Bringing in our own hay

It seems a long time ago now but it was only just over a week ago (Sunday 27 August) when our hay field was cut. A little late in the year compared to others perhaps but we got lucky with a spell of good weather and in the end the timing suited us perfectly.

In past years this field has been made into large round bales which were then taken away because we can’t use them without the heavy machinery to handle them. This year we asked a neighbour to cut and bale the field into small bales for us so that we can feed the Dexters on our own hay this winter.

We have been managing winter feeding for the cows by getting large bales one at a time from a neighbour and storing them in the barn. We could take out as much as the cows needed each day and they worked their way through each large bale over the course of 10-12 days.

This particular field had been deliberately left empty since early June and had grown well over the past few months. We watched the proceedings with much more interest this year because the results really mattered this time around.

Freshly cut field

Freshly cut field

After a week of watching the cut grass dry out and keeping a wary eye on the ever-changing weather forecast, it was quite a sight when the baler arrived last Saturday (2 Sept). Once the small baler got going the bales just kept on appearing and with our limited equipment it wasn’t possible to keep up.

Luckily the weather was excellent so it was just a question of getting the job done no matter how long it took. In the end this was quite some time and it was lucky that the moon was bright that weekend because bales were still being shifted after 9pm on the Saturday night!

Bringing in the bales

Bringing in the bales

By the following afternoon – and with the life saving help of some neighbours and his tractor – the last bales were safely stored. In fact just about every outbuilding now has some hay in it which smells wonderful but limits the options if we need to store anything else!

They might be called small bales but that’s just a relative term. After a weekend of shifting nearly 400 bales I was quite glad to get back to work at the day job for a rest!

Starting to fill up the main barn

Starting to fill up the main barn

After all the work it’s a strange sight now but I know that in no time at all the grass will be growing again and it will be back to a normal green field

All done

All done

Please leave any comments or questions and I'll respond as soon as possible