this was supposed to go up a few weeks ago…..
5 Lessons in Hay from Joel.
Joel said we would be doing a lot of hay this year on the farm- It’s been pretty wet so we haven’t made to much but last week the forecast looked good… so…..
Sunday we baled about 1/2 of the ridge field which is right by Daniel and Sheri’s house. It had been cut on Thursday night and was going to be baled up on Monday and Tuesday but the weather changed to show rain for Monday. They tedded it (turned it over so it would dry) Friday and again on Saturday. Then after church on Sunday Daniel hooked up to the rake and started raking. We joined as they started baling around 3 pm and for the next 3 hot (85) and muggy hours loaded bales. Around eight hundred big, heavy bales total. As we were finishing baling for the day (8 wagons total) Joel said that when they just got to the farm, the whole farm produced the same amount of hay that we had just baled in just a part of one field in that afternoon. Pretty phenomenal.
Couple lessons we learned-
-We make hay while the sun shines. We weren’t happy about it but Sunday the hay was ready and Monday it was going to rain. So we made hay on Sunday. And took it a little easier on Monday.
– Have a lot of wagons and a lot of places to park them under cover. This allowed us to plow through and make a ton of hay straight through without having to stop and unload. Take 5 minutes to switch wagons and then away we went again. We then unloaded starting at 6am Monday morning before the rain hit.
-We were using flat wagons with backs and stacking it. This allowed us to get more hay per wagon and made unloading a breeze. And wagons don’t have to be pretty-they just need to work. Polyface had a pretty motley array…
– Salting down hay. We put down around 50 lbs per wagon. It helps any hay that isn’t 100% dry cure properly. It also helps make it more palatable for the animals. I mean, you like salt on your food too, right?
– You know the old adage? Hay is for horses… Pigs would eat it but don’t know how? Well Polyface pigs do eat hay. See the below picture for proof. A few bales busted in the process and we threw them to the pigs. They rushed it and fought over it.