...Of seeds and sheeps and sealing wax...

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I posted this message to my Frugal Rural Living list and then to a couple of others as part of a discussion of bird seed and feeders. I am posting it here by the invitation of the moderator who is on one of my list.

###################################### We have been using the mixed seed lately. I grew some sunflowers a few years ago from seed I bought from another farmer nearby. It was $10 for a 50 pound bag straight from the combine (no special cleaning). I planted 4 rows about 2,000' long along with 4 rows of grain sorghum (milo) and about a half acre of millet seeded solid in a couple of patches. We were thinking of mixing and selling bird seed. The millet basically failed due to weather (wet spring then drouth). It did make a good bit of forage so the sheep got it. Sunflowers do attract birds... they ate about 70 percent of the heads while it was standing, some while they were too green to combine. What was left when we ran it was shared between the local birds and our sheep that winter. The grain sorghum produced very well and was not badly bothered since all 400,000 birds were busy eating the sunflowers. Some of it was fed to the birds and the bulk was used to feed the sheep. The sorghum produced a lot of forage and when I combined it I cut it high enough to leave most of the stalk and leaves. After I was done with that field I turned the sheep in to glean what they could and they ate on those stalks and leaves most of the winter. Of course they ate a lot of dropped ears of corn and even individual kernels of shelled corn. There are a lot of fall grasses that come up in late summer in corn fields. We always introduced them to a corn field gradually to prevent them from getting too much corn at once to start out. I would run a couple of hot wires across to fence about 5 acres then we would feed them dry hay in the evening so they were turned in the corn field just before dark and with a full gizzard. They would go eat a little then come to the barn at dark. After a few days they were used to the diet and could be just allowed to roam and eat at will. They did a great job of cleaning up the fall growth of Canada Thistles too as well as eating down all of the grass around the fence lines. The 3 fields they got were about 24 acres each about half corn and half soybean stubble. They were just crazy about the soybeans and ate the bottom pods next to the ground that the combine couldn't get like they were candy. --

I am a 62 year old lifetime farmer / small businessman.


My latest list "No Nonsense Horse" (includes donkeys & mules). http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NoNonsenseHorse/

Francis Robinson Central Indiana USA robinson@svs.net

-- Francis Robinson (robinson@svs.net), May 06, 2004


Thank you very much for posting this. I am wondering something though. Did you have toxicity poblms with using the sorghum as forage. In my reading recently I came across some reference to sorghum/milo either becoming toxic when wilted, or just being toxic altogether. Would you happen to know anything about this? Is it safe to graze an animal on it as long as it is fed very fresh or is still in the stand?

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), May 06, 2004.

Here's a link to one of the problems associated with sorghums


-- Judy (tabletophomestead@earthlink.net), May 14, 2004.

Here's another link.


-- Judy (tabletophomestead@earthlink.net), May 14, 2004.

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