1). One Tonne of Silage per Acre.
2). Corn silage contains 40 to 50% grain.It is an excellent energy source for forage. Silage should be less than 55% of the total diet consumed in a day. Corn silage is a relatively low protein feedstuff. Half of the protein is in the non protein nitrogen form. Feeding milking cows with corn silage must be supplemented with natural protein sources such as soybean meal. A good dairy cow in milk should be fed minimum 25 kg of silage per day. A dairy cow must eat a balanced diet with enough energy, protein, fiber, water, minerals and vitamins to cover her own maintenance and growth as well as milk production and the needs of the growing foetus.
3). A cow will reach her highest daily milk output 6-8 weeks after calving but will only reach her highest intake of dry matter 10-12 weeks after calving.
4). Pelleted cattle feeds from reputed manufacturers, Oil cakes like Gingelly cake, Groundnut cake, Cotton seed cake, Coconut cake, can be fed along with Silage.
5). Forage which has been grown while still green and nutritious can be conserved through a natural ‘pickling’ process. Lactic acid is produced when the sugar in the forage plants are fermented by bacteria in a sealed container (silos) with no air. Forage conserved this way is known as ensiled forage or silage and will keep for up to three years without deteriorating. Silage is very palatable to livestock and can be fed at any time.
• Have silage storing structure.
• One cubic meter space / silo can store 500-600 kg of green fodder.
• Harvest the crop in dry matter stage.
• Dry the harvested fodder to bring down Dry Matter to 30-35 per cent.
• Chop the fodder into small pieces of 2-3 cm size using chaff cutter.
• Fill the chopped fodder into the silo, compress it.
• Press the chopped fodder in the silo layer by layer of 30-45 cm.
• Fill it and press it in a compressed manner quickly.
• After filling and pressing, cover and seal the silo with thick polyethylene sheet.
• Give weight by covering it with mud, put weight on top of the sheet to resist wind.
• Open the covers of the silo for feeding, after 50 days.
The fodder crops, such as hybrid napier, maize, sorghum, oats, pearl millet, rich in soluble carbohydrates are most suitable for fodder ensiling. Quality of silage can be improved with the use of suitable additives such as molasses, urea, salt, formic acid etc.
You will need one fodder harvester, a good chaff cutter preferably with blower, something to compress it. Silage is a substitute for green fodder and it can be fed similar to the greens.