How to Save Grass to Keep it Fresh
You don’t have to laugh reading the title above just because you don’t have a goat or because you’re a city person now, any knowledge will be useful after all, especially if it can be shared with others who need it.
In the rainy season, grass usually thrives and is abundant, so that herbivores can meet their food needs. Animals are well developed, fat and healthy.
But in the dry season, most of the grass dries up and dies. Grass-eating cattle suffer from food shortages, so they are thin and dry. To overcome this, we try as much as possible so that the abundant grass in the rainy season can be stored for food supplies in the dry season.
Can ? How to ?
Pay attention to the following tips:
Hole Digging System
- Make a hole in the ground whose size is adjusted to the amount of grass that will be stored.
- During the rainy season, look for as much grass as possible, then tie it with strong ties.
- The dense bundles of grass are inserted into the hole, pressed until they are very dense. (The hole needs to be emptied about 50 cm at the top (surface). So the grass does not reach the ground level.
- Holes that have not been filled with grass are filled with excavated soil. compacted and leveled.
- In the dry season, when grazing cattle lack feed, these stores can be opened and released. The results of this storage make the grass is still quite fresh and of good quality as animal feed. So the livestock is kept stock of feed so that they stay fat, healthy and passionate.
Silage is the preservation of grass in a tightly closed (airtight/anaerobic) space/container. In tightly closed conditions, micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi) do not have the ability to decompose grass because the environment does not support it. So the grass will last for months. Silage also allows grass to be consumed properly without remaining, because the shape / texture is softer and the nutritional content increases by an average of 10 percent compared to when given in the form of fresh grass.
How to Make and Apply Grass Silage
The important thing to note is that air is not allowed to enter the container during the silage making process. The incoming air can activate putrefactive bacteria and become a growing environment for caterpillars. The failure of making silage is indicated by the presence of continuous heat as in the composting process. Whatever the medium and whatever the method, as long as it is related to the storage of fresh grass in a closed container/space, it can be called silage. Different media and methods are just a matter of creativity according to the potential of the environment. The following are examples of the stages of making grass silage using plastic sacks:
- The grass is withered so that its water content is reduced. The withering process can be through drying or leaving in the open air.
- The grass is chopped into pieces of 5-10 cm, for easy storage. It is denser to minimize air cavities in the container and so that more is stored in the container. Enumeration can be done manually or with the help of a machine designed by yourself. The simple design machine consists of two cutting blades that are rotated like propellers with the help of an electric motor.
- The grass is put in a sack and compacted. The goal is to put it in a sack so that the ends of the chopped grass don’t puncture/perforate the plastic bag in point 4.
- The grass in the sack is put in a large plastic bag and tightly closed by tying the two ends, so that air does not enter. Large plastic can be obtained in stores at a price per unit meter.
- Store in the shade and let the process last for at least a week. The finished silage will smell good. Give it to cattle when it will be needed, and close the lid tightly again.