Saturday, September 5, 2015
Hay Season Waits for No Man Part II
The only thing on my list today was to get the 58 bales hoisted up into the hay loft.
Which by the way I am now firmly committed to buying one of those conveyor system things first friggin chance I have to find a good used one. I am too old to be throwing hay bales up into the loft and the pulley system or the electric wench setup I have are both way too slow.
Anyway. Getting the bales unloaded and then baling up the small front field and the bottom half of the back main field were all I had on my agenda for the day.
108 bales from the back and 24 from the front. This is also the third cutting off the front field and I have been grazing the sheep in the back field for some months now. All in all not a bad haul considering all the difficulties this year has wrought.
It took me a little over two hours to bale the back field and that including having to take one side of the knotters apart when the knuckles and cutter got clogged up as one strand of twine doubled up at the end of the roll. I managed to switch the twine out and finish baling with only needing to re-bale maybe five bales this time.
The old Ford baler seems to be hitting her stride. She seems to work best at about 500 RPM on the PTO rather than 540 more than likely due to ground speed rather than baler speed I imagine. Still it is damned slow work compared to modern day balers.
Today's bale count brings total cost per bale for the year to $7.56 per bale. Still way North of what it would cost us to buy the hay outright but we are getting closer to a break even and then saving rate now. There is light at the end of that tunnel.
The Redtailed Hawk was back. I think he or she is actually out there enjoying one of my hens as a snack as I once again seem to be minus one hen. This is getting almost comical at this point. I picked up eight more hens yesterday as I mentioned and they seemed to be getting along fine all day. No squabbling, we are getting eggs again and all the hens appeared happy. The new eight were all free range and you could tell it, they seemed to breath new adventurous life into the flock. Then after I got done baling I noticed a line of feathers behind the barn. No body anywhere but one of the new Buff hens is now AWOL. Not sure I can blame the dogs either as I haven't seen em down there all day and the last hen they killed they left the body.
Maybe the dogs are getting smarter and hiding evidence now?
Oh well now that I can take a breather from hay for a few days chicken security can move up the priority list. Hopefully they will learn the ropes of this area before they are all gone because I want these chickens as much for bug control as I do eggs and meat.
So tomorrow I have another 138 bales to put up and then finish the back fence and start picking up the mess around here. I got tools, fuel cans, twine rolls etc. scattered all over 25 acres that need picked up.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!