Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Almost every day I get up before the sun comes up, and I get to see a new day begin. Here is some of the scenery as seen from our back 20. Our property is surrounded by some of the finest farmland in New York State. We buy our hay from our neighbors who are award winning farmers. They raise corn for feed and ethanol, hay, wheat and soybeans. They companion plant their crops with red clover, which they harvest not only for hay but for seed as well. We feed our cattle their hay, which we buy in 800# bales that are delivered and slid into our barn that was designed and built specifically for that purpose. The bales are stacked and then pushed in with a hay fork (on a tractor obviously) on 4 x 4 skids that are laid out on the barn floor. Works pretty slick, and I have to admit, not throwing around all those prickly little bales all winter is kinda nice, too! Just peel and feed! We buy the clover seed from them to frost seed our pastures, and the straw we buy from them is so fine our cattle prefer eating it to sleeping on it, although they do both.
We've had some round bales delivered one year, but they were hard to store and almost impossible to feed, and I just don't see the sense in putting hay up dry only to leave it out in the weather to deteriorate and mold. But the cows loved the big round bales,(novelty item....) as they managed to tip them over and began unrolling them like big rolls of toilet paper. After the bales finally stopped,(hit a tree or the neighbors stockade fence....) the cattle proceeded to thrash the hay around with their horns, obviously enjoying themselves immensely! What a mess! So, we feed in covered feeders and consequently have no waste. With the cost of good hay, who can afford to have any of it stomped into the mud?
Enjoy your mornings!