Winter Livestock Feed in 19th Century

I have been sent an email from David who is writing a short story set in the early 19th century on a small farm in Devon. It is a mixed farm and David is trying to establish what winter food would have been used/available in those times for a variety of livestock.

After abit of research I have found out that:-

  • Turnips were fed to cattle and sheep.
  • Hay was given to cattle and sheep.
  • Horses ate oats.
  • Oats strawwas given to suckler cows.
  • Chaff from wheat was fed to cattle.
  • Clover was a fodder crop.
  • Pigs were fed on scraps, peelings and pan scrapings as well as whey.
  • I asked about this on my farmingfriends on twitter page and found out that,

    Winter feeds include:

  • mangolds /manglewurzels ,
  • hay,
  • grains, mainly barley, and oats for horses
  • swedes,
  • turnips
  • non prickly tops of the ancient holly trees used for animal feed when snow bound.
  • pea haulm,
  • beech nuts &
  • oak leaves.

If you know anything about the Winter livestock feed in the 19th Century and know about Victorian farming, then please leave a comment and let us know what other food was fed to farm animals in the 19th century.

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2 thoughts on “Winter Livestock Feed in 19th Century”

  1. Hi Topveg,
    What an interesting story it is so good talking to people about the past. I can imagine it was painful for the hands pulling all those mangolds. Thanks for sharing this with me.
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  2. Hi Sara

    Have just been talking to a country gentleman who was reminiscing about his time pulling mangolds from the fields on a frosty winter morning. After knocking the frost from the leaves, the leaves were gripped, and pulled up, so that the mangold came out of the ground and was thrown on a cart. His hands were so cold he could hardly bear it – then hot-ache set in for about 10 minutes………..not his favourite memory!

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