Hay Day

It's been a busy few days in the barn. First, there was a lot of old hay to clean out, especially in the boys' stall. The sheep really like to spread their hay around. This isn't even all of it...but it'll be really good for the garden.

Scooping out all the llama beans is heavier labor than pitchforking up loose hay. This is also great fertilizer. This project was far easier with dad on the tractor than when I was by myself over the winter with a wheelbarrow in the snow. It still involves a lot of shoveling, but at least there's no barrow-pushing. And no snow. And it's not cold. And the beans aren't frozen.

This week my father picked up 200 bales of hay for the llamas and the sheep. This should last them through the winter. Fortunately, he got this new gadget: a hay elevator. (Sorry about the rather dizzying photo; it's the only one I could find.) It has a chain that carries the bales up into your hayloft, easing the work of unloading two haywagons rather than trying to pitch 50-pound (23 kg) bales up there by hand.

If you figure 200 bales at 50 lbs each (on average), that's five tons (over 4500 kg) of dried grass we moved and stacked up in the barn. Yeah, well ~ animals eat a lot. And poop a good deal. I guess we are all biological creatures, and that's the long and short of it, isn't it? They eat up all the nice green, grass (or hay) and, in the end, it makes nice fertilizer for the fruit and veggie garden.

Speaking of the garden, we've just had our first little strawberries, and the raspberries are well on their way. Mmm!

Just a bit of chick cuteness. All thirteen are doing well, as is Goldie's family. More on that tomorrow...when I'm not so worn out from dragging hay bales around.


Puss-in-Boots said...

Oooh, I know what it's like filling up a haybarn by hand...and then we got one of those lovely gadgets that do it for us. Aren't they a wonderful invention. I reckon the inventor should be awarded a knighthood...but neither America or Australia have those awards...so, he will get his reward in heaven...hopefully!

Anonymous said...

Y'all have been BUSY!

Anonymous said...

Your farm looks so lovely. And it sounds as though you have your own perfect little "ecosystem" going on there!

Jane said...

I grew up on a farm in the 40s & 50s so I remember loading bales first onto the wagon and then onto the hay elevator for the trip up to the loft. I used to drive the tractor (popped the clutch once and knocked a quarter load of hay off the back of the wagon), but Dad & Grandpa were in charge of stacking both the wagon & the loft. I got to unload bales onto the elevator because there wasn't too much I could do wrong there. {g}