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Author Topic: My horse friends will understand  (Read 388 times)

KysaSD

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My horse friends will understand
« on: November 05, 2019, 08:55:36 am »

Why this makes me excited!

I do have a small square baler, and make my own small squares on a little 3 acre spot.  I make enough for traveling, sick horse, and people in my horse motel.  But I feed big rounds.  And a neighbor has to come and make them.  I did manage to get 30 big rounds this wet rainy year.  I need 29 to take my own horses through the winter.  Usually I have enough to sell.

I am at the mercy of the neighbor, and he does not want to do little 3 acre, 10 acre, or 15 acre fields, unless he can do the 200 acres at the same time.  My husbands 250 acres of cattle hay has not been cut in two years because it was too wet.

But next year, I will make my horse rounds on MY schedule.  I am hoping for a dryer year, but that is not predicted.  So I will make my tiny little sections in the few days it does not rain.  I do need my husbands big tractor to pull it.  But he can make some cow hay in small sections, too!

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Kysa, South Dakota, 5 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter, a Paso Fino, a Florida Cracker Horse and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

foxtrotter

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2019, 03:56:25 pm »

  As a fellow horse owner and the wife of a 'hay man' who used to be a dairy farmer, I completely understand!
 I'd like to get my own equipment, cuz my husband insists on getting his other crops planted before he will start on the hay.   >:(     Then he proceeds to bale 10,000 bales or more in a good year. 
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MJ

kckc

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2019, 05:03:30 pm »

that's incredible !!
MJ - 10,000 bales !?   bring it here !  :-)
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stablemind

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 03:41:09 am »

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Kysa - for years to come!
It will be so nice to have more control over harvesting your hay.
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loneelk

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 06:25:51 am »

Congratulations!!!!  And even tho we don't have pasture or grow hay, I can feel the joy!
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foxtrotter

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 05:18:44 pm »

 KCKC,
   When we still had dairy cows it was waaaay more bales then.  He sells to local horse people now, we will barely have enough for everyone this year.
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MJ

slamduncan

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 07:15:33 pm »

What Cyd said.  Now let us hope the weather get back to normal.
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Laurie

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 06:56:12 am »

Yay Kysa! I admire you for wanting to bale your own.  We just have 12.5 acres and baled the front pasture when we first moved in this house. However, we discovered that it was way more work than we wanted to tackle. I've gotten too old to be loading and stacking bales in the field and then again in the barn, and we had no help.  For us, it made more sense to pay the hay man (who lives next door) to deliver and stack our order in the barn for us :) His hay is beautiful and ours was a mixture of all kind of pasture grasses. It is worth the price for us.

We don't have the equipment to bale our own and had to pay someone to come do it for us. It was too much for us 8)  I remember our stepson was living with us one year we baled the front pasture and we made him help pick up bales from the field and stack in the barn.  It was threatening rain and we were in a hurry to pick up the bales.  He has often said that was the hardest job he has ever had!  He never helped us again either!

Anyway, it sounds like you and your husband have this hay business under control. Now if only I had one of those lovely machines like my hay dealer that picks up the bales and stacks them on your trailer for you.......I might consider it!  Part of my problem is that my husband is totally not mechanically inclined.  He can't fix any machine that  breaks.  We spend a fortune with the tractor dealer just doing repairs on our tractor and lawn mower.   He tells me he was raised by five women (mother, grandmothers, great-grand mothers) and they didn't teach him any of that!

We laugh and think about that "Green Acres" tv show!  That's us!

Anyway, I understand the satisfaction of getting those square bales in the barn for the year.  Its a wonderful feeling :D
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KysaSD

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 07:19:32 am »

I live in hay country....but most people do cattle hay.  And I am very picky about my horse hay. 

I do have a haybine, rake, and small baler that were my dads.  He put up little squares for his sheep years ago.  I need 100 or so bales, just enough for camping, horse motel customers, and feeding a sick horse. 
And I have a renter with 3 horses who works as an engineer.  He helps me bale, and I give him half the bales.  He keeps my equipment running in top condition....for the privilege of having the hay.  Great deal.

But mostly I feed rounds with a tractor in the winter.  And I have always been at the mercy of a neighbor who custom farms for many people.  My little few acre patches of smaller round bales is always an annoyance to him.  And the past two years, with so few days when you can bale, it has really become a problem.  Sad that the only way to get something done is to do it yourself.

Laurie....funny story from a few years ago.  I was 58 at the time.  My little three acre hay field was dry and ready to bale....and it was at least 90° Out.  Also, a storm was coming.  We needed to get the small squares baled and stacked in the barn ASAP.  I had made arrangements for two farm boys to help me after 5, but we could not wait.  I grabbed a 15 year boy who worked in my son’s greenhouses.  He was on the local high school football team.  I took him out in the field and explained that we would stack the bells on the wagon as they came out of the Baler.  I would tell him how to stack the bales so they didn’t fall off the wagon, but he would have to help me especially when we got more than four bales high.  I had brought him a long sleeve shirt which he refused, and work gloves which he eventually did put on. It was hot dusty work. There was a grove of trees on the edge of the field. Eventually I would have him on the wagon for one round, then drop him off in the shade to rest for one round.  And I had told him I was a 58-year-old woman with no upper body strength. We ended up making about 150 bales, and towards the end my husband helped and gave Jacob a ride back home. A month later I met Jacob’s father in the grocery store. He explained who he was, and how glad he was that I had made Jacob stack hay.  He had been telling Jacob stories about the only jobs he could get as a kid, and that the hardest one was stacking little square bales of hay. Jacob had laughed about his father story, until the day I made Jacob stack Hay.  And a 15-year-old football player could not do it as long as a 58-year-old woman with no upper body strength.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 5 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter, a Paso Fino, a Florida Cracker Horse and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

