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Jerusalem Artichoke as fodder

 
suez Cawood
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Does anyone have experience using Jerusalem Artichoke as fodder for animals.  Cattle, sheep, horses?

Many thanks,

Suzie
 
Steve Furlong
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I'd be interested in this too. A friend has a horse and two ponies and spends a lot getting them hay, fibre mash etc. Jerusalem artichokes are really easy to grow here so it could be a very efficient source of feeding. I assume such animals would be much more interested in the stalks and leaves? If so, all the better - more tubers for us!
 
ronie dee
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Some animal ate the tops off all my Sun Chokes last year. I blame the neighbors roaming cattle, but it might have been a deer.
 
tel jetson
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our goats love the tops.  don't know about the tubers, yet.  I may try feeding them some today, just to see.
 
                                        
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many eons ago (25 years ago) i worked for some farmers in west central minnesota that where convinced by others to plant jerusalem chokes they where told that the tops made great silage and that there was a great new market for the tubers cows loved the tops but i don't know about the tubers
 
                                          
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lyndonraaum wrote:
many eons ago (25 years ago) i worked for some farmers in west central minnesota that where convinced by others to plant jerusalem chokes they where told that the tops made great silage and that there was a great new market for the tubers cows loved the tops but i don't know about the tubers


there was a pyramid scheme aroudn that time where jerk sales people convinced a lot of farmers to plant sunchokes.  these douchebags told everyone that sunchokes were to be soon traded on international commodity markets like corn, pork bellies, and cocoa.  of course it was a scam to get these farmers to buy their seed.  the farmers were supposed to convince other farmers to buy their seed and further the height of the pyramid.

of course, sunchokes have never been a traded commodity and many farmers went belly up after planting their whole farms in anticipation of a new market.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke#Pyramid_scheme
 
Walter Jeffries
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suez wrote:Does anyone have experience using Jerusalem Artichoke as fodder for animals.


Pigs love them. We plant them. Pigs dig and replant them. The pigs leave behind small pieces that then resprout. This is good if you want the sunchokes there. Awful if you don't. Sunchokes are very invasive. Wonderful or terrible depending on the angle you seem them at.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
                            
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I have been looking for different varieties to plant. I don't know why, but it's of critical importance to me that all my plants have first/last and nick names if there is one (Genus/Species/Variety). I have turned down plants before that don't. Dumb thing.. I planted some gorgeous bearded iris once and all I knew was that they were bearded iris. It bothered me horribly. I finally dug them up, gave them away and replaced them with a named variety. Gave me peace of mind. Sigh. Don't know why my mind works that way, but it does.

Back to topic: I'd like to try several varieties, can find only a handful of growers and they usually don't have the variety names included.

Does anyone have any suggestions where I can get named varieties?

Thanks
 
Abe Connally
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I have often considered them for pigs, but not sure if they would do well in our dry/hot climate....

No one around me raises them, so getting seed might be difficult.
 
Emil Spoerri
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velacreations wrote:
I have often considered them for pigs, but not sure if they would do well in our dry/hot climate....

No one around me raises them, so getting seed might be difficult.


Not sure if the yield is on par, but the taste is supposed to be superior in the relative known as Yacon.
 
Abe Connally
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Yacon?  Never heard of it.  Is it suited to hot/dry climates?

It would be nice to use Yacon to make some Bacon.... sorry, couldn't resist!
 
                          
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Location: Northern California
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Yacon

Jerusalem artichoke and yacon tubers both can cause gastric distress in sensitive humans because the inulin is not digested. It causes gas. Gas in livestock can be a serious problem. I'd be wary of using the tubers for feed.
 
Norris Thomlinson
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I've been cooking up small batches of the tubers for our chickens (on the wood stove we use to heat the house anyway).  They don't love them--they'll take a few bites for about 30 seconds, then run around the yard in case something better has shown up in the last 30 seconds, then make their way back to the jerusalem artichokes to eat some more, and so on.  They much prefer the bread we normally feed them as their staple calorie crop.  That said, they've been eating a pound or so a day between 10 of them.  I haven't done any formal experiments of seeing how much they're willing to eat in a day by depriving them of bread altogether, since they obviously don't relish the jerusalem artichokes, and I don't want to force them to eat something.  (We feed them on the "buffet model", providing them lots of different kinds of food so they can pick out how much of what they want to eat.)

