I took the day a bit easy yesterday. I wouldn't say I did nothing for I did changed beds, straightened up the house- particularly the kitchen- did a little knitting, and had a really good laugh with a girl friend on the phone. But, over all I didn't do anything big. Oh yeah, I guess in the early morning I did stack three fourths (about 2 1/2 tons) a trailer of hay into the shed but that was done was ten.
And the funny thing is I was rather depressed in the afternoon. I think it is the let down. Not that I was feeling let down but that I had a little while for my emotions to catch up with the stress load I'd been carrying. In my sad mood my poor husband had to settle for a store pizza for supper. He is such a good man.
But today I have to 'buck up' as we say and push my emotions aside because I've hay to haul from South Dakota and stormy weather is a brewing. That means the hay needs to be tucked inside the shed and covered with plastic since the shed is not weather proof.
If you can even call it a shed since it once was a piece of machinery that a rancher pulled behind his tractor. An auger was attached and hay was shot into it, compacted by a treadmill like base, and the hay came out of it in the formed a loaf.
The rancher had removed the bottom when I spied it and my little scrounging mind thought - hay shed. A little negotiating and it came home with us. We had good intentions to fill in the end and cover the vents but it just has never happened. None the less a good heavy sheet of heavy plastic works to keep the moisture that seeps in off our hay and it is far far better than setting outside and trying to keep it covered. We always lost a lot of hay to the weather when we used that method.
The least enjoyable part of the whole haying project is shimmying along the top of the hay bales that reach nearly to the roof and spreading a HUGE piece of heavy plastic while dragging pickup tires to lay on top. Some how that job always falls to me.
This year we vow to not waste any of our expensive hay. Not only by preserving it in our shed but by buying efficient hay feeders and hopefully rebuilding another. You see I've my eye on a broken down hay feeder in a field but I can't find anybody home at the trailer nearby to try and make a deal for it. Beyond that hope, we've two more hay feeders to buy.
"A fool and his money are soon parted" said Benjamin Franklin ( I think that was who said that.) and this fool is going to start being smarter about wasting money by wasting hay. My goal is to not allowing any to be used as bedding by the animals instead of food. You livestock owners know how it is for stock invariably spread their hay on the ground as they sort through it to find especially tasty morsels. Then of course they urinate and defecate all over it while they are looking for the tasty morsels and then of course they won't eat the hay on they've soiled.
"Waste not want not." has become a higher priority in this household - hay being one area that it is critical to be more frugal with. The price this year is especially high since the drought in Texas and Oklahoma's has caused semi after semi load to leave the country to feed their livestock. Otherwise we'd have low hay prices since the farmers and ranchers had an abundant crop.
So my advice to you new livestock owners. Don't just put your hay under plastic. Work towards building or scrounging something to use as a hay shed. You'll save hundreds of dollars each year as the weather won't be starting a mold factory in your hay stack and robbing you of your hard earned dollars.
Plus, use hay feeders and good ones for the bad are no better than just throwing your hay on the ground. Remember hay on the ground picks up worms and those worms then journey inside your stock.
I'll talk more later about my search and research into the area of hay feeders.