Laurie

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 09:03:22 am »

Ha Ha! I love that story, because it is so true :D :D :D  Unless you have done it, you have no idea how hard it is to continually pick up, move and stack bales of hay. Impossible to do without gloves and long sleeves....even through a shirt that stuff can stick you. It is amazing what we will do for our horses ;)  I have a good friend, who is a vet, and her father raised fine Angus cattle.  He grew beautiful hay that he would round bale for his cows, but he always square baled several hundred to keep in his barn and for us horse folk.  He would occasionally give his cows some of the square bales. He called it "ice cream" for them......they loved it.  Anyway, he would sell us some of his square bales with the condition that we showed up on baling day and help....either driving the truck/trailer, stacking or throwing the bales from the field.  It was back breaking but there were several of us horse friends who showed up so it was fun.......but HARD!  I was MUCH younger then ::)  He always had trouble finding a crew to help on hay days, so us horse folks would come when he needed us so we could get some of that hay too.

Once he passed away, his daughter, my friend, did not have the time or help to bale anymore so I had to find another source.  I saw her the other day and asked her about hay. She told me that she had found this huge commercial hay company near us that she was buying her hay from.  Said they had beautiful hay and it was easy to pick up or have delivered. I didn't even know it was there. She said they had all kinds of specialized machines.  You could drive up in your pickup and it had pickup sized bundles of square bales they they would place in your truck bed.  Said it took about 5 minutes with no lifting! She said she would drive back to the farm and back up to the fence that backed up to the barn opening and just roll off bales as needed.   

Most people around here don't feed round bales to horses because most of it is baled for cattle and not horses.  Its so humid here in the south that you have to be really careful about moisture and mold. 

Anyway, I am glad I only have one old gelding to buy for now.  He prefers the pasture to hay and mostly just messes with it.   




« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 01:32:59 pm by Laurie »
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Walkin45

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2019, 12:39:14 pm »

I baked hay from about 14 on until I moved here. Very hard work.
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foxtrotter

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2019, 04:17:59 pm »

  Kysa,
   How many head of cattle do you have?   How many bales of hay does your husband put up for them?
 I always have to laugh when my husband tells me about the high school jocks that come, and can't out bale an old man!
   Pretty much those 10,000 square bales we do, are done by my husband and son, can't find anyone willing to work that hard.
 Mostly, these days they each go out with a tractor, bale thrower, and fill up wagons, park them when full, and customers come and take them, unload them at home, and bring back the empty wagons.   
  We also store a bunch in the barn, and people without storage come and get hay as needed, so my husband and son fill the barn themselves, and then help load when people come for hay.  Way to much work.

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MJ

KysaSD

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2019, 08:43:00 pm »

My husband is down to about 75 cows...milk cows, young cows, steers.  Not many, but he does needs hay.  He usually needs 60-70 1600 pound rounds.  5his baler will only make 1200 or so pound bales so he will need a few more than that.  But he did not get a single bale off his own land this year, just too wet.  I had 8 1000 pound bales left from last year, and he is feeding those.  And I bargained for 13 bales.  But he will have to buy hay.  I managed the one field I take for horse hay, just one cutting.

We both need more hay, so will take matters in to my own hands.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 5 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter, a Paso Fino, a Florida Cracker Horse and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

kckc

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 06:27:56 am »

MJ - putting up hay is one heck of a lot of work 
Friends and I used to get together to get hay out of the field - it was cheaper that way.   Oh my gosh, I'm short and trying to get the hay onto the tall trailer stacks... I cant even imagine now.  And of course, there aren't any young people looking to do that kind of work.  Man, we'd go volunteer to help friends... but I couldn't even get my nephews to offload a trailer into the barn.  :-(
I went to round bales so I could just use the tractor or skidsteer to offload.  I'm not as happy feeding the round bales but there are only so many square bales I can deal with on my own.
Quite a few of the hay people around here now have the skidsteer hay collectors that drive along, pick up the small square bales and combine them in 21 bale stacks.   Then they load those same 21 bale stacks onto pick ups.   
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ponymare

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Re: My horse friends will understand
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 02:59:55 pm »

So exciting for you! We are about to make a big investment in a tractor and even though it's spendy (as Val says), I think it will definitely pull its own weight around here.

We are really lucky with our hay in that our guy sort of does it as a hobby (if you can call it relaxing). He always makes sure he knows what we are going to need first and he even stores it in his storage shed for us. We pay for 10 at first and then see if we will need all that he is saving for us. He just meets David and loads a new bale whenever he needs it. We feed the rounds but we have stopped feeding it free choice because a lot of it was getting wasted and stomped on and poo'ed on. David peels it off for them twice a day and there is only a little that gets wasted now. A friend has a nice hay system he built for himself so maybe we will get one built some day.

The only thing is our guy keeps getting bigger and bigger balers and it's a bit harder to manage them when we bring them to the pasture.  Heavier to roll off the pickup and heavier to maneuver into the corral panels and more area to cover with a tarp.  He used to make these nice little 4X4's for us which was perfect for a couple of horses.

Also, David's truck is not a 4 wheel drive so we have to time it just right moving them into the pasture. Ground either needs to be frozen or nice and dry!  The tractor will be worth its weight for this, in transferring bales to the pasture if the ground is dicey.

When we move to our horse property we will have like minded neighbors that will probably be glad to help us as we have helped them in the past.  We have gotten in on a few of their hay pickups and have helped stack it in their barn. They have been there for us and we hope to be there to help them as well!
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