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We have always wanted to hay our pastures that are in front of our house, but we wanted to get the equipment a bit at a time. This was the best way we could afford to do it – we refuse to go into debt for our farm. I realize that a lot of farms cannot do that, especially the larger farms.
We really feel strongly that farming can be a quick trip to a money pit. The bigger the farm, the more equipment that is needed. The more equipment, the more expensive. The more expensive, the bigger the chances that equipment would need to be financed. we aren’t interested in owing the bank any money because we went into debt for farm equipment.
So, over the past year or two, we have slowly started buying the haying equipment as we could afford it. We started off with buying this awesome tractor that we found sitting on the side of the road on Highway 24.
– The tractor is a Same – pronounced Sammy. Italian made, it’s considered a really good tractor. The baler is a Massey-Ferguson. To cut the hay, Graham used the sickle bar mower. He’s not that happy with it so we will be looking at other options. After cutting and leaving it for a day in the field, he used the hay rake to fluff it up and then put it into rows.
We will use these bales for winter bedding for the chickens. We’ll also give it away to whoever wants some for bedding; hopefully next years hay will have more nutritional value and we can start selling it.
Having the right equipment (even if it’s old) to do the job is so important. The field is far too large to cut by scythe and since Graham is so good mechanically, buying well used equipment seemed the best option for us. We are trying to never buy new if we can help it. We also don’t mind waiting for the right parts to come for sale at the right time. Always look to minimize your expenses on the homestead – you don’t want the added stress of having monthly payments on equipment.
Learn as much as you can by talking with people and reading – there are so many great ebooks out there to have one your Kindle or your PC. Here’s one all about tractors! –
Later, we got a sickle bar mower. He will put this on the back of the tractor and it will do the actual cutting of the hay.
Last month, we bought the hay rake. After the hay is cut and laying on the field, we will have to wait a few days for the hay to dry. Then, Graham will use the hay rake to turn the hay over, fluff it up and put it in a row.
Next up is the hay baler. We have a fellow on the Coast holding onto a baler for us. We’re hoping to get down there next week to pick it up. Around the Valley, haying is usually done around the 23rd or so of July. It will all depend on the weather, as we need a good 5 days or so with no rain, in order to get the haying done.
So here’s hoping later this month, we’ll be haying part of our fields! Here’s a picture taken last year, when Graham was out cutting down some of the hay.
You can load 50 bales in the back of a pickup truck.
When you stack hay on the vehicles, the bottom row gets laid On End. The next row is laid strings up. Following rows alternate.
When a baler pops the finished bale out onto the field, it lands On End. Apparently this is, so the baling twine does not rot, IF the bales should be left out in the field. –