Somewhere in the past couple of weeks, we cut our first crop of hay. Yes, this spring has been a blur. This is the earliest we have ever cut hay, due to the crazy warm weather in March that jump-started spring too early.
The past couple of years we've hired someone else to bale part of our first-cutting hay into round bales. This is purely for self-preservation. We estimate that these round bales would be equal to 1500-1900 small square bales.
That's a lot of bales to put up on a hay wagon, and then stack up in a barn.
This first-cutting hay will feed our sheep for a good part of the winter.
The gathering and storing of these larger bales is more mechanized. They are picked up one at a time with a tractor and a bale spear.
Each one is placed on a pallet or skid to keep it off the concrete floor. Hay that sits directly on concrete will rot.
Then each skid with its bale is moved into position. A double row of them now fills the aisle of the sheep barn, front to back, with just a 2 foot path between the bales and the feeder.
Hay, it's beautiful!