Podcast Episode 113 – 5 Plants to Grow for Animal Forage

In today’s podcast, Monica and I talk about 5 plants to grow for animal forage. Two main reasons to grow animal forage are to reduce reliance on the feed store (which saves you money) and it produces healthier animals.
1. White Dutch Clover – Trifolium repens – This is an easy plant to begin with. In fact, it’s probably already growing on your property. Understand that it is there and you may want to consider propagating it in many different places. We toss clover seed just about everywhere. We add it into our pastures, guilds, food forests, and swales. It has a protein content of almost 25% when fresh. It’s also a nitrogen fixer, pollinator attractor and an all-around great plant to have around.
White Dutch Clover Seed http://amzn.to/295h7uE
2. Stinging Nettle – Urtica dioica – height 3-6’, width 2-3’, oval leafed, deeply serrated, covered with stinging hairs. Great for all homestead animals. Must be cut and dried first or boiled it can be used as a forage. It’s the richest source of chlorophyll in the plant kingdom. It makes an excellent blood purifier and general tonic for livestock. Extremely high in protein!
3. White Mulberry – Morus alba – As a disclaimer, White Mulberry is considered invasive by some. Small to medium sized shrub/tree. White mulberry is a great forage plant for the homestead. The berries are devoured by poultry and pigs and the leaves can be eaten by all ruminants.
4. Comfrey – Symphytum zuplandicum (among others) – Very high food value for animals of all kinds. Low fiber, high protein (22-30%), high mineral. Increases egg and milk production both in quality and quantity. It is recommended to feed free choice as a supplement to other feed. Some will even dry and feed comfrey in winter as a hay supplement.
Comfrey cuttings http://amzn.to/28Ws57o
5. Siberian Pea Shrub – Caragana arborescens – large to very large shrub. This beast can grow to 20’ tall and 18’ wide so consider placement carefully unless you don’t mind pruning. This shrub provides forage for chickens from the plant’s pods and seed and the leaves for sheep, goats and cattle.

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