Feeding the Weaners
Sandstone is famous for its Cosmos which provides an exciting backdrop to public events. In 2021 such events are not happening but we still have the Cosmos. After an experiment in 2020, Cosmos has been mixed with Babala. This is a “sugar graze” animal feed and fast growing annual summer forage crop. The growth rate and height put pressure on the establishment of weeds. It builds the stability of soil aggregates and organic material. While it can be used as forage for both livestock and game, it also acts as a habitat for beneficial insects.
The cattle herds at Sandstone are also now a major feature at the farm and this year we have 275 Weaners, these being calves now weaned from their mothers and capable of feeding themselves, which they did recently when they were released into the Babala and Cosmos mixed field. They do not eat the Cosmos flowers just the green shoots along with the Babala giving them a healthy diet. The reason for the stripes of cosmos was that the farm mixed them with the fertilizer to spread them. The cosmos seed is lighter and then only covers a smaller area than the fertilizer.
Our gallery shows the weaners in the field while the video clip shows them being introduced into the field. They look a bit reluctant at first but the attraction of food soon gets them moving. Yesterday they went in slowly, this morning they went in running to get to all the green feed.