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View Full Version : Mangels: what stock eats them? who grows them?


sharon1957
February 10th, 2009, 08:38 PM
What kind of livestock is it forage for? I'm deciding what animals to prepare for first, and don't know what thrives on it, what prep it needs for different animals (hard to imagine rabbits nawing on a 20 lb beet, but I don't have a clue).
We love beet greens and occasionally pickled beets, so we could set aside some ground for our veggies this year and forage & seed (do I have the timeline right?) the next year.
I've been thinking of two areas that alternate between growing forage and 'free range.' And wondering what mix of forage plants would optimize health of a range of a few animals -- lots of chickesn, one or two or three herd grazers/foragers, some rabbits over some worms. (Current thinking. Next plan: tune in tomorrow.)
Considering:
Amaranth
Shallu
Sesame
Millet
Flax
Mangel
Sorghum
Pumpkin
Austrian Winter Pea
Are some of them impossible in today's 6-7 zone border zone? Do some animals refuse some of these edibles? Do some make good companion or consecutive plantings? Which ones require processing in what fashion for what stock?
Anything else I didn't think to ask. Any links or books or variety/breed recommendations. Any help welcome.
Only memory of family growing forage was Nannie growing beets, so that's kind of a special interest.

plantinthings
February 11th, 2009, 04:50 AM
What kind of livestock is it forage for? I'm deciding what animals to prepare for first, and don't know what thrives on it, what prep it needs for different animals (hard to imagine rabbits nawing on a 20 lb beet, but I don't have a clue).
We love beet greens and occasionally pickled beets, so we could set aside some ground for our veggies this year and forage & seed (do I have the timeline right?) the next year.
I've been thinking of two areas that alternate between growing forage and 'free range.' And wondering what mix of forage plants would optimize health of a range of a few animals -- lots of chickesn, one or two or three herd grazers/foragers, some rabbits over some worms. (Current thinking. Next plan: tune in tomorrow.)
Considering:
Amaranth
Shallu
Sesame
Millet
Flax
Mangel
Sorghum
Pumpkin
Austrian Winter Pea
Are some of them impossible in today's 6-7 zone border zone? Do some animals refuse some of these edibles? Do some make good companion or consecutive plantings? Which ones require processing in what fashion for what stock?
Anything else I didn't think to ask. Any links or books or variety/breed recommendations. Any help welcome.
Only memory of family growing forage was Nannie growing beets, so that's kind of a special interest.

This is according to "The Encyclopedia of Country Skills" by Carla Emery.
Mangels are good to feed your goats (which also like carrots and large winter squash), cows and pigs (says that people like to cook them for the pigs). But you know I can't recall where I read this but chickens eat these too...the person puts a nail on the coop wall and puts the mangel beet on it.
I too am going to try to grow these this year for my future animals, so this is a first for me.
I also read you can eat the greens of these and when they are small for table use. For seed.....beets are a biennel, they produce seed the 2nd year.
Sorry I can't help on the rest.......this is a new thing for me too.

flaquita
February 11th, 2009, 08:04 AM
I know that cow for sure eat Mangel. In Germany that was the winter fodder for many cows, along with silage. The rest I couldn't tell you, except that people can eat them as well, used to be poor people food and food after WWII (according to my parents).
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
andrea

Eristic
February 11th, 2009, 01:27 PM
I grew mangels last year for the first time. The foliage makes a good spinach substitute and the roots were good in stews etc. I harvested mine early when the roots were about 1 kilo. They seemed to improve in taste with keeping and I will be growing more this year.

They are traditionally grown as fodder for all farm livestock though I think you need to be careful about feeding too much tops at once to cattle.

reubenT
February 11th, 2009, 08:46 PM
used to be a major food for all farm animals. When hay had to be made with a scyth and hand rake, hand forked on a wagon and again into a barn or stack. It was difficult to get enough made to feed several animals all winter, so beets and carrots were grown to help out. They have to be chopped up small enough so they can be handled by the animals. As mechanization took over, the growing of root crops for forage tapered off as hay lends itself to mass harvest and preservation much better than beets.
I make hay, but I've often thought about it if all the equipment was disabled it'd be much easier to grow beets than make hay.

bobbyblackcloud
February 11th, 2009, 10:02 PM
as boy my niebour the dutch man grew many of these they were quit tasty raw i remember quit sweet we stored them in a building attached to the green house just warn enough not freeze but not too warm to make then soft. he had a beet grinder he found at an old farm auction. we would grind a few beets each night for the two dairy cows he hand milked, we feed them two five gallon pails full. out of all the market crop he grew and they were many from tomatoes to glads the beets were not much work after we thined them the next work was to pull them the thinned beets were tasty boilled up as greens.

sharon1957
February 12th, 2009, 07:39 AM
he had a beet grinder he found at an old farm auction. we would grind a few beets each night for the two dairy cows he hand milked, we feed them two five gallon pails full.
All these responses are very helpful but this especially caught my eye: a beet grinder! What did it look like? I don't think I've ever seen one, but would I know it if I did? has anyone seen them listed at any of your favorite homestead supplies outlets? I wonder if any other kind of grinder could be substituted? This is getting more and more interesting....

crazyknitter
February 12th, 2009, 07:51 AM
All these responses are very helpful but this especially caught my eye: a beet grinder! What did it look like? I don't think I've ever seen one, but would I know it if I did? has anyone seen them listed at any of your favorite homestead supplies outlets? I wonder if any other kind of grinder could be substituted? This is getting more and more interesting....

ditto - inquiring minds want to know. ;)

crazyknitter
February 12th, 2009, 07:52 AM
What are 'mangels'? I have never heard of them.

sharon1957
February 12th, 2009, 12:38 PM
What are 'mangels'? I have never heard of them.
Mangels are beets. I first saw the term in Tom Robbins' book "Jitterbug Perfume" and then recently saw them listed in the Rare Seeds catalog with the other beets. Beet is the word most often used today. Mangel seems to be used more when referring to beet varieties that are very old, or are/were used for livestock feed. That's just the feel for it I've gotten from the context in which I see the word. Other opinions welcome.

Painted Goat
February 12th, 2009, 01:13 PM
I too have been considering this subject for better livestock feed over the winter. This year I bought a bag of beet pulp from the ag store and had to soak it before feeding because it is flaked and dehydrated. Since beets can be stored I thought I might just run them through my grater before adding them to the feed in the winter. As for who I fed them to, the bag indicates that all types of livestock can eat the beat pulp, but if it is dried you have to be really careful so I only feed it rehydrated.

Eristic
February 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM
Here's some pics.

http://downtheplot.com/images/worzel_aug.jpg

http://downtheplot.com/images/worzel_roots.jpg

plantinthings
February 13th, 2009, 04:50 AM
So do they always have to be grinded for livestock (of any kind)? Could you put them in the food processor?

bobbyblackcloud
February 16th, 2009, 10:59 AM
the beet grinder is like a large half conical basket made of cast iron webbed like an old tractor seat to allow lose dirt from the beets to fall through . then there is a wheel with serations not unlike a modern food porcessor . it has a hand wheel to turn the wheel blade the conical basket held the beets wich were forced by graveity and the wheel turning into the blades/serations. it really is like a giant food processor hand powered of course.