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Forage Mixtures: Poultry and Pigs

By Newman Turner

Editor’s Note: This article is a part of our series on Forage Mixtures.

All the herbal ley mixtures are suitable for use as four-year leys where it is usual to break the ley after four years. Three years is too short a period in which to derive maximum benefit either in yield of grass or soil fertility; and I consider four or five years the optimum life. Each mixture is, however, basically also a permanent pasture mixture, so may be left down longer if necessary.

The quantities of seeds making up the mixtures are the ideal for quick establishment and soil coverage; but where extra economy is necessary in seasons of high-priced seeds, the eventual pasture, though slower to ‘fill up,’ will be ultimately just as good with up to a third less seed, thus reducing the cost by one-third. But soil conditions, seedbed and fertility must be perfect for this reduction of seed quantity.

Poultry Ley

Poultry Ley

This mixture is made up of the finer, less fibrous grasses, together with the leafy Chicory, Plantain and Kidney Vetch. Yarrow, Burnet, and Sheep’s Parsley are all special favourites with poultry, and have a potent beneficial effect on the health and productive capacity of the birds.

The mixture also lends itself well to a combination of poultry-grazing with the closer grazing of sheep or calves.

Kidney Vetch
Kidney vetch

Pig Grazing Ley

(Ideal for folding or strip-grazing)

Pig Grazing Ley

Chicory and Plantain are two of the herbs which pigs will choose before all other ingredients of the ley. They are also probably the two most productive of the herbs included in these mixtures. This pig-grazing ley gives maximum yield of the leafy, high-protein, mineral-efficient herbs so important in the prevention of piglet anemia and other deficiency diseases. Sows and litters grazing a mixture of this kind are unlikely to succumb to such troubles. Store pigs and dry sows can be maintained entirely on such a pasture through the summer months.

Source: Fertility Pastures

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