Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hay Baling

Last summer we baled loads and loads of hay . We have the old type baler . It bales the rectangle shape bales . Not the great big round ones a lot of farmers have . We baled about 6300 bales of hay . Our barn was full . But soon we will be running out of hay. My husband , myself and a retired farm neighbor unloaded most of the hay . Once in awhile my brother helped or a friend . Between feeding the cows , small calves , dry cows and heifers we use about 24 bales a day . I usually feed the hay at the barn . Depending on the size of the bale , one bale usually feeds 4 cows.

When the hay is baled Glenn ( our neighbor ) brings the full wagon of hay down to the barn . My husband is still in the field baling more hay . Glenn pulls the wagon close to the barn .I unhook the pin holding the front of the wagon to the tractor . Then a guiding pole is inserted in the back of the wagon and is attached to the tractor. Glenn pushes the wagon in towards the barn and I guide it inside . Sometimes we start unloading the hay right away . If we have a couple of loads to bale , we have to unload the hay to get the wagon back up to the field. There were a few times last summer we had 6 loads to unload in 1 day . Boy , does that wear you out ! I try and think of it as good exercise !

It gets pretty hot in the middle of the summer unloading hay . And those humid days are really bad. I am usually on the wagon throwing the hay into my husband to stack . Once in awhile some of our 4 grandkids like to climb up on the wagon and try and push some of the bales off to their Papee . They are our little helpers . And of course we tell them we couldn't have got all that hay unloaded without them .

Soon my husband will be starting the field work for spring. Plowing and planting. Sometimes he works in the field all day , comes down to milk and then goes back to the field after milking and works til sometimes 9 p.m. or later. Never gets to eat supper til almost 9:30 or 10:00 . Farming is a lot of hard work and it takes a toll on your body . My husband just turned 60 in January and he a lot of back and leg problems.

Most of our farm equipment is antique. Almost all of the tractors are the ones my father-in-law used when he farmed. Most farmers can't afford new tractors or other equipment . The only ones who can are those " Pretend Farmers " . That is what I call them . The ones who use their farm as a tax write-off . And aren't on the farm to actually farm it.

Well ~ need to get going . Almost time to go to the barn adnget started !

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