October First, Farm Diary

It was a beautiful day, as you can see. This is our lower hay field. We grow Brome hay. It’s a perennial, so pretty easy to keep up! We have a farmer who comes and fertilizes it in the winter and then mows and bales for us in the summer. We have a deal, he keeps 2/3 of it, we get 1/3. It mostly works pretty well.

I drove down here to cut some saplings down that were encroaching on the field. I wanted to get them while they still had leaves so I could feed them to the goats. Goats love tree leaves. LOVE THEM!

There are a few wildflowers sprinkled through the field. Clover, sunflowers, black eyed Susans, etc.

Cyrus always follows me when I’m checking out things on the farm. He is a good dog!

After I took the saplings up to feed to the bucks, I drove over to try to figure out how the hell I am going to get the incredibly large round bales to the goats’ pastures for feeding.
I have been taking bales apart, putting hay on the truck, driving to the correct pasture and unloading the hay. All by hand. And I mean, by hand. Ugh. I have rashes constantly from the hay!

Our tractor has been out of order for several years. And even if it was in working order, it is not nearly big enough to haul 4ftx6ft round bales – these things are monsters. They are the bales on the left – the one on the right is a 4ftx4ft bale – it is possible to move them with the truck, but still not easy.

Hopefully, I’ll figure this out soon, I do not want to spend 3 hours a day unraveling these monster bales, throwing bits of hay on the truck and then unloading the bits of hay to the goats.

About Beth Donovan

Wife. Mom. Grandma. fiber artist, goat farmer, messy housekeeper, decent cook. Oh, and I can shoot. Really well.
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7 Responses to October First, Farm Diary

  1. Wow, that is a conundrum. Those bales are huge! I guess square bales have gone out of style? I don’t remember the big rounds when I was a kid and we had stock.


    • Beth Donovan says:

      We were able to get square bales one year – but then our farmer’s square baler broke, and he said he would do it free if we would take round bales. He charged up $400 the year he did square bales for us, and we are frankly getting too darn old to pick up 80 pound square bales, loading them on a trailer, then moving them and unloading them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. freeholder45 says:

    It’s more efficient — less labor — for the farmers to make the big round bales, but for us small stock keepers, they are a royal PAIN! I don’t know what the answer to the conundrum is, except possibly moving the stock to the hay, instead of moving the hay to the stock?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth Donovan says:

      I hope I can convince one of the younger farmers in the area to help me out, maybe in exchange for some hay, or in the case of one family we know, in exchange for the rights to come and cut down all the hedgewood they want for fencing. We have tons of Osage Orange!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sanford Begley says:

    I don’t know what you have to work with but. Build a sledge or low wagon. It merely needs to be sturdy, not great. Use the family vehicle and or 2x4s or a combination to roll the bale onto the sledge/wagon. Pull that to the place where it will be needed. Leave in place til empty. Repeat as necessary


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