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Country Discussion Topics
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Putting up loose hay
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Jerry    Posted 05-26-2002 at 12:41:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Want to but up loose hay the way they did before they had bailers.. Can any one tell me the best way. I have a way to cut. I need anvice from the cutting to drying in the filed loading on the rack and how they keep it tell wenter. Thanks jerry


Hal/WA    Posted 05-27-2002 at 22:55:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
One of my neighbors had a setup that allowed him to put up hay without much hand labor. He had come up with a hay chopper mill that sat outside his hay barn with a metal tube up to the peak of the roof. When he was going to chop hay, his second tractor was hooked to the chopper with a flat belt. He would mow and buck rake with one of the tractors. When the hay was dried and in reasonable piles, he used his bigger tractor with a huge, I think homade, framework loader with long teeth to lift up the piles and carry them to the chopper. He was pretty good at using this setup and could dump the load into the chopper conveyor slowly enough so it wouldn't clog up, most of the time. It was about the dustiest operation I have ever seen! But every year he blew a huge pile of the hay into that barn.

My neighbor said he liked doing hay this way because there was no heavy lifting or really hard, hot work. He also said his cows ate every bit of the chopped hay and did very well on it. He had it set up so he just pushed the chopped hay over to a hole with a scoop shovel or large hay fork and then it fell into the feeder.

Not high tech at all, but he could put up hay alone, without hiring anything done. All it cost him was gas and oil and could do the chopping in a couple of days He did it for many years this way. I would say he did between 10 and 20 acres per year.



Greg - Poor man's hay mow.    Posted 05-27-2002 at 06:52:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like you want to do it the old way which is good on the pocket book. I helped my uncle do the haying when I was a kid. You can purchase old horse implements for the cost of scrap. Lawns are decorated with these implements
all over.

I use a horse mower behind my tractor to cut my hay and I got it for free. Horse power or ground power implements save wear and tear on the tractor. My dump rake cost me 45, but they are getting scarse now. You can use your pickup for a wagon, or buy a wagon. It should set you back maybe 80$. Small homestead balers that make 12in
bales are cheap, 350-400 and save a lot of work.

For storing the hay you can do what I did. I put 5 steel pipes in the ground set in concrete 4 feet down, and out of the ground about 36in high.
Set one pipe in the center. I made sure the bottoms rest on a platform to spread out the load, hay is heavy. These pipes can be old house jack types, the ones that telescope. I cut some holes in 5 pie pans and slid them up on the post, then set the posts in cement. The pans help keep the rodents out, more of a problem if you store grain on the stack than hay. (Grain can be stored with the heads still on by pointing all the stems outward, and heads inside with a slight hollow). I built a platform about 14ft (to 16ft) hexoganol (or round) on top of the pipe. I then made a frame of 2X6's and spaced them six inches apart. I didn't put a plywood floor over this and left it open for air circulation. Nail on some chicken wire or old fencing with a small mesh over that. You can stack bales on it too if you want.

Just stack your hay and get someone to tramp it down well. Go up as high as you think it will be stable without falling. At the top stack more hay in the center to make a gradual slope. Get a large canvas tarp with gromets, and tie it over your stack. Don't use the junk polypropylene tarps they sell at the hardware store, they're not strong enough.

Nice thing about a stack is that if your a newbie in hay making and you get a spontaneous combustion due to stacking wet hay, you don't get a barn fire. You lose the platform but you can always rebuild, or make it with steel.

I don't use it much anymore as I built my barn, but if I get extras one year it'll go there.



buck    Posted 05-26-2002 at 21:45:56       [Reply]  [No Email]

