On the “On the Ranch at Oak Creek” vlog this week, we show how we put up the last ingredient to our feed system that is producing some of the largest whitetail in the country. We cut our Kopu II Clover and baled it up into four foot haylage bales. Watch as Caleb and his dad, Mark Heintz, cut, rake and bale the clover. These guys know hay and how to put it up. It was amazing watching the little things they did in order to make a perfect bale.
Why use haylage over regular old dry hay? Haylage has several benefits for the animals. By not drying the hay completely down, you actually preserve more of the nutrients. This makes them more readily available to the animals. Haylage helps to keep the rumen at the proper ph while still providing the scratch factor that our monster bucks need. Another benefit is that it doesn’t take as long to dry down the hay, on a wet spring and summer, this can become very benifical.
There are some draw backs to haylage. One draw back to haylage is that if it is not properly fermented, or if it gets a hole in the plastic in can mold. It will mold very quickly due to heat from the fermentation process. The other potential draw back is that the animals can actually gain to much weight due to the higher nutritional values. This can be a bad thing for one main reason for us; if our breeding stock that has been producing all the world record whitetail deer does gain to much weight it will hurt their conception rate. Studies have shown an animal with too much body fat does not reproduce well. That being said if you watch your nutritional values closely and have people that are really experienced with putting up haylage it can be a great thing.
If you would like to see the vlog, We follow Caleb and Mark as they make the perfect bale and end with them wrapping the bales to prepare for fermentation. The On The Ranch vlog comes out each Friday at 8 am. Click on the play button to watch Episode 6 of On The Ranch, Haylage.
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