CIRCUILAR No. 26 APRIL, 1914
ALABAMA
Agricultural Experiment Station
OF THE
Alabama Polytechnic Institute
AUBURN
Silos and Silage
]BY
N. A. NEGLEY
Opelika, Ala.
Post Publishing Company
1914
COMMITTEE OF TRUSTEES ON EXPERIMENT STATION.
HON. R. F. KOLB --------------------------- Montgomery
HON. H. L.MARtTIN------------------------------------------------G0zark
HON. A. W. BELL---------------------------Annistoni
STATION STAFF
C. C. THACH, President of the College.
J. F. DUGGAR, Director of Experiment Station.
DEPARTMENTAL ORGANIZATION.
AGRICULTURE:
J. F. Duggar, Agriculturist.
E. F. Cauthen, Associate.
M. J. Funchess, Assistant.
J. T. WX illiamson, Field Agent.
0. H. Sellers, Assistant.
H. B. Tisdale, Assistant.
VETERINARY SCIENCE:
C. A. Cary, Veterinarian.
1. 5. McAdory, Assistant.
CHEMISTRY:
B. B. Ross, Chemist, State Chemist
J. T. Anderson, Chemist, Soils
and Crops.
C. L. Hare, Physiological Chemist.
T. Bragg, First Assistant.
S. Adler, Assistant.
EXTENSION :
L. N. Duncan, Superintendent*
J. B. Hobdy, Assistant.*
N. A. Negley, Assistant.*
Mrs. Birdie 1. Robinson.*
C. S. Jones, Assistant.*
BOTANY:
J. S. Caldwell, Botanist.
A. B. Massey, Assistant.
PLANT PATHOLOGY:
F. A. Wolf, Pathologist.
HORTICULTURE:
Ernest Walker, Horticulturist.
J. C. C. Price, Associate.
G. V. Stelzenmuller, Field Agent.
ENTOMOLOGY:
XW. E. Hinds, Entomologist.
J. E. Buck, Assistant.
G. W. Ells, Field Agent.
ANIMAL INDUSTRY:
G. S. Templeton, Animal Hus-
band man.
F. S. Girton, Assistant.
S. S. Jerdan, Assistant.*
A. R. Gissendanner, Assistant.
J. A. McLeod, Assistant.
*I co-operation with United States Department of Agriculture
SILOS AND SILAGE
BY
N. A. NEGLEY.
Dairy Division, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
In co-operation with Alabama Experiment Station.
A large supply of succulent feed is important at all
times for the most economical production of milk. Pas-
ture furnishes this feed in summer and early spring,
but in periods of drouth during late summer, and for
a few months in the winter season, pastures do not fur-
nish a dependable supply of feed. Winter pasture
crops are often sown and if all conditions are favor-
able may supply an abundance of green feed during
the winter months. It is very seldom, however, that
all conditions are right and for this reason winter
pasture crops are not dependable. If oats and rye are
sown for pasture there are times during wet seasons
when the land will be damaged by grazing, and if these
crops are sown late and drouth or cold prevents a
good growth, they make but little pasture in winter.
On small farms it is rarely practicable to spare acreage
enough for these crops to maintain a large herd.
Silage furnishes a constant supply of succulent feed
for these periods cheaper than it can be obtained in
any other way. An acre of corn producing 50 bush-
els to the acre will yield about 10 tons of silage, which
will give six cows sufficient succulent material for
four months.
Silage is simply "canned corn" preserved by the ex-
(lusion of air. Silos are built high so that the weight
of the cut corn will pack the silage sufficiently to ex-
clude the air. The' round type of silo is the most eco-
Itomical and preserves the silage best.
The diameter of a silo is determined by the number
of cattle to be fed. Two or three inches of silage must
be fed off the surface daily to prevent spoiling. The
following table shows the diameter
required for vary-
ing numbers of cows:
TABLE 1.-Showing ratio between diameter of silo and num-
ber of cows to be fed.
Diameter of Number of
silo (in feet). cows to be fed.
10------------- 12
12------------- 17
14------------- 23
16------------- 30
18------------- 38
(41 .111441 4,11 ilt ,i ll 4! *4 l lsr 'I "441111* .
l 4
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.4', A
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l n' 41 4'4,I(4'l'44 silo4.
I4)114
4
\\iIIL arc~ Ibills of ni1lct(ial for' ('411rr41 silos oif
ialIs can Ii a44 111)1 44. an14 Il If ai 4.!co)sl of lh silo4 other
inig hall, ab4 day canilia 3.44! 441 wll.
( 44'U4't4. (X'jrion S. lal
Footing11L 4114 140k - of silo 18.2 .ils. 86 I~as ).9 ids'. 16.2 yfl,.
Floor4, if needeid I. I (Is. I;Ig" X (iIS. 1.3 yds.
1441ial. 1114141414g fhlour 19.6 }ds. 913 bags~. 10.7 ids. 17.5 ids.
90
Reinforcing Material.
12 pieces woven wire fencing 38/2 feet long, 36 inches wide,
double lower 3 courses.
4 pieces 2-inch angle iron 2 feet long for door sills.
