July 18, 2011

Hay

Throughout the summer we are storing hay for the winter. I once read something about winter consuming our every thought. When it's winter, we are trying to survive it; when it isn't winter we're preparing for the next one.

Our neighbor cuts and bales our field at the end of the summer. He only does round bales. He does it on shares, which means he gets some of the bales as payment for his work.


The remaining bales are "free" for us, but it isn't enough hay to get us through the winter even in a good hay year. Also, I prefer small square bales for the goats; it's easier for me to feed them. (Although they are called "square bales", they are rectangular. The size and weight of a square bale will vary by producer.)

In June we bought bermuda hay bales. We bought it "in the field", which means that as the baler was spitting out the bales, we were loading them on our trailer.

Excuse the bug-gy windshield.


I drive the pickup up and down the rows from bale to bale, while hubby loads them on the trailer.


It was 102* that day, but fortunately we were there early and were finished before it reached 95*. We waited to unload it on another morning; no rain was forecast for the forseeable future.


We also buy hay from another neighbor. He raises Nubian goats too. My senior buck, Honor, was born on his place. His bales are native grass, and they are smaller than our other suppliers' bales (and also less expensive). He is an older gentleman and has adjusted his baler to make bales he is able to lift and move. Coincidentally I can also lift and move them by myself. Being smaller, of course they don't last as long.

AND we cut the tall grass that grows in the corners of our hayfield where our neighbor's tractor can't go. We let this dry and rake it up, and store it in a shed.

We are in a bad drought year, so we will probably have to start feeding hay earlier than we normally do; one friend has already begun feeding hay to her horses. Hay is also more expensive this year because there is less of it. We plan to buy more than usual so that we will have enough to last us until spring - we hope. And we hope we'll be able to find enough hay to buy, at a price we can afford.

2 comments:

  1. That is so true... haying is a long and arduous process, and all to prepare for the coming winter.

    We prefer square bales too.
    The Lord has been so merciful, and I know He will continue to be.
    I will pray for you to find affordable hay.

    May the Lord bless you all.

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  2. I remember a few years ago hay was hard to find here in KY because of the weather and most people had to go west to get it. Farm living is not for everyone but like you said you live your summer planning for winter. We just checked one of our fields a couple days ago and it is ready to cut.

    Have a wonderful day
    Kristie

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