This morning Tom was called that our hay was ready to be brought over. I was still at work after a long night. I came home and shortly the 4 tons of hay arrived.
I have come to realize that this is one of the major farming events of the year. There appears to be one major event per season. In spring it is sheep shearing, summer is putting up hay, in the fall it is butchering, and winter is more variable, either a major snow or freeze event.
Here is our hay.
This is how tall the hay was in comparison to our feed shed.
Here is one of the first bales going up the hay elevator.
Ryeleigh was waiting patiently for us. I am not sure that she remembers the last hay day when she was 7 months old.
Below is the distance I had to move hay bales to get to the elevator toward the end of the bales. I used the hug-the-top-of-the-bale-and-knee-kick-bottom-of-the-bale technique to move the bales across the trailer. I also use the hook-the-bale-and-drag-it-across-the-trailer technique. But today I was getting dizzy with the latter technique so used the former one which slowed me down a little.
And here is the last of the 96 ~80# bales that I woman-handled.
I was pretty tired, hot and dizzy at the end. I am not sunburnt, just hot in this photo just after finishing.
I was remembering how I had traveled to Minnesota in 1999 to bring my paternal grandmother’s remains back to her childhood church’s cemetery for burial. While we were there we spent time with her family, some of which had a dairy farm. In this visit they put up hay. I had never seen it before and was truly impressed by the strength it took. Now it is something I can do myself. Pretty amazing.
Here is the hay loft before the new hay. We had 35 bales leftover.
And here it is with the additional 4 tons. It is a great feeling having hay stored for the upcoming winter. The price of hay for us went up 33% so this is a huge expense, but we no longer need to worry about securing hay for the animals.
We are not using the hay barn for hay storage. It is vulnerable to flooding so nice to have all of our hay in the hay loft instead. But now we are contemplating what we can use the hay barn for.
As Tom was bringing the hay trailer back, I noticed the dogwood is looking particularly nice in the sunshine.
I then had more chores to do. It never ends. I rotated the cows into the far back field which is where the street sweeper is. Rory initially slowly moved into the field but then suddenly ran hard when he saw it. He had a great time scratching on it.
I was warm and dizzy again so sat for a bit in the cow field and enjoyed the view.
There were plenty of chores to do after this including scrubbing and refilling all fo the water containers of the animals, finish feeding the animals, replacing the eagle-scaring strings, helping the farrier trim the donkeys’ hooves, medicating old animals, and picked and processed peas.
It was a very long day.