I have recently returned from a planting expedition on the Western Downs.  Davy Vetiver spent his days there digging, dividing and planting like some greened up invader hell-bent on colonisation.

The plant is mightier than the sword.

So here's the run down if anyone is interested:Vetiver on the Farm.

As Dick Grimshaw recently said: " If vetiver will grow, then you decide on the architecture to meet the need."

That's principle Numero Uno.

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  • Thanks, Dave.

     

  • To feed it to small animals like that, you'd need to at least chaff it. A chaff sized cut is under an inch.You could also silage that chaff....but the animals won't eat it if there are easier grasses to chew on.

    I'm going to be doing some fodder experiments this year if I get a chaffing machine. Most mulchers don't cut fine enough.

    Livestock will eat vetiver, but you probably need to chaff it first if other feed is available. Vetiver is excellent forage and fodder nutritionally, with a very high protein quotient. It is a great way to drought proof your farm. A workaround is to add molasses to the vetiver hey.

    During my recent bus man's holiday we were feeding cut vetiver to cattle and I suspect that their initial reticence is due to the plant's  novel smell. As a mjor perfume ingredient vetiver does resonate in the nostrils.

    So, if I had guinea pigs and I wanted to try them with vetiver, I'd use a machete or pair of shears to trim the stems into very short lengths. Preferably, the new growth stems. It may be worth the effort nutritionally. Another approach is to mix the cut vetiver with another grass -- or a legume. Feedstores around here offer a lot of different packaged grasses -- albeit at some cost to buy. In that sense, you'd use the vetiver as an extender.

    In a caged situation, such as also with poultry, vetiver grass makes very useful bedding and ground covering because it absorbs urine and extrudes oils that repel things like mites. Afterall, its cousin is lemon grass. After use, just throw it on the garden as mulch.

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  • Dave - A question about Vetiver grrass. Do you know of anyone who feeds it to guinea pigs? I was looking this up on the internet, and found just one comment in a forum that said they don't  eat it. One swallow doesn''t make a summer, so I wondered if you had any useful info about it. BTW, I don't actually have any guinea pigs at present, or any vetiver either, so at the moment this is purely academic.

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