For us the mounds were called shocks-a much smaller version of the haystack.The shock was made from the raked hay that was raked with a horsedrawn dump rake. The shocks were moved to the stack with a single horse with half harness and a shocking pole and then the shocks were moved with pitchforks to the haystack.A 3 prong fork with very long handle was used to top the stack. We would place a rail fence around the stacks and when hay season was over the cattle would be fed in that area untill pasture was ready in the spring. Hay to be put in the barns was put on hayracks by pitchfork and then put in barn by pitckfork. Take into consideration that this was always a community thing as there would be a lot of people involved.Just move from farm to farm untill all the hay was put up and then start over. The shocking pole was a long hickory pole about 3" at the big end and pointed at the smaller end. the bark was skent and it was made very smoothe. A ring was attacked to the large end and a long rope with a big ring was pulled through that ring and the rope attached to the single tree. To use this you stuck the pole under the shock,pulled the rope over the shock and paced the large ring on the pointed end of the pole, pulled with the horse and to the stack you went.At the stack the lare ring was pulled back off the pole and handed to the rider who placed it over the hames and back for another shock he went.I still have 2 of the old shocking poles and 1 of the 3 pointed stacking forks--just for old times sake so to say.


DeadCarp - bucker beaverslide    Posted 05-26-2002 at 18:42:45       [Reply]  [No Email]

Hay is a big subject, but i'll concentrate on getting it stacked:
Biggest headache in preserving it is to stack it dry, don't leave any holes in the top and keep moisture out. You can use broadleaf wild hay, tarps or whatever's handy. Twine tied to hanging poles or firwood chunks every couple of feet should keep the top in place.

If you have a few acres, no problem just have fun, but if you have about 100-200 acres of hay and want to put it up loose, here's what we used to stack loose hay. You'll need a few peeled poles to make them but the concept's simple and it saves days of pitching.

BUCKER:
The bucker is pushed in FRONT of the tractor (reverse steer) and is like a big wooden scoop/fork thing with poles going back to the tractor. It has a crosswise pin at each end, so it can pivot to "dump" its load when it reaches the top of the beaverslide.

BEAVERSLIDE:
It's just a big triangle wooden frame, taller than a haystack, with a pole ramp up one side and the outside 2 poles extend beyond the top end. The idea is to make a ramp on one side and a cliff on the other.

OPERATION:
You tow the beaverslide out to where you want the haystack, and line it up the right way.
Then hitch the bucker in front of the tractor, and push it around the field, gathering the dry hay fom the windrow til you get a good load. (like a modern hydraulic loader does, but everything slides on the ground) Then you push the whole works up the beaverslide, and let the hay load dump itself over the top. (You need another guy straightening the haystack out a little.) When the pile gets too tall to hold any more, hook a chain between the bucker & beaverslide and slowly back up about 8 feet and NOW you can load between the beaverslide and the end of your new haystack. We could handle about 20 acres a day with that rig. Before hydraulic loaders were plentiful, everybody around here bucked hay.

Here's a sketch -----


Bob /Ont.    Posted 05-26-2002 at 20:04:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hay Carp, that bucker looks suspiciously akin to what we usedto have around here, a buckrake, same wooden fork, mounted on the back of a big old car or truck, usually old army truck, they had a pto for the winch to operate them. Never had the slide, most of our barns had a "track and car" to lift the hay from the drive floor or wagon on the drive floor, up and into the loft, then drop it where you wanted to build the mowwe. The wagon loads where built on rope slings for lifting, or a fork with barbs like a fish hook could be used. To drop the load the hook would trip and let one end of the sling go or the fork barbs let go.Also throw some salt on the hay every load.
Later Bob


Les...fortunate    Posted 05-26-2002 at 14:21:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is the way we did it. I have little hope that what I tell you here will be of a lot of help. You better talk to some oldtimers around your area who have done it. There's really nothing fancy or tricky about it. Just hard work.
Here goes:
After it's mowed, let it dry, then rake. We used an old dump rake but a side delivery rake could be used, I suppose. Then with pitchforks, make the windrows into heaps. We hauled the hay from the field to the barn on a hayrack. It was originally made to be hauled by horses but we pulled it with a home made tractor.
When pitching the hay onto the hayrack (or body of a truck or whatever you have), you have to build the load with some skill and care or you won't get much on. You have to have somebody on the load to tread the hay and help place each forkful so that it will stay on. Building the corners with good, stable heaps will help you get a lot more on.
When you get it to the barn, if you have to pitch it up, you may have to build the edges just like you did the corners on the hayrack. If you pitch it down into a mow or bay, just throw it in and let the kids jump in it. It's one of the great pleasures in life to jump in the hay in the barn.
Hope I've been of some help.