8 pieces scrap iron 4/2 feet long for door sides.
Form Material.
(Chord, 2 feet 4 inches.)
Inside form: Rings, 13 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 14 feet; stud-
ding, 16 pieces 1 by 4 inches by 12 feet; sheet iron, No. 20
or 22, 4 pieces 36 inches by 9 feet 8 inches.
Outside form: Rings, 16 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 12 feet;
studding, 16 pieces 1 by 4 inches by 12 feet; sheet iron,
No. 20 or 22, 4 pieces 36 inches by 10 feet 8 inches; strap
iron, 24 pieces 3/ by 1 by 24 inches, bent to curve of
outside form and drilled for 4 rivets of 7 pound size:
2-inch right angle turned up one end and drilled for
1/
2
-inch bolt.
100 tinner's rivets of 7 pound size.
1/2 package tinner's rivets, 134 pound size.
12 machine bolts 3/ by 6 inches, long threads.
Roof and Doors.
Plates, 7 pieces 2 by 6 inches by 12 feet.
Rafters, 4 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 18 feet.
Sheathing, 250 feet B. M. of 1 by 6 inch stuff.
1 piece 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet for door frame in roof.
2/2 squares prepared roofing or 2,000 shingles.
8 bolts '/2 by 18 inches, with nuts and washers.
48 feet B. M. tongue-and-groove flooring for doors.
28 square feet waterproof paper for doors.
2 door forms, 1 piece 2 by 6 inches by 16 feet; 2 pieces 2 by
3 inches by 10 feet.
20 pounds 8 penny common wire nails.
30 pounds 10 penny common wire nails.
5 pounds 20 penny common wire nails.
BILL OF MATERIALS FOR CONCRETE SILO.
Inside dimensions: 14 by 30 feet; capacity 91 tons.
Concrete Material.
(Proportions 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, 5 parts stone).
Concrete. Cement. Sand. Stone.
Footing and body of silo_27.2 yds. 128 bags 14.7 yds. 24.0 yds
Floor, if needed---------1.9 yds. 9 bags 1.1lyds. 1.7 yds.
Total, including floor -- 29.1 yds. 137 bags 15.8 yds. 25.7 yds.
Reinforcing Material.
14 pieces woven wire fencing 461/2 feet long, 36 inches wide,
double lower 3 courses.
5 pieces 2-inch angle iron 2 feet long for door sills.
10 pieces strap iron 41/2 feet long for door sides.
Form Material.
(Chord, 2 feet 83/4 inches).
Inside form: Rings, 16 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 12 feet; stud-
ding, 16 pieces I by 4 inches by 12 feet; sheet iron, No.
20 or 22, 4 pieces 36 inches by 11 feet 2 inches.
91
Outside form: Rings, 16 pieces 1 by 6 inches by 14 feet; stud-
ding, 16 pieces 1 by 4 inches by 12 feet; sheet iron, No.
20 or 22, 4 pieces 36 inches by 12 feet 3 inches; strap iron,
24 pieces 3/ by 1 by 24 inches, bent to curve of outside
form and drilled for 4 rivets of 7 pound size; 2-inch
right angle turned up one end and drilled for '-inch
bolt.
100 tinner's rivets of 7 pound size.
1/2 package tinner's rivets, 13/ pound size.
12 machine bolts :r by 6 inches, long threads.
Roof and Doors.
Plates, 8 pieces 2 by 6 inches by 14 feet.
Rafters, 8 pieces 2 by 6 inches by 10 feet.
Sheathing, 300 feet B. M. of 1 by 6 inch stuff.
1 piece 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet for door frame in roof.
3 squares prepared roofing or 2,400 shingles.
10 bolts /2 by 18 inches, with nuts and washers.
60 feet B. M. tongue-and-groove flooring for doors.
35 square feet water-proof paper for doors.
2 door forms, 1 piece 2 by 6 inches by 16 feet; 2 pieces 2
by
3 inches by 10 feet.
20 pounds 8 penny common wire nails.
30 pounds 10 penny common wire nails.
5 pounds 20 penny common wire nails.
The stave silo is recommended where material for
concrete cannot be obtained at a reasonable cost, and
where lumber is cheap. They are erected more easily,
quickly, and cheaply than concrete silos, they permit
of moving and are preferable where business and
buildings are not permanently established. However,
they are not so durable and are subject to damage by
wind and fire, and owing to the shrinkage of staves in
summer when the silo is empty, attention is required
to tighten the hoops. The better grade of lum-
ber makes the more durable silo, but where this is
not available at reasonable prices a very satisfactory
silo can be made of cheaper stuff. The staves can
be made of 2 x 4 inch or 2 x 6 inch lumber and need not
be tongue-and-grooved nor beveled. Four men can
erect the ordinary silo in about three days. Following
are bills of materials for 10 and 12 feet stave silos:
BILL OF MATERIALS FOR A STAVE SILO.
Dimensions 10 by 22 feet (above foundation); capacity 34 tons
(no allowance made for settling).
Concrete Material.
(Proportions: 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, 5 parts stone.)
Cement. Sand. Stone.
