It’s July and that means we’re in the middle of making hay!
Making hay bales is an incredibly important time of year on the farm because hay is what our cows will eat in the winter when there is snow on the ground. We’ve mentioned it before, but in case you don’t remember, hay is dried grass. So, if a cow is eating hay bales in the winter, it’s still grass fed.
First, we drive through the fields and cut the hay with a mower.
Then, we rake the grass into rows.
Then, we drive over the rows with a baler so that we can make hay bales.
Lastly, we have to pick up all of those hay bales and store them in the barn. This may sound like the easiest task of all, but it’s not. Each large bale of hay weighs 600+ lbs, so it requires a tractor to move them and we load the bales up on trailers.
Why do we need so much hay? Well, on average one cow will eat five bales during a typical winter. That’s a lot of hay!
We always make sure we make enough hay bales to feed all of the cows during the winter, and we do extra just in case it’s a long winter.
Thankfully, the process of making hay has improved dramatically over the years. Here’s a photo of Matt’s great-great-great-grandfather making hay. Believe it or not, everything was done by hand until the early 1800s. They would cut the hay and rake it into stacks.
Then, they used to use pitchforks to load all the hay onto horse-drawn carts. They didn’t have a way to bind the hay into bales so loose hay was taken to a specific area for storage and built into a haystack. Can you imagine finding a needle in one of those haystacks?! 🙂