Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hay day

We have a neighbor who keeps both horses and cattle, and at this time of year he's always on the lookout for Good Deals in hay. He's one of those people who simply knows everyone, and so Good Deals are likely to come down through the grapevine to him before almost anyone else. Such was the case this year when he scored round bales of bluegrass for $55/ton, an incredible price.

We just sold off two six-month-old calves, so we're down the seven animals we'll be over-wintering. In years past we've had as many as 23 animals (way too many for our acreage) and needed a proportionately high amount of hay, but this year we won't need nearly as much. In fact we have several tons of leftover hay in the barn -- it will be fine for another year of feeding -- and just wanted to supplement our supply with another three tons or so. Our neighbor, who was engaged in hauling hay for his own animals, agreed to haul three extra tons for us as well.

He pulled in yesterday with his gooseneck trailer loaded up. This fellow is a former long-haul trucker and we have never, but never, seen anyone more talented in backing trailers and maneuvering huge rigs in tight spaces.

These bales are comparatively lightweight at about 800 lbs. each. Don shoved most of them off the flatbed with the tractor.

The last few bales were too far over for Don to reach with the tractor bucket, so the three of us -- Don, myself, and our neighbor -- climbed onto the flatbed where we heaved-to and rolled the remaining bales onto the ground.

We have some cleanup work to do in the barn before we can put these round bales under cover, but rain is not expected anytime soon so they'll do just fine waiting outside until then.

And meanwhile, it's an awfully nice feeling to have our winter feed taken care of, thanks to our neighbor's help.


  1. LOL - When I was young, an 80 pound bale was considered utterly ridiculous. Now they can weigh 1000; times have changed.

  2. Rural folks learn the value -- more like the necessity, actually -- of good neighbors in ways that suburbanites seldom do. I remember helping an aunt and uncle on their ranch one summer during my teenage years, when we kept the horses up in the corral one night, got up at 02:00 and drove nearly 50 miles to a neighbor's place tp help him bring in his late calves. We were a crew of fewer than 20 from that wide area, but by a little after sunup the calves were gathered, castrated as needed, dehorned, vaccinated and weaned from their mommas. The rancher's wife fed us a hearty breakfast, after which we headed back to our various places to start our regular day's work. That was the norm out there, because nobody could afford to keep a crew all year 'round for that sort of intermittent work effort. Folks who didn't get along with their neighbors quickly discovered that it was a mighty difficult part of the world in which to make a living. Good neighbors are a treasure!

  3. Yep, night time air is getting nippy, fall is on the way. Time to start tucking things up for the winter. Won't it be nice in the December blows to have everything safely gathered in?

  4. Great price for some good hay. Your livestock will be enjoying it come the dead of winter.

  5. Yes. And even better because it is still August.

  6. To push bales off I can't reach with bucket, I'll put a pallet in bucket and use it to push against bale. Or I use a couple of wood posts.