This is our overgrazed, compacted field, thus the small windrows. The neighbor baling it sure liked the small windrows, and here I was trying to make them bigger because he said the windrows last year were too small... This picture is me getting the hang of the rake, or hay turner, or fluffer, depending on who you're talking to. We had to borrow it, and it's not the ideal tool for the job, but it got the job done.I spent 7 or so hours on the tractor today. I think I have the hang of it now. :D It isn't hard work, but it makes your neck stiff and your tailbone sore. I thought I'd be exhausted tonight, but even after taking Benadryl I have an abnormal amount of energy.
Our neighbor started baling on our place tonight. He got somewhere around 160 bales done. That's maybe a third of what we'll get, total. He won't bale the stuff on the other side of the creek because he's not familiar with the ground there. He suggested we load it up loose in the truck and feed it out that way. That would be a heck of a lot of work and not too good for my allergies. We're going to ask our other neighbor. He does round bales so we'd probably give it away, but at least it would be of use to someone.
We' should have enough hay to get us through the winter, all off our own place, depending on how much my neighbor wants for baling it. I might even have the hay tested since all of our hay is from the same source this year. Last year we supplemented with alfalfa, and we may again this year, but only because I have some left over. We also bought a few tons this spring to finish out the winter. Not this year!
This evening we cleaned out the stall we store hay in, and tomorrow I'm going to have my 12 year old drive the truck while I load hay into it. It's a pain with nobody up in the truck to stack, having to climb in and out, but John has his day job to do. :)
I went ahead and bought some of those goofy white 3M face masks to wear while I'm haying, and let me tell you they were absolutely worth the price and the bad fashion statement. I was dying after one pass with the rake when I forgot my mask in the house, but I wore it the rest of the time and was fine, and even did okay cleaning moldy hay out from the floor of the hay stall. If you have allergies, or even if you don't, these things are good to have around when doing work in such nasty air.
Scout didn't have any more quills in his nose. Either he got them out on his own or the camera was catching several white hairs bunched together to look like little quills. His nose looks good today, although he really didn't want me looking at it.