Dave 2N    Posted 05-27-2002 at 05:34:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just the way my grandfather did it! Brings back a lot of memories. Also was lots of work. No crushers and crimpers back then so the hay took longer to cure, losing a lot of nutrients in the process. Also used a tedder to get the hay up off the ground to dry out a little bit before bringing on the dump rake. I was glad when he finally bought that New Holland baler.


Grove r    Posted 05-26-2002 at 20:10:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good points, Les, We used the dump rake to make rows of hay, then starting at one end of a row, gather as much hay as the rake can hold, dump, then go that same distance with the rake up, then make another pile. when to the end of that row turn around and do the same thing the other way, this will give you two dumps in one pile that can be trimmed up with the fork to form cocks that will shed water, and be a lot easyier to fork on the hay rack. Stacks can either be built "English" style, round with peeked "roofs" combed down with a garden rake to make a "thatch" like roof, some even dressed in the sides a foot or so, so the water would run off to the ground and not lay at the base of the stack. The secound style is just a rectangle or square, and can also be "dressed" the same way if desired. Do not walk on the top of the stack after finnishing, in fact, finnishing involves working from one end and building the top as you go, to leave a smooth water resistant top. Feeding from a stack should be done using a "hay Knife" to cut a slice off the end, a couple feet wide or so, so the rest of the stack is not left exposed to the elements.

Hope this bit of retoric will be of some help. Have a gooder, R.E.L.


Ron/Pa    Posted 05-26-2002 at 18:19:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Les you bring back more memories than I may want to recall, Doing hay was one of the reasons that I wanted off the farm.
Now that I think about it, I still don't like doing hay, but I sure wish I was back treadin hay again instead of tossin bales.
Course, it all hurts a little more than it used to, even treddin would hurt today.
Wish the kids today could enjoy what we did then.
Ron


Hogman    Posted 05-26-2002 at 15:15:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Layin tha hay up is somewhat of an art form,it starts with tha rake and I'd opt for tha dump rake. Beyond that, I started to explain how each phase is done,begin ta look like it'ud require a tome ta (thats a mighty big book fer you'ns as aint got no colidge lurnin) explain a realy simple operation. But I say again "it is an art form!!!".
Also a lot of labor'n pizen snakes seem ta prefer hidin under tha shocks so You pick it up with Your fork'n theres a unhappy serpant right by Your leg.
Come ta think of it I have no fond memories of that kind'a hayin..


Les...Well, Hogman    Posted 05-26-2002 at 16:38:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
You can keep yer pizen serpents and yer right, serpents do like to lay up under hay, whether a bale or loose. My father didn't like snakes at all and I've seen him kill many of them with a pitchfork. Ain't no pizen ones around hereabouts and that's the way I like it.
I was always the young feller up on the hay rack treadin the hay whilest dad and two older brothers worked on the ground. Then at the barn, I was always the one way up on top next to the roof with the sun bakin it so's you couldn't hardly breathe.
Even though jumpin in the hay was fun, I wouldn't go back to it. No wonder the boys left farmin and went to work in the mill or wherever. Mighty tough work and dangerous, too.


Hogman    Posted 05-26-2002 at 20:07:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep Les so right and one of tha jobs that was always mine,layin back in tha loft.Lordy ,hot,dirty,dusty,wasps would not care ta do any of it again thank Ye.
As far as loadin wagons, neighbor there had a cotraption called a "go devil" had a ground drive belt about 4 or 5 feet wide and teeth stickin out tha front . It was pulled along side tha wagon and down tha windrow, picked it up and fed it onto tha rack . Pretty slick tho I was never around it in use.


Les    Posted 05-27-2002 at 03:05:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
We never had one of those rigs here on our farm. The terrain wasn't at all suitable---too steep. Later when my father bought some river bottom meadows, we used to hire most of our hay baled until dad finally bought his own baler in around 1963. We still have it and use it.
There are still a few of those old loose hay ground driven conveyor contraptions around NH but most of them have rotted and rusted away.


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