This is the place to keep up to date with news of special events, culinary innovations and new arrivals among our herds of deer.
Deer are herbivores. They are, specifically, ruminants – which means they have multiple compartments in their stomach to help them digest grass, leaves, and other plant matter. Just like cows and sheep.
During the spring and summer the grass grows naturally with warmth and rain, providing a constant natural source of nutrition. During the colder months, the grass stops growing and so is no longer a source of nutrition during the winter. For any farm, winter fodder is of prime importance for livestock management. Making the most of our land at Sky Park Farm to produce quality food for our growing deer herds is an essential part of our commitment to sustainable farming.
We feed our deer silage during the winter months when there isn’t enough natural food available. Once the grass is long enough, our team carefully monitor the weather. Cutting our grass to make silage is a very busy moment in farm life. The perfect window will enable the grass to be mown, left overnight, baled and wrapped, all in 24 hours.
We mow around 30 acres, which is left to wilt in the field for a day. It is then raked in a swathe after which the baler picks it up and bales it. This is then followed by the wrapper. The purpose of wrapping the bales in plastic is to create an anaerobic environment which allows the grass to ferment maximising the sugars within the bale. In other environments silage can be made in a covered silo.
Silage is a freshly cut grass that is wrapped and preserved – it is high in energy and protein. The fermentation and storage process is called ensilage, ensiling or silaging. Silage can be made using several methods, largely dependent on available technology, local tradition or prevailing climate.
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