Saturday was the day of the first hay roundup. Mr Tex had agreed to come out and help buck hay. He doesn’t like working in the heat so he wanted to start at 0600. This is way too early for Mr Professional so Annmarie agreed to drive the pickup and trailer around in circles while we tossed bales onto the trailer. We had to make a plan as there were some bales that had cheat grass in them. Three of the fields look pretty good with very little cheat grass. We decided to use the cheat grass contaminated bales to line the dirt floor of the lamb shed, the triticale could then go on top of it and we would not waste any of it. The triticale we will feed to the cows and the bull in alcatraz. We ended up getting almost 3 ton off of about 3/4 acre in the triangle scab patch we planted the 2 year old leftover triticale seeds in, using a grass seed dispersing cultivator. The quail are everywhere! They are in pairs all up and down the fields, every time we went down the road we spotted several pair.
We were able to get 100 bales per load onto the trailer and pickup. That is two ton per trip. The road alongside the wheat field is the quickest route out to the fields but it slants to toward the downhill side and has one bad spot that was causing the tractors to slide off of the road during all the mud creating rains. I have been slowly trying to flatten that section of road out and it is better but it is not wide enough so the trailer kept slipping off the road and getting dragged sideways for about 50 feet until we could get past that section. It only slid two feet downhill but it is disconcerting when you are looking in your side mirror and see it slide down and stay on the low side. We only dumped hay off once and then only lost six bales. Annmarie helped us unload in the barn. Having an extra person was great once we started having to stack higher than we could reach. I messed up and started to stack the far closest corner up first. I always do the farthest corner first. Its easier and this year I messed it up so now the bales have to be moved an extra 8-16 feet. The temperature was only in the low 80s F. I made sure to drink lots of water but it was hot! We tried to geet the puppy to go with us but she did not like the noise of the pickup so we left her in the yard. She spent most of the day sleeping on the front porch of the house.
We picked up 400 bales and then Mr Tex wanted to take a lunch. He went home, and we had minimart chicken strips and then I laid out on the front lawn and took a nap. I was anticipating the second round of hay bales to be less pleasant than the first 400. My arms were starting to ache but not my shoulders yet. We did another 100 bales then Sarah came home and volunteered to come out and help with hay. We of course allowed this then went back for our last 100 of the day as I was super tired already. The pickup and trailer started to sink into a soft section of the field and four wheel drive was necessary to get out of the spot. The last 100 bales into the barn sucked. We were all tired. After Mr Tex tossed his hay hook with the bale for the fourth time and fell off the trailer once it was fairly evident that even he was tired.
Mr Professional came out and blew out the John Deere radiator, I had forgotten to put the prescreen in so it had a lot more chaff in there than normal. He filled it and checked oil and added oil, both tractors need an oil change so I will be buying filters and getting the oil so we have it on hand. He then went out to bale more hay, therefore adding to the amount that needed to be picked up.
We ended up picking up 600 bales, 12 ton of hay and getting it in the barn for the animals for winter. We need to have both bays in the barn for the sheep to get through the winter so I would say we are have about 40% of the hay we need for winter already.
As soon as we were done I spread out on the front lawn to cool off. I just laid there for 30 minutes attempting to get cooled down. I shared some ice water with the puppy as every time I put the cup down she would shove her entire face into the cup so she could play with the ice cubes. Eventually it was my turn in the shower. I was in bed early and did not feel the greatest. The next day has begun and I still don’t feel that great. My muscles are not in that bad of shape but the headache and runny nose are not going away. So it will be a lighter day today.
The amount of hay is amazing. The rain was annoying and I will need to move a bunch of dirt and create a berm at the beginning of field 1 to prevent the field from being flooded but boy the grass sure liked the bottomless water glass. There is a distressing amount of hay to be cut and baled and picked up out of the fields.