Most of the animals on our farms feed on grass, hay, haylage, rape or kale. As we farm to organic standards, traditionally and extensively, our cattle, sheep and pigs are out in the fields for most of the time, grazing and foraging.
Our fields of organic grass, herbal leys, whole crop cereal, kale and rape provide, around the year, the tasty food for our animals that they so enjoy. They have natural shelter from the trees, woodland, hedges and Devon banks that surround our small fields as they graze contentedly.
But sometimes our animals may need a little extra organic feed. For example the ewes may need extra rations ahead of lambing, or the pigs cannot get sufficient food from foraging alone, and that’s when we need a bit of extra feed for them. Until now we have bought this organic cereal feed from our suppliers, and it has been delivered in small quantities in plastic bags. We have become increasingly concerned at this more costly and environmentally unfriendly activity.
So we have decided to purchase a steel and aluminium feed hopper, which we have erected ourselves, and which should last for many, many years. These hoppers, often used on dairy farms, enable animal feed to be delivered in bulk and stored safely and securely. The initial carbon cost is more than offset within a short time by the carbon savings which last for many years.
This is great news. No more single use plastic bags, which can be difficult to recycle or dispose of safely. Fewer deliveries, so a real fuel saving. The food is stored safely and securely, away from any vermin. There is much less wastage. All in all, a further small step to reduce our carbon footprint.