Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hay! It's That Time of Year

Right before I went to Virginia, we finally got our hay delivered.  We ordered 20 round bales to start with this winter, which would have meant five trips for Herb on five different evenings since he can only take four at a time pulling our trailer.  So we just decided to save him some time and get it delivered.

Scott, our hay guy, can get the whole load on his trailer in one trip.  He doesn't live far away, so he brings it over with his tractor, uses the tractor to unload the hay, and takes off.

It's up to Herb from there.

It's a job Herb enjoys, but it's always a bit of a rush to get the hay into the barn before dark since Scott can't deliver until supper-time.

Herb has mastered the skill of stacking bales on top of each other to save room in the barn.  He puts the bottom bales up on pallets to keep them away from any moisture that gets in the barn.  Since we had the front and back of the barn replaced a few weeks ago, the transparent panels are new--no more rain coming in on our hay!

About the first thing we had to do when I got home from Virginia was to put some hay out for the animals.  Although we were 20 inches ahead of normal annual rainfall up through the end of September, the spigot dried up in October.  We were lucky if we had half an inch for the whole month, and the grass is just not growing.  Here Herb is loading the hay ring into the pickup.

It's heartening to see a supply of hay in the barn, but we know 20 bales won't be enough for the winter when we have to start feeding it before the end of October.  However, we'd rather feed hay to supplement the grass that's left instead of letting the animals overgraze the pastures.

It goes a lot quicker with two of us.  I drove the truck down to the pasture while Herb followed with the hay on the tractor's hay spear.

He took the hay over to the run-in shed.

Watching Herb plop the hay down where we want it reminded me of our first year here when we had to manually roll round bales off our trailer and into the barn because we didn't have a tractor.  The only way to get hay to the animals was to tear it off in chunks, stuff it in a hay net, and carry that to the barnyard.

With the hay ring around the bale, there's room for multiple animals to get access to the hay from all around it without them being able to stand in it.   The hay stays dry from the weather and clean from the animals. Everyone gets plenty to eat without us having to stuff and haul hay nets.  I call that a win-win situation!  

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