making versus buying hay

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Postby Muleflock » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:39 pm

Dave.

How do you feed those rounds when you need to?
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Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:47 pm

Bill F wrote: [I know this is Maine you're talking about, but it took me a minute to figure out what you meant by "I have two cousins (unrelated to me)." The cousins are related to each other, but not they're not your cousins?!?]

I am not a *Lubec'er Bill so I resemble that remark.


[Anyway, who breaks down more? Cousin Red or Cousin Green? Breakdowns might not matter with that much tackle.]

I had to really ponder that one, and red maybe has more breakdowns but his stuff is a little older. Cousin green owns the logging company, I couldn't even guess how much land (20,000 acres in one contiguous piece and he owns many more). He has a fleet of harvesters, limbers, trucks, chippers, road building stuff you name it all Deere. When he shows up at the dealership they get the door for him, and start running with coffee. He also owns a gazillion acres of blueberryland, and all the mechanical harvestors, burners, spray rigs etc. that goes with that. For fun on the side he has 50-60 Scottish Highland beef cows so all the hay equipment is a right off, and stress relief from the pressures of being an evil tree murderer. Cousin red runs a harvester for him, and they have a good natured rivalry about which equipment is best. The pair of them are the most even tempered good natured guys you'd ever want to meet. When a break down happens they don't even break stride they just deal with it and keep on truckin'. In the woods business you plan on it. They have around 40-60 employees including mechanics, welders etc. so it's no big deal to them. Me on the other hand with animals I'm cool hand Luke with machines I freak, and get crazy when stuff breaks. I said his tedder was $8,000.00 and now that I think of it I don't know but what he told me it was $14,000.00 (it's a honey). He said he was trucking it home from the dealer and it came off the back and went cartwheeling down the road bending and breaking things on it. He just shrugged his shoulders, and grunted a little when telling me about it.
Last edited by Island Shepherd on Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:55 pm

Mark wrote:

["How do you feed those rounds when you need to?"]

Mules: Premier bale feeders. Blackface: movable headgate with horizontal bars so no hang-ups. And I have used the old Janet McNally bale grazing no feeder method off and on since I read a story she wrote back when she were a lass in the 80's. :) See "Bale grazing (Janet refresh my memory)" thread. I have used it successfully when I have the right conditions. Namely average or poor hay, want to boost the ground, rugged winter, and plenty of stock for competition. Her advise to keep the bales away from the bedding area is key. I would recommend anyone thinking about it read her advise in that thread or go to her web-site. Of all I think I like the moveable headgate the best.

Take care,

Dave
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Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:58 pm

* Lubec Maine infamous for four things: easternmost point of land in the United States (West Quoddy Head light) herring, pyromaniacs, and incest.
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Postby Bill Fosher » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:22 pm

I saw mechanical timber harvest for the first time this spring on the lot that surrounds my house on three sides. The machines got more wood out in six days than two men and a cable skidder had in six months. The fuel truck arrived every morning at 5:30 and topped up all the tanks, and filled up the skid tank on the landing. Mechanic showed up at six to grease everything, and they started work at 7.

But man, talk about a mess left behind. Those big grapple skidders can frig up a swale something awful.
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Postby Bill Fosher » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:28 pm

I think what Mark was getting at was how do we handle round bales without a tractor, and I'll agree that it's hell on wheels. And dangerous. But I have done it. I get the bales loaded at the farm where I'm buying them, cut the plastic off them when I get to where I want to feed them, and then horse them off the bed of the truck using gravity, winches, leverage, etc. as necessary. Once the bale is on the ground, remove the twine or net, put the feeder in place, and drive away.

This winter I am using a tractor borrowed from the landowner. It's a little undersized for the task, and doesn't have a bale grabber, so I spend a lot of time chaining and unchaining bales from the bucket on the front end loader.

I've been feeding the flock for a little over a month now, and have put about 15 hours on the clock, which includes snow removal around the house.
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Postby Island Shepherd » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:24 pm

Oh, OK I fed without a tractor for several years after getting rid of the haying outfit. With the headgate you can make a stack (tarped) and just keep moving the head gate no tractor required. A little pitch fork work once in a while. With the Premier feeders I have done it by having the bales in rows fenced out, then just move the fence, and cut the plastic off to allow access to as many bales as you want to feed, and wrap the feeders around them. After getting the cash coming good, and allowing myself the benefit of that to ease the burden on my weary bones, I have one small (50 HP) tractor now with bale spears fore and aft if I want to move bales around. It is not strictly necessary but used to top pastures, and other various chores, that enhance grazing. On smaller fields I use an ATV with a self propelled 5' mower to top, and a seed spreader on back to frost seed clover.

For land sakes Bill get yourself a bale spear for $200-300 bucks so you don't have to frig with the chain.

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Postby Janet McNally » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:06 am

When I have my hay delivered, I have the operator distribute the hay throughout the pastures as you see in the photo.

For all other hay that needs to be fed, (such as lamb feed yard, horses, cows) I move the big round bales with a horse which has been described elswhere here. The horse and harness cost me the same as a small old model tractor, but she has a baby every other year, which I train and sell for $6K.

For those who do not have snow like we do, or serious mud problems, big round bales can be pulled by a truck in the same way I pull them with a horse.

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Postby MissTwist » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:41 am

We have 4x5 round bales stacked in an old chicken barn about a mile away. Since I have a small flock and we need to move just one or two bales at a time, we hook a utility trailer up to the 4wd pickup, back into the barn and drop the ramp, roll the bales on (two people can do this) and then reverse the process at the hay feeding area in the pasture. The bales are contained in a round bale feeder made of cattle panels, but it's jointed, so easy enough to wrap around the bale once the bale is in place. We have a tractor here and a fork attachment we can use to move bales, but find it easier to use the truck and trailer for our situation.

J.
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Postby Bill Fosher » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:26 pm

Unless anyone has anything to add, I'd like to move this thread to the archives.
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Postby Muleflock » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:50 pm

Second
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