hay bale.
Grass helps the corn move slower through the cows digestive system, allowing for the nutrients from the corn to be absorbed and used by the cow. The cows will be out here for a few weeks! If you drive by and think the cows are out, remember there is an electric fence haha.
**Diesel is getting better and better at herding the cows!