Bull Calves Feeding in Lucerne Tree Fields

These weaned Angus bull calves have been in a hectare of lucerne trees feeding and growing strong.  Our short, bushy, pruned lucerne trees provide excellent food!

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These Angus bulls have been rounded off and are in excellent condition feeding off our lucerne trees.

Recently Myles sold several young Angus bulls at a livestock auction and his bulls fetched excellent prices.

Proof that lucerne trees provide nutritious food year-round!

Order your seeds and trees today!

Fresh Green Chicken Food

Chickens love eating fresh lucerne tree leaves!    With 14% protein levels, lucerne tree cuttings provide outstanding food for ‘free’!

I simply prune a few branches off the trees that form an effective wind break around my chicken yard, and the chickens devour every. single. leaf!  (You’ll notice the bare branches from the previous day.)

A simple daily routine with wonderful results – healthy chickens, bright orange-yellow egg yolks and easy homesteading!

Grazing Directly Off Lucerne Trees

Grazing Directly Off Lucerne Trees

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2-year Angus bull browsing directly off the lucerne trees.
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Our pruned lucerne trees are sturdy and bushy – perfect for cattle to feed directly off the tree.

 

We have pruned our lucerne trees, chipping the cut branches and establishing good, sturdy, bush-like trees.  After more than 2 years, the grasses growing between the rows of trees are really prolific.  The trees’ nitrogen-fixing roots fertilize the soils and promote good grass growth.

This is great grazing year-round!

Chipping Tons of Food

We have discovered an amazing method of Lucerne Tree food production ~

Chipping!

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When we pruned our trees, we collected all our cuttings and fed our sheep and cattle these soft branches, but when we pushed the cuttings through a chipper, the animals absolutely LOVED it!

Advantages of chipping Lucerne Tree branches ~

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  • ALL the cuttings are used as food. Nothing is wasted!
  • The soft lucerne tree branches are high in nutrient value and fiber.
  • Chipped trees can be fed as green, wet fodder.
  • Dried chipped lucerne trees can be stored in bags.
  • Add salts and crushed mealies added to chipped fodder as an excellent, nutritious finishing food for lambs and calves.
  • Pruning trees helps to correct the shape, strengthen the branches and stimulate new growth on trees.
  • Pruned trees are kept at optimal grazing height.
  • Sturdy pruned branches are resistant to grazing damage.

Estimates on food tonnage per tree ~

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  • You can chip your pruned branches within the first few months, and quadruple your feed in comparison to when animals graze directly off the trees.
  • 4-year-old trees will give a minimum of 50 kg of wet chipped fodder per annum.
  • One staff member can prune close to 450 kg of wet material per day.
  • 1 hectare of 4-year-old trees with a minimum of 2000 trees (see planting calculations) can deliver in excess of 100 tonnes of wet material per annum if your trees are consistent in size.
  • When you allow your animals to graze directly off the trees, you will average in a region of 30 tonnes of wet material per hectare/ per annum.

1-20140722_184029This is year-round, drought-resistant, lush, nutritious food which gets better and better every year!

Order your seeds and trees now!

Happy Farming!

Updated Pages

We have updated our blog with new comprehensive information and excellent photos!

Pop over to check out these fresh pages ~

Spring is just around the bend!  It’s time to plan and prepare your new food-producing lands!

Happy Farming!

Benefits of pruning lucerne trees

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Pruned 16-month-old trees on the left compared to un-pruned trees on the right

Every time you prune your trees, you increase your trees carrying capacity.

Lucerne trees must not be grazed within their first 2 years, because the animals tear the branches and stunt the growth of these young trees.  The aim is to have a mature tree having a thick stem of about 280mm, but being no more than 1 meter in height. The result is thick 50-75mm branches carrying very dense foliage.  These branches are never grazed or damaged while the foliage is eaten off them.

Pruned 16-month-old trees
Pruned 16-month-old trees

Whenever you prune your trees, the roots prune themselves, fixing nitrogen in your soils.

Every pruning should give you up to 40kg of plant material off a 3-year-old tree.  In the case where you have established 2000 trees in a hectare, this will amount to 80 tonnes of silage!

Pruning is the most beneficial practice for the lucerne tree and it is an essential component of lucerne tree management.

Do NOT neglect to prune your trees!

 

Dry Feed From Prunings

Nothing is wasted on these trees

Every branch pruned in the field to maintain the optimum tree height at 1.5m is carried into a storeroom to dry. 15f

Even the small cuttings pruned from our trees in potting bags is collected for dry feed.

(We cut our small trees still in their bags to stimulate side branch growth to form a bushy tree, rather than a long, lanky tree.)

Within 3 days the branches have dried out and with a couple good knocks against the wall, every leaf falls down, leaving neat bare branches.  (A nice rainy-day job!)

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We mix our leaves with some crushed mealies, some molasses and a scoop of salt and store our finishing mix in bags. And every stock farmer knows the great benefit of a good finishing mix for their lambs!

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So, keep your trees short, promote side growth and collect food for storage – a win! win! win! with lucerne trees!

Happy Farming!