Baling Hay

Last week I told you how I broke my baling bin.
In reality, I was using a simple blue recycling bin to shove my hay into and tie up.
I’ve been after Hubby to build me something a bit more substantial for a while now, because hay is an important commodity.
Yesterday, he got the job done, and I was able to bale up the last of my first cutting…

Simple box made out of 2x4s, 2x6s, and some other scrap bits we had around the Farm yard.

There are 4 nails in the bottom, to hold the baling twine in place while I fork mass amounts of hay into it…

Filled, strings tied…I think I could have filled it more, but that’s going to be a trial and error thing.

I also got him to put nails on the outside, so I can wrap the twine around them and keep it from shifting at the top.

Voila!
Finished bale.

The joy is, I can fill, stomp down and tie all by myself with this…I just place a knee on the grass to pull the twine tight and tie it.

Hubby holding the finished bale.

And that, my friends, is just about 25lbs of hay.
So, in terms of feeding, that’s an average daily meal for 1 horse.

Next thing to do is adapt the baler to put it on the furniture dolly, so it’s easy to move around. That’ll be done with a couple of eye bolts and a bungee cord or two, so that it’s not permanently fixed to the dolly.
After that, we’re onto building a hay shed, because seriously, Hubby is running out of room in the garage for my bales.
😀
That’s a good problem to have!!

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Friday’s Hunt July 30th

Can you believe that in 2 days its August?
Already?
Summer is flying by…
I’ve finished first cutting of our hay, and have more in my first cut that I had all last year. I’ve broken my baling bin, and Hubby’s plan today is to build something to do the task for me. Which is good, because I have my last few bales worth finishing drying and will be ready for baling this afternoon.

We’re coming up on 4 years here.
August 16th makes 4 years of Farm life.
And yet, it feels like a life time. 🙂

In 4 years we’ve gone from our little urban “farm” to a rural one, raised pigs, meat chickens, hennys for eggs, and cared for 4 lovely equines.
In 4 years we’ve redesigned this property to produce food for us, with a 24×40 garden (and this year, I actually got much of it planted!), 9 smaller raised beds, and a whole bunch of fruit trees and bushes.
Last week, I savored the first 2 honeyberries that came off our bushes.
Today I’m planting 2 red currant bushes, which, should they do well, will be propagated into a nice little orchard of currants.

It’s been a lot of work, and we’ve got a long way to go to get to where we want to be.
I still don’t have a milking animal, and we are still planning on bison. Those are adventures still to be written about…but for today, I have my images for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.

Prompts are Starts with D, Favorite, and Photographer’s Choice.

Starts with D

The lilies are blooming, which in my world means a photo shoot with horses. As always, Astrid gets excited to join in on the fun, because humans and bug juice and pets and scritches and oh my!!
And then, when it’s her turn, she begins to wonder if this is all as fun as she though it might be…

“Uh, wait…
This isn’t what I thought was going to happen!”
~ Astrid

I figured, since she was relaxed, and enjoying the attention, that putting the lilies in her mane would be easy peasy…nope, she turned into a big old dork and kept flinging her head up, saying “No! I don’t want that!!”
Silly Girl. 😉

Favorite

This one… ❤


And this one… ❤


And this one… ❤

Photographer’s Choice

Shallow

I’m not happy all the time, and I wouldn’t want to be because that would make me a shallow person.
But I do try to find the good in everybody.
~ Dolly Parton

This is so very much our Sable.
She’s an easy loving horse, who gives everyone a chance…she’s got a great big heart and is willing to share it with darn near everyone she meets. Plus, she’s a beautiful blonde, just like Dolly…though Sable’s blonde is natural.  😉

Today’s To Do List

Farm stuff to do list for today:

1. Cut a swath (or 2) of grass around the outside of the pasture. This is the stuff that Black Horse sticks her neck out the fence for, resulting in that lovely mohawk mane of hers…as in the picture.

Rocking the mohawk


2. When Hubby gets home, load the back of his truck with all the grasses cut, bring back to the farm-yard, and make windrows for drying.
Why do this?
Because I’m too damn lazy to walk out past the pasture to rake and turn as needed. It’s so much easier when all I have to do is walk off the deck to do it…plus, baling is easier when it’s closer.
Last year I cut that swath too late to use for hay, but this year, I’m right in time to put it up for winter. I’d be a fool not to do so!

3. Work on building a new baler out of scrap wood…because a plastic bin breaks way too easy, though I did get 2 cuttings of use out of it, but still, I need something solid.

4. Clean the chicken coop. Again.
Meat chickens is yummy, but they are such poopy little buggers, and so, cleaning the coop happens a lot. Way more than with hennys.


5. Call it a day, bbq supper, and eat home-made fireball egg nog ice cream.

Yeah, sounds like a good day to me.
🙂

Fragrance

There is no denying the effect that the fragrance of horses has on people…

You either love it, or hate it.
We, ’round here, are quite firmly in the “Love It” camp.
😉

Make no mistake, there are days when I say to the Girls “Could ya stop lying on, and rolling in, the manure pile? Damn, you stink!!”
For the most part though, the Eau De Equine soothes the Spirit, eases the aches and pains of the daily grind, heals the open wounds in our souls.

I say it a lot…only the horses are allowed to eat money around here.
It’s true, horses are a money pit.
So, why do we keep them?

