Long time readers will know how long we have wanted to make hay; it’s something we’ve been moving towards for years. Because we didn’t want to lay out huge chunks of cash for equipment, we bought everything separately and over about a four year span. Finally, we have all the parts needed to cut and move hay!
Graham is haying on the property next door….
Yesterday he used the baler and he ended up with 120 bales. We are pretty happy, even though the hay is not really good quality. We’re considering this year to be a “practice” run and we think it was successful!
You can see the bales lined up in the neighbouring field. Lots of round bales waiting to be picked up! We’re doing small square bales and are not sure if we would ever get a round baler. Graham’s Dad is watching in the picture.
I took a video and will try to get it posted here. The tractor is a Same – pronounced Sammy. Italian made, it’s considered a really good tractor. The baler is a Massey-Ferguson. To cut the hay, Graham used the sickle bar mower. He’s not that happy with it so we will be looking at other options. After cutting and leaving it for a day in the field, he used the hay rake to fluff it up and then put it into rows.
We will use these bales for winter bedding for the chickens. We’ll also give it away to whoever wants some for bedding; hopefully next years hay will have more nutritional value and we can start selling it.
Having the right equipment (even if it’s old) to do the job is so important. The field is far too large to cut by scythe and since Graham is so good mechanically, buying well used equipment seemed the best option for us. We are trying to never buy new if we can help it. We also don’t mind waiting for the right parts to come for sale at the right time. Always look to minimize your expenses on the homestead – you don’t want the added stress of having monthly payments on equipment.
Learn as much as you can by talking with people and reading – there are so many great ebooks out there to have one your Kindle or your PC. Here’s one all about tractors!