We’re doing our second crop of hay.  Our first crop is chopped and put into our silos, so it goes pretty fast.  Second crop is baled into small square bales weighing around 50 lbs each.  They are baled into a wagon, then unloaded from the wagon to an elevator that goes to the top of our barn.  Inside the barn is another elevator that goes the length of the barn, dropping the bales wherever we set up the kick off point, where we have two people to stack them.  We stack the hay all the way to the roof.

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We started on Sunday doing about 600 bales or 5 loads.  It was my daughter and I on the wagon unloading, one of my sons and a friend in the hay mow stacking and the other son on the tractor baling the hay.  It was a pretty easy day.

On Monday, the temp was only 94 with the hay mow being 98 degrees!  We had my daughter and I on the wagon unloading and four boys in the mow.  These “boys” were my 23 year old son, and three friends.  They were tag-team stacking on first one side then the other.  We did over 15 loads, or about 1,700 bales.

Tuesday brought the same temps and about the same amount of hay to bale.  We were down to my daughter and I unloading again, and three boys in the mow.  We did 10 loads of hay or around 1,200 bales.  It wasn’t quite full yet.  We had a couple of days to go!

On Wednesday, we baled all five of our wagons full and the heat was just too much!  We took the day hours off and unloaded at around 8:00 p.m. that night.  We finished baling on Thursday where we again unloaded five wagons at night.

It never fails that the hottest days are “baling” days.  We finished second crop this week by baling the hay into 9 foot 1,000 pound bales we call “big squares” and they are stacked and hauled with a tractor and wagon.  Thankfully, no physical lifting is needed, it’s all tractor work

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We went through 10 gallons of water each day, I made frozen popsticks for the kids to cool down with, we had tons of fruit, vegetables, any kind of “grazing” food.  You can’t eat a lot before baling, you will get sick.  I made cookies and had frozen them, so they were all pulled out and eaten, I made around 16 dozen (with Organic Valley Butter and Eggs!).

This hay is all feed for the winter months for all of our animals.  For some crazy reason, my kids and I all get excited about getting this hay in and working together to accomplish it.  We’ve been doing it since they were little, when they would all four help me on the wagon.  Now I watch with pride as my sons and daughter are taking the lead, when they see that I’ve tired out, they pick up the slack and offer me rest.  Not saying that I’m getting old ………mind you………..just saying they have a lot of excess energy?????