Norris
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Long, low heat can convert inulin to sugar. Think caramelized onions and roasted camas.

I wonder if pit roasting or some other method of low-cost slow cooking would make sunchokes more digestible.

I bet at least some livestock are good at digesting inulin. Ruminants actually find it important, from what I've read: something about metabolizing added nitrogen into protein.
 
                      
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i read that you should cut then just before bloom, thats when the stalks have a concentrated sugars apparently they are good moonshine .. erm ethanol
 
                    
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
I wonder if pit roasting or some other method of low-cost slow cooking would make sunchokes more digestible.


Yes, long slow cooking makes a huge difference! Also, those harvested after some hard frosts are heaps beter as well.
 
                    
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Ruminants actually find it important, from what I've read: something about metabolizing added nitrogen into protein.


Do you have any more information on this, Joel?  I'd love to feed chokes to our cows. 

The chickens eat them if they're very thoroughly cooked but they far prefer cooked potatoes.  Our pigs have yet to discover the contents of our choke patch, I'm kind of glad about that, as I want to control where it gets replanted.  They prefer to munch on grass. 
 
                            
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Looks like they're lower in protein than alfalfa:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/jerusart.html
 
Jason Long
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Location: Davie, Fl
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Feral wrote:
Looks like they're lower in protein than alfalfa:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/jerusart.html


Feral, what does this have to do with anything? Are you referring that alfalfa would be better because it is higher in protein? If so, why are you only selecting protein as in important macronutrient, and why not mention micronutrients? Do you believe just because a food is a high source of some nutrient makes it the most optimal source for whatever animal to consume? Shouldn't we look for the most optimal source that we can utilize instead of the highest source of a food item that an animal may not be able to digest properly, or gain much?
 
                            
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Whoa.... hold on there! That was a lot of questions and assumptions too fast for me!

It is, what is.. I merely made a statement in regards to an article I had found. I was not trying to make any points, or to imply anything at all.

I have been looking for some sort of alternative forages. So for me personally,  the protein levels are a significant piece of information and it may be to others as well. That doesn't mean that I'm not interested in chokes, I AM very interested in them. My goats do quite well with the current feed program, if I change part of that program, I may need to make adjustments in other parts to compensate. However, again, what I posted was intended to be a simple statement, with a link to where I got that information, so that others can read it and make their own decisions/choices.

Also, for anyone interested in different varieties, I couldn't find many people who keep track of what varieties they have. I did find several varieties available from Will Bonsell, through the Scatterseed Project at Moose Tubers.

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm
 
Vickie Hinkley
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Location: Toledo, WA
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Feral wrote:
I have been looking for some sort of alternative forages. So for me personally,  the protein levels are a significant piece of information and it may be to others as well.

Also, for anyone interested in different varieties, I couldn't find many people who keep track of what varieties they have. I did find several varieties available from Will Bonsell, through the Scatterseed Project at Moose Tubers.

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/scatterseed.htm


I also compare most everything to alfalfa - it's my base line for everything from - because I can't grow alfalfa nor afford to buy it - but can grow comfrey, clover, etc., and now sunchokes...

BTW - we did have a patch of sunchokes - and I was disappointed that the pigs weren't more interested in them - but on the other hand - they didn't come back last year - so I guess they were finally interested enough to destroy the root crop.

Anyone know if late fall or over wintering results in sugar development? 
And if any one of the varieties develops more sugar than another?
 
Lizabeth Davis
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Right now, alfalfa makes the base of our goats' feed and I really want to move away from it and grow our own feed. It is way too expensive and is a strong weak link in our effort to become more self-sufficient. What high protein feeds do you all, who grow your own feed, recommend? We live in Texas and alfalfa does not grow well here. I plan to plant honey locust, black locust and honey mesquite for high protein feed. But I need some good roughage plants that are perennial and require minimal maintenance that can also hopefully be harvested and stored for the winter months. Or if there is something that remains green during the winter that they can feed on, that would be good too.



Thank you.
 
                            
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I do the same, feed alfalfa, have to haul it in (although it does grow in my area). I have quite a few goats, more than what I need for personal use but hopefully can start to market some goat milk products later this year.

I've wondered.. what do they do in Russia? What do they do in less developed countries where people provide for their own animals as opposed to being dependant on monoculture crops.

