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How To Prepare Haylage

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Haylage is made in different ways; as chopped hay silage (hence the name “haylage”), or as baled silage (or “baleage”).

Both involve packing plant material into plastic — as airtight as possible to avoid spoilage — and allowing it to ferment before feeding it to livestock.

Chop the residues (maize stover-lablab mixture) into 2.5cm length pieces using a forage chopper or a panga.

Spread chopped residues on a canvas.

Mix one litre molasses with two litres of water and sprinkle the mixture over the residues.

Fold a black polythene tube (about 1.5 metres long, gauge of 600-800mm for every 70kg of residues) lengthwise.

Tie firmly with a sisal twine at 30cm distance from the cut edge, fold back the edge and tie once again to exclude the air. Turn the polythene bag inside out.

Roll down or fold back the top of the polythene tube and place the tube into another synthetic sac used for packing sugar, salt, rice and maize flour.

The sac protects the polythene tube from being damaged by rodents and bad weather.

Put the chopped residues mixed with diluted molasses in the polythene tube. You can also use plastic drums instead of polythene tubes.

Compress the mixture firmly to exclude all the air. You can stand inside the bag or a plastic drum and compress the mixture down thoroughly using the feet.

Repeat the steps until the polythene tube or drum is full. Tie the haylage material and make sure the silo is airtight.

Store the silage in a well-ventilated store free from rodents. For large quantities of haylage, you can use a trench or pit silo.

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