About every 10 days we purchase hay for the livestock. Mostly for the cattle, but L the Sheep gets to ‘free range’ on the bales, goats get what falls off in the process of feeding the bulls (they don’t get a whole bale) and the chickens get to play in the dregs if they feel brave venturing across the snow into the barnyard. With the eagles out over in the Long Field the chickens don’t wander any farther than the coop yard.

But when we purchase hay we take a few precautions to protect it from the weather. The old barn is over 100 years old and bales weren’t used at the time it was built. The opening above is for the hay trolley system that was used eons ago to move in loose hay. It was later used to move in small bales as mechanized farm machinery and implements arrived on small farms.

We purchase larger bales and we cover them individually… yes, there is a method to what some may consider madness. We bale feed over the winter but this year we were unable to set up bales in the designated fields because of the wildfire burned a lot of fencing and by the time all the fence was set upright, snow was already on the ground.

This winter we drop the bales in the barnyard and cover each one. Covering them keeps them dry and loose, otherwise they’d get covered with snow, rain and freeze into a big clump. The cows wouldn’t be able to eat them if they were frozen into a big block.

Just one of the many tasks that have to be performed here on the ranch along with the usual chores.

Winter feeding time

Until next time…

2 thoughts on “hay

    1. It’s in the barn yard and is high ground so if (when) it gets some snow melt the bales won’t freeze to the ground.

      The cat is Ester – she’s one of last years’ kittens. She was sure that we needed supervising or at least needed to take a break to play with her. She is a little love-bug.


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