“oh, hi Mama…you got treats for me?”
~ Ruby

“The Hell, Mama!!
Stop calling me, I ain’t dead! I *was* having a great nap though!”
~ Astrid

LOL!! We had another passerby stop in to tell me about the “dead horse” in the pasture. Astrid was not impressed. 😉

“I hear your beepy thing…I know you’re there…I’m too sleepy…”
~ Cookie

“I be rollin’
My back is itchy…oooooh, feels soooo good!!”
~ Sable

We keep them because horses change lives.
Our lives are so much richer in ways other than money.
Yeah, they eat money, but what they give back to us is worth so much more.
Those days I have to leave the Farm, I’m always thinking about coming home. About standing in the midst of my little herd, breathing their unique scents, feeling their breath, touching coats, leaning on bodies that love to support us…

Many times I’ve been told that they’re lucky to be with us.
And while I sorta agree, because of what could have been when they were in the auction ring, I tend to lean farther towards I’m lucky to have them. We’ve given them a soft place to land, a Home ’til the end of their days, with good food, health care, and a whole lotta love.

What they’ve given me, all of us here at the Farm, is so much more.

Friday’s Hunt x2

I figure after making all the way through the alphabet last round, I should make just as much of an effort to do the same this round.
I make it sound like it’s hard work, but it’s not, and this really is one of my favorite link ups to join in on.
Life just gets busy at times, so some weeks will be double prompt weeks…like this week is. 😉

We’ll start with last week’s prompts:
Starts with B, Unbalanced and Door

Starts with B

I don’t have a horse whose name starts with b, however, we did go to a rodeo last weekend, so I have a photo of a bucking bull for this one.

The air this bull got was amazing.

I am in absolute awe of the athleticism of these bulls.
For the past few years, we’ve seen the same bulls over and over again, and it’s obvious these guys know their job is to buck, and they enjoy it.

Unbalanced

No matter how many times I watch a horse get up, I hold my breath just a little bit. They look so unbalanced, and legs can be so fragile.

Lookin’ a little drunk there, Astrid. 😉

And then they’re up, and we’re all fine. 😉

Door

Heh, when it doubt for a prompt like this, I go back to images from the Stable…there’s always something I can use!
Like this:

This young lady and her trusty steed silhouetted by the light from the big door.
They stood like this for a few moments after their ride, just enjoying the view and each other.

This week’s prompts:
Starts with C, Building and Something I Wear

Starts with C

Are you expecting a Cookie picture?
Ha!
This time, it’s a cat…my GhostCat.

Being adorable…

He had found a length of rope in the grass and was playing with it. Rolling and singing, tossing it in the air and pouncing.
Happy, normal cat things.
Wonderful things to see from my former feral tomcat.
Guy gets neutered and remembers how to play.
🙂

Building

We finally gotten all of the winter straw bales moved to around the pig yard. The last two were the one’s on the north side of the garage, which made for a small cubby beside the building where the horses could hide from southern winds. Rare around here in winter, but still happened enough to place a couple of bales as windbreaks.
Ruby figured this was a great place to sleep in the sunshine:

All that’s missing here is her horn.

Something I Wear

It’s that time of year…
Outside a lot, sun shining, cutting hay and weeds and working with animals.
A hat is a must…but hats get sweaty, so they need to hang to dry.

You can tell which one is mine, by the hook it’s on. 😉

Sharing with Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.

4 of 4

Last night, my baling bin broke (say that 3 times fast!) while The Kid and I were trying to get the hay on the ground baled before rain.
We only got half of it done before the bin was in such rough shape that we couldn’t continue.
Instead of wasting 50lbs of beautiful, scythe cut, Mama sweated on,  lovingly raked and dried hay, I forked it over the fence for the nags to enjoy now…instead of in the fall or winter.
And, I just happened to fork it over the fence right beside the smudge, so that nags could enjoy some tasty noms while in a smokey, bug free space.

3 of 4 trotted over, because this is an unusual time of the year to get hay, so it’s exciting and new and they must gobble it down.
Toddlers.
😀

4, though…
Interesting.

The Cookie…eating not at the hay pile…

Right out of the gate, the moment her hooves hit the land here, we knew this Girl had issues with food.
Not aggressive, resource guarding type issues, but anxiety issues.
For the first 2 winters, we had to stick to a strict schedule of when hay arrived in the pasture. It didn’t matter if there was lots in the feeders, or if we fed extra at the right times…what mattered was that it came regularly, when her internal clock said it should.
If it didn’t, she panicked.
It was the same with beet pulp pails…and that’s a year ’round feeding.
Panic if it was late.

1200lbs of panicked toddler is…

Not fun.
Kinda scary.
Really, really sad.

This past year, we’ve seen some amazing and wonderful changes in her. And last night solidified it for me, that I’ve done right by this horse.

I threw 50 lbs of top quality hay over the fence.
3 of 4 trotted over to gobble like piglets.
4?
4 came over leisurely, had a few mouthfuls, and wandered on.
She nibbled the greens just past the smudge, she went for a drink of water and played in the big trough, she wandered back and stood with her head on Sable’s back…and when Ruby and Astrid moved off to eat fresh grass, she and Sable ate hay together.

Simply put, no panic.
No worries that there won’t be food later.
Just a relaxed, normal horse, doing relaxed, normal horse things.

It’s taken 3 1/2 years for her to get there…
It’s okay though, because, her and I, we got nothing but time to work together and work things out for her.
And this relaxed normal horse thing looks real good on her.