Wednesday, January 25, 2012

too big for garage

How much does a bale of hay weigh?

That depends on many things..the type of baler and equipment used to bind up the hay.

Used to be hay was forked by hand, set into large piles, covered with hay to keep it dry. Some farms in Europe and many of the old order Amish farms in the U.S. still use this method. When you visit art museums that display paintings from the old masters there are always paintings depicting hay was an all hands on deck, everybody works on these days kind of thing.

So now, here in central PA, there are so many kinds of hay is amazing. From those still made by hand using hay forks, to giant bales too big to go into the back end of my 6' bed pickup truck, and everything in between.

Once cattle are growing well they can eat most anything. Hay is usually distinguished between horse hay and cattle hay..cattle hay will not be perfect, sometimes stayed out on the field too long before going under cover.

We have just one cow here, our gal Sybil, who is carrying a calf. Friends visited yesterday and commented on just how pregnant she looks..she is nice and round and full. While there is still plenty of grass on the fields we want to make certain she is getting enough to eat..we don't want the calf too big, so it will not be corn and soy..and we want her to maintain her health, strength and size. So we give her organic kelp, plenty of water, salt lick, and a mineral lick. And today, a bale of hay that will roll of the back of the truck and out on the field for her to have as she chooses. It is heavy enough to require a fork lift to get it into the back of the truck. Just in case she wants a little something different. And yes, it is horse hay..clean, dry, kept in a barn. Until now.

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