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Best way to chop vegies (root crops) for animals  RSS feed

 
Bernard Welm
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I have 3 goats and am attempting to feed them from stuff that I grow my self. This does seem to work well during the summer and fall but I have found the goats are very picky when the food is in large pieces.

I remember seeing a video about an old machines that would chop the root crops for animals but I have not found one that will do it (Ok so I have not looked really hard either). So since this is a community of very inventive people I am wondering if anyone else has run into this issue and what people do to feed root crops and larger veggies to their animals?

Bernard
 
John Elliott
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I have a two word answer: lawn mower.

I may just have a 6.5 hp push mower, but I can push it over all sorts of things that I want chopped up: sorghum canes, sweet potato vines, chicory that has gone to seed, etc. You get a little practice and see what size rutabaga it takes to choke your mower blade, and you remember to run over stuff smaller than that. Either that, or you tilt the lawn mower and make it come down on piles of hard to digest stuff, that seems to make the machine chew better.

The stuff that comes out of my lawn mower bag is too valuable to compost. Unless I am running over poisonous weeds, the animals get first crack at the baggings, and after they have picked and scratched and pooped through it, THEN it can go to the composting pile.
 
Bernard Welm
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That sounds like a good way to chop some stuff up during the warmer seasons. Especially if you have a lot to chop.

Unfortunately in the cooler seasons (with snow on the ground) that won't work as well.
 
John Athayde
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In the BBC series Edwardian farm, they go through using an old machine that breaks up roots into smaller items.. It looked something like this:



Drop in the top, then it comes out the bottom in chips.

If you can find something along these lines, it'll probably outlast you if maintained well. In lieu of that, have you looked at a smaller electric chipper/shredder? Might also be more affordable or something you can get cheap on craigslist.
 
Bernard Welm
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That is what I remembered. Now the fun is what was it called and do they make anything like it anymore?
 
Burra Maluca
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That's a root cutter!

I used to see them at farm sales and tucked away in the back of old barns when I was in the UK. I've never seen one in action though.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Looks like they show up on auction from time to time.

https://www.k-bid.com/auction/3041/item/363

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/24854586_banner-root-cutter
 
Bernard Welm
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Tyler,

Thanks for that. I am so bummed that I had not seen that k-bid auction as it would have been just down the road from my place and to be sold for only $16 I guess I will have to keep my eye out for something like that again.
 
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permaculture bootcamp - boots-to-roots
https://permies.com/t/59706/permaculture-bootcamp-boots-roots
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