Friday, July 08, 2011

The saying, "I'll try anything once," keeps popping into my head. And now that I've tried gathering hay by hand, I'm done. Once is enough.

I cut grass the other day with the sickle bar mower, until I broke the pitman, which is a wooden part, and I had to quit. It's not an expensive part, but John says it's a pain in the butt to fix. Sorry honey.

He wants to cut the rest of this and pick it up by hand. I dare him. And he has to do it wearing a bra, because hay in the bra is so wonderful.

I made the kids help me, and they were surprisingly good workers. Katia is stretching her back here, after raking the hay to one side.

The beginning of a stack.

Liam pushing the hay to the back.
We can't afford to have someone bale our hay, considering the nutritional value of this grass (considered a weed) isn't great and we don't get good yield, so we'd be buying hay and this would just be something to chew on. So we thought why not try hand gathering, this once? It was an educational experience, and fun for a little while. In all reality it's not worth the energy and it takes up too much space. We spent as much time on it as we would have spent stacking several tons of baled hay, and it takes up as much space as about a ton, but I bet it's only several bales worth. We got two truckloads.

So, if I had to gather my hay this way every year, I'd have ONE equine, and it would be a nice big donkey that didn't require much hay to feed through the winter.


Linda said...

That's the funniest thing I've seen in a LONG time!!! Crazy girl!

What kind of grass is it? It doesn't look like a weed to me.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Yeah, maybe crazy. But there was reason, originally. It's feeding Grace until we get our new hay in. :)

It's called meadow foxtail, and it is grass, but it's not a good grass to have for hay. Around here you try to keep it from invading your fields. Unfortunately it's the only grass in our fields. It's fine for grazing, actually maybe superior in some ways because it starts growing sooner than other grasses. I don't know how palatable it is compared to other grasses because it's the only grass my horses have to eat. The main problem with it is that it matures too soon and by the time it's hot and dry enough to harvest hay, it's past prime for use as hay. You can still feed it, and my horses like it over other hays (my neighbor claims his won't touch it) but I don't think it's very nutritious. It would be interesting to have it tested.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

And it was fun working with the kids, even if it was a silly endeavor. I don't know how it affected them, but it sure made me appreciate modern machinery. Imagine cutting with a scythe too... No thank you!