A friend and I are looking into a animal feed business of pelletizing tree leaves and selling them. We're thinking mulberry, locus, willow, maybe moringa as they coppice well and are leaves that animals like to browse. I'm thinking this would mainly be a nutritional supplement. We just began our research and sending feelers out to see what the demand is. A internet search didn't reveal anything for any businesses doing this. Anyone familiar with pelletizing leaves? Any advice from the animal experts out there?
"The Linden tree (Tilia sp.) , also known as Basswood, Honey-Tree, Bee Tree or Lime Tree, is a common deciduous tree found throughout the northern hemisphere. It’s easily identified by its utterly gigantic heart-shaped leaves (6-8 inches across) and intensely fragrant flowers. Adult trees have fissured bark, and can reach 6 feet in diameter. All parts of the plant are edible including the leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and bark."
From this website: practicalselfreliance.com I have only read the little snippet from the website, it's just the first thing that came up when I searched "edible linden" since I remembered reading that linden leaves are edible.
You can see with only one eye open, but you'll probably run into things and stub your toe. The big picture matters.
The folks as Tikkun Farm feed their Alpaca autumn leaves.
Consistent nutritional value information might be hard generate, if it's important.
If you liquify the green leaves by blending them down, you could dry them out into flakes or powder.
Low temperature and no direct sunlight to maintain nutrients.
Maybe mix with autumn leaves to help dry it out and add bulk,minerals and texture.
Biochar is another admixture that could add value.
Willow, mulberry, maples or box elder,sunflower or j choke stalks, apple or pear, morninga, are all nutritious possibilities.
Our pigs and sheep graze Paulownia, Hazel, Elderberry, Mulberry, Willow, Acacia, Medlar, Apple, Wild Plum and Wild Peach trees whenever they can reach them. We intentionally harvest Paulownia, Mulberry, Hazel and Willow leaves in Autumn (from the ground) to feed the sheep fresh and also to dry and add to our hayage stock.
Oh my goodness - what an interesting idea! I know that a neighbor of mine has been experimenting with what she calls "tree hay" which is basically just cutting and baling branches with green leaves during the summer and allowing them to dry for winter fodder. This is the first time she's done it, so time will tell how well it works but pelletizing the leaves... that's a very interesting idea. Would work great for goats and other browsing animals, I would think.
Just me and my kids, off griddin' it - follow along our shenanigans at our YouTube Uncle Dutch Farms.
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