I was thinking of doing a crop of kale...but am wondering, anyone have any experience with this, and if so, did the kale make the milk taste "off" (bitter)? I guess it would depend on amount...but say if I fed maybe 5 leaves morning and night....OR better put, how much CAN I feed, and NOT have it taste off? Mary
Last Edit: Nov 1, 2010 22:10:45 GMT -5 by barnydhppy
Kale is a popular feed in England and has a reoutation for boosting production. We had about an acre of it and would move the electric fence so that the cows (60 Jerseys) would get a new 4 feet each day. I don't recall there ever being an issue with flavoring the milk.
Wherever there are flavor concerns, as from silage, you may safely feed following milking. Then have the cows on hay or grass for 45 minutes to an hour before the nect milking. This will clear off flavors.
One avoids feeding large amounts of kale for another reason. It contains a thyroxin antagonist. Prolonged feeding can result in iodine deficiency.
I planted a patch of kale for the cows in my vege garden last year, just as a winter treat for them. Didn't have any problems with the milk but then the cows were only getting a few leaves each per day.
Silver beet is the treat for this winter, once again just a few leaves each per day.
Midge New Zealand Devoted Milkmaid of Ellie and Head Cow of 10 glorious small Jersey nurse-cows.
Silver beet is called "swiss chard" in North America. Midge, do you pull the root and feed it also? Or is this the first time you've grown it for your cows, and you haven't decided whether or not to offer the root?
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