Monday, June 25, 2012

Preparing for Winter.... Week Two

This week has been an action packed week with many things going on at the farm. For starters, Jeanmarie and Greg had an appointment to drop off two steers at the butcher so I was able to tend to the morning chores on my own. That was exciting! Then I was able to finish up working on the first chicken tractor we started. The weather this week has finally cooperated to allow us to begin haying. This is an important part of the farming operation since the hay baled needs to last them through the winter season. This is a grass-fed only operation. We started off with cutting the hay down with a discbine. Then throughout the rest of the week the hay was tedded. Tedding is a process that basically mixes the hay and breaks up clumps using a machine that looks like a rake to aid in properly drying the cut hay to the ideal moisture content. Hay should have a moisture content of 15-17% before it is baled. Any higher than that and the hay will get moldy. After the hay is tedded it is then raked into windrows and is ready to be baled. As the hay is being baled the baler shoots the hay into a hay wagon. The wagon is then moved from the field to the hay elevator where it has to be unloaded. Stacking hay is a lot of hard work. The temperature inside the barn was hotter than outside. The first two wagons where not that bad but more and more wagons where being dropped off in front of the barn. I lost count how many we unloaded.

There is a saying on the farm “ There are two seasons in farming, winter and preparing for winter”

Cutting the Hay
Hay after it has been cut

Finished the first Chicken Tractor (Minus the tarp for the roof)

Hay Baler

Helped unload about seven of these

Load hay onto the elevator

Helped stack hay in this large barn

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