Does Sepp have goats? Does anyone know what he does in the winter?
I was watching some of his videos yesterday. He's actually increased the surface area of his land with the use of his terraces, raised beds and mounds

It would be nice to have some sort of sustainable forage systems, which are harvestable to fulfill feed needs year around.
 
Emil Spoerri
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I am going to respond to the questions posted about goats with a new thread.
 
                            
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EmileSpecies wrote:
I am going to respond to the questions posted about goats with a new thread.



Would love to read it, but I can't find it.....
 
                            
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Tel--Did you ever feed any of the tubers to your goats?

Do you have to prepare them in anyway, or do they just munch them up like apples? Any digestive problems that you noticed?  Do you feel it's worth the time to harvest the tubers for goats, or is it more effective to harvest the tops and leave the tubers alone or use them for other purposes?

Anyone else have experience using the tubers for goats?
 
Vickie Hinkley
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If anyone out there is thinking SPRING!! I highly recommend Alien Sunflowers - a Seattle area home business. I purchased Jerusalem Artichokes - for the pigs of course - with bonus of sunflower like flowers. Huge variety of sunflowers available. Excellent service and fast shipping.

http://www.aliensunflowers.com/
 
                                          
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I did one experiment with sunchokes here in the mohave desert.  They grew but not as well as expected.  Perhaps I could not spare enough water for them.  The goats did eat the tops which were rather stunted, only 4 ft. or so.  The pigs did eat the tubers, which I raked out and tossed into the trough.  They did not come back, even tho I left some seed,  nor had they spread much underground as expected.  The tubers I used were from a grocery store. 

A previous planting in coastal California of a pound from the grocery store yielded 30 pounds of tubers and six ft. or more tops.  Water was plentiful there and it was river bottom soil.  I had no animals then and all that yield was a waste.
 
Vickie Hinkley
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I hear you - growing for the animals - but then they impact the results - not for animals - then more than you could use. Not-to-mention not eating the leaves. I struggle with this - having too many animals and too little growing space. I grow the fodder - but then don't want to sacrifice it to the animals - who I grew it for!

But I keep believing the better I do at permaculture style growing this ratio will flip - it's just taking time. This will really only be my second spring attempting this.

thanks for the details on comparative water and soil results - reminds me to consider these when planting and to pay attention as summer progresses.
 
                      
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Please could someone explain the difference between a Sunchoke & a Jerusalem Artichoke? Pictures would be terrifically helpfull. Thank you.
 
                            
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There is no difference. Same plant, two names.


 
chip sanft
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MsMinuette wrote:
Please could someone explain the difference between a Sunchoke & a Jerusalem Artichoke?


Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto.

Sunchoke and Jerusalem artichoke are just two different names for Helianthus tuberosus; see <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helianthus_tuberosus>.
 
Anna Carter
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My goats loved the stalks and leaves, and the rabbits that got loose loved the tubers. I was quite pleased with growing them here in western wa.
 
                            
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That's great! I love hearing results from people on how things work for them.
 
                      
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Thank You
 
                              
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I grew these last year, came up about 6 feet tall, but never flowered like I thought they would. I was away most of the fall harvest season and never dug the tubers.. Hoping they made in through the winter, but I'm in MN, so I'm not sure.

I believe I got mine from Gurneys.. Poor choice perhaps, but all I could find.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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Try Horizon Herbs. I've an order coming from them.

http://www.horizonherbs.com/
 
                          
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Hi, Newbie here.  I grow 3 varieties of sunchokes:  Stampede, Fuseu, and Red Fuseu.  Stampede is short and lumpy and is sold in the grocery stores.  The Fuseus look like carrots, one is white skinned and one is red.  I eat most of the tubers myself but the few I've given to the birds (chickens, ducks, and geese) they've loved.  The geese do love the leaves so my plants are naked as far as they can reach.  I may have some to share later in the year. 
 
tel jetson
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our goats like the foliage.  they like the tubers, also, but only after rinsing.

a friend planted some sunchokes in an urban garden, but hated the taste.  harvested probably 40 pounds from a 2' x 8' patch.  came back a few weeks later and they had pulled out another 20 pounds that we missed.  I don't really care much for the flavor, either, so these are for the critters.
 
                                    
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Hi Jetson.
What kind of soil was that in? I'm wondering if they profuse in heavy clay too.
 
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