Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Final haying

We've finished the primary haying for the year; picked and stacked 21 tons of hay.  That's up from the 14 tons we put away last year.  We're carrying a few more animals, but mostly the price was good and what we don't feed can be used as bedding, even next year.  Here's a stack of 300 bales.  We ended up with 700 bales, about 60lbs each.   Maybe a few more than that.  Enough to fill 2/3rds of the hay barn.   

I put up more bales this year because I'm able to sell them for $5-6/each in the winter.  Horse folks seem to forget that their horses eat all year long, and as a result there's always a demand for relatively cheap hay, and local grass hay at $5 a bale is just the ticket.  Stacked in my barn, including labor costs and allowance for breakage and spoilage, they cost me $2.38/bale.  So if I sell half it pays for the other half.    I'm betting on horse people doing what they always do.  Been a safe bet so far. 
My hay guy has had problems with his baler this year; so we had more breakage than usual.  Here's an example of a bale that isn't correctly baled.  So I talked to him, and the bales we didn't take we cut the strings on, and he re-raked and re baled it, so he get some use of out of it. 

Here's my new hay hauler.  It's a 2000 ford F450, an ex-utility truck. I think that this one was the power companies.  It has 60,000 miles on it and cost $8,000 at the auction.  Works pretty well, put it to work the day after I bought it.  Comes with a hydraulic crane on the back and the bed is all-aluminum, so it won't rust and doesn't weigh much -- more payload.  We stack that trailer 6 high before we're done. 
And there was a whole lot of work to be done!


Funder said...

Horse people aren't that dumb. Well. Most horse people aren't that dumb. Some boarding stables require/permit the owner to provide her own hay, but don't give the owner the space to store a couple tons. And a lot of people who keep their hay at home also don't have space. Better to pay more for small amounts of hay throughout the year than to try to stack it and tarp it outside. My huge barn was a major selling point for my property - I have four tons in it now and it could easily hold 12.

sheila said...

It's a good feeling to have the hay barn full.