Foundation wall, 1 by 3 feet_17 bags 1.89 cu. yds. 3.11 cu. yds.
Floor, 4 inches thick-------- 4 bags .42 cu. yds. .69 cu. yds.
Total ----------------- 21 bags 2.31 cu. yds. 3.80 cu. yds.
92
Lumber.
101 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 22 feet (or 51 pieces 2 by 4 inches
by 16 feet, and 101 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 14 feet), for
staves.
16 lineal feet 2 by 4 inches, dressed, in 2 feet lengths, for door
cleates.
4 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 16 feet, for rafters.
1 piece 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet, for door frame in roof.
200 feet B. M. 1 by 6 inches, for roof boards.
9 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet, for stakes for foundation
form.
175 feet B. M. /2 by 6 inches, for foundation form 1 foot
above ground.
Hoops (10 in number).
15 5/-inch rods 11 feet 9 inches long, ends threaded 6 inches,
hexagon nuts.
15 1/2-inch rods 11 feet 9 inches long, ends threaded 6 inches,
hexagon nuts.
15 5/-inch lugs.
15 /
2
-inch lugs.
Roofing
2 squares prepared roofing.
Hardware.
3? bolts 3/8 by 6 inches with nuts and washers, for door cleats.
4 eye bolts /2 by 24 inches, bent up 3 inches on straight end,
for anchor.
4 square-headed bolts 3/, by 4 inches, with nuts and washers,
for anchor bolts.
20 pounds 30 penny spikes.
5 pounds 20 penny nails.
5 pounds 8 penny nails.
101 splines 2 by 33/4 inches, if two-piece staves are used.
BILL OF MATERIAL FOR A STAVE SILO.
Dimensions: 12 by 24 feet (above foundation); capacity 55 tons
(no allowance made for settling).
Concrete Material.
(Proportions: 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, 5 parts stone.)
Cement. Sand. Stone.
Foundation wall, 1 by 3 feet_20 bags 2.27 cu. yds. 3.74 cu. yds.
Floor, 4 inches thick -------- 6 bags .64 cu. yds. 1.05 cu. yds.
Total ------------------ 26 bags 2.91 cu. yds. 4.79 cu yds.
Lumber.
121 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 24 feet (or 82 pieces 2 by 4 inches
by 16 feet), for staves.
16 lineal feet 2 by 4 inches, dressed, in 2 feet lengths, for
door cleats.
4 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 18 feet, for rafters.
1 piece 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet, for door frame in roof.
250 feet B. M. 1 by 6 inches, for roof boards.
10 pieces 2 by 4 inches by 12 feet, for stakes for foundation
form.
175 feet B. M. /2 by 6 inches, for foundation form 1 foot above
ground.
itt ,U4i ,l t Iu n m e s
12 t,;u 1ji 11iCct1 ' Jg". ~c d
IS5 i lulgs. 12 t-ic Inns.
H al (11 f'i l'r
32 bul by I Iince "H nul:n IscsfrA l
121 cj~it bu 2 I. y 21 inces ben up 3 ii 'Lcx 111 stoixuhlct
MOV,, .Ni1'' nifh scolloldilifl, Troq, .1ltt.
94
The pit or underground silo is not commonly in use
but is found in certain sections where the character of
the soil is such that sufficient depth can be obtained
without water rising in the silo or the walls caving.
A little less expensive machinery can be used in filling
this silo, because no elevator or blower is required,
but the cheapness of construction and the small sav-
ing in machinery expense is overcome by the incon-
venieuce and the amount of labor required to hoist
the silage twice daily out of the pit. In underground
silos a poisonous and deadly carbonic acid gas some-
times collects which renders these silos dangerous. Tak-
ing these things into consideration, we would not recom-
ment the pit silo, if it is at all possible to build one
of the other types.
Raw coal tar thinned with gasoline to the consistency
of paint, should be applied to the inside of the stave
and concrete silos and also to the wall of the pit silo,
if it is plastered.
The machinery is the expensive part of the equip-
ment for a silo and it is advisable that several farmers
in the community co-operate in buying it. Where this
arrangement is made it is advantageous for the owners
to exchange labor, thus making the silo filling cheaper
and easier. It is economy to buy machinery of suf-
ficient capacity so that the silos can be filled in a short
time.
The greatest cause of dissatisfaction with silage has
been that the silos have been filled improperly. The
corn should be cut for silage when the kernel is well
dented and glazed and the lower leaves of the stalk
have begun to turn brown. The corn should be cut in
about one-half inch lengths and well distributed and
thoroughly packed in the silo. If the corn gets too
mature, water should be added to it as it is put in the
silo. This can be done by running a stream from a bar-
rel or hose directly into the blower. When the silo is
full, the surface should be soaked with water and
thoroughly tramped for a short time each day for sev-
eral days. A thin layer of the surface silage will rot
and form an air-tight seal over the top. When feeding
is begun, this layer of rotten silage is thrown away.
If for any reason silage feeding should stop after once
begun a small layer will rot and form a seal as before.
The extension department of Auburn will be glad to
furnish bills of materials and detailed information re-
garding construction, type, size, and capacity of silos.