Coffee anyone ?

Baymule

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Going to get Feed today. Gotta straighten up the building at the Sheep barn, it’s crammed up to the door. Sigh..... someday I’ll get it all cleaned out. Need to finish Feed and tack room in horse barn and get my saddles in it. In the meantime, portable building at the Sheep barn is a packed mess. Tomorrow we are getting a tote bag of Feed for the steer and will have to scoop it out into metal trash cans. Only have 5 cans, so will have to put the rest into paper Feed bags and put in the horse barn. That will give us enough to feed the steer out until slaughter.

@promiseacres you are having a good hay year. How many bales does it take you to get through winter? And for how many animals?
 

promiseacres

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So back on the computer paying bills... spent 2 hours this morning fixing fence. After I got the kids set with treating Daisy... she decided to try the fence last night and skinned both back legs up. :confused: Going to have to watch... wonder if Lightning was involved.... he may get put with Duke for some attitude adjustment. He's so docile with people...but in the field he's kind of a butt despite his size. He'll just move he other horses just for fun.
daisyleginjury.jpg

@Baymule My initial hay goal was around 700, but then we got Lightning and will have Babe until Nov or so... (If I have enough hay I'll keep her forever. such a sweet girl). And I am feeding more than in the past, so at about 3 bales/day so closer to 8-900 total would be great, I have fed about 100 bales since our 2nd cutting and we had right at 700 then. We can't complain with our yields but hoping to get the fields limed this fall and continue improving them we should get over 1000 a year on what we're currently cutting. Of course that will reduce once we put up fences and stock the horses on it. But as we improve the hay quality it should take less. And the fields will be rotated. Makes me exhausted thinking about it.
 

farmerjan

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@promiseacres .... just a couple of thoughts from someone who has done this for years. PLAN your grazing out real well. You are smart and know how much horses eat.... and how they eat grass into the ground.... Been there, had the horses, done that. And try to not cut your haying acres down too much unless you drastically reduce your horse numbers. You are saying that it is thin now and that you hope/plan for it to improve with lime and fertilizer and you are very right. Taking care of the land will really give back to you in a couple years. Lime will take at least a year to show any significant improvement although you will see some if you do it this fall as it works it's way down into the ground. But if it needs it, it is always the one best thing you can do for the ground.

From the voice of experience, try to have at least 1 1/2 times the number of bales you think you need.... Hay in the barn is BETTER than money in the bank. Read @Ridgetops journal, about the way she "fights" to get her husband to get their hay needs secured.... at a better price.... early on in the season. If you should get a dry year.... if there is too much rain so soggy conditions.... if you get a good first cutting and second dries up.... IF IF IF.... you want to have too much than too little. Hay will "keep" if kept dry.... you can stack it and feed it out so that you can carry over any not fed and be able to rotate it around.... but we have fed out sq bale hay that is 4-5 years old that still smells, and is eaten, like we put it up that year. It is a little different with us and the round bales that are outside.... 2 years is max... and we try to always feed out the older bales before the "current years bales" so that there isn't as much waste. We also have several places with hills that they roll down and it is good for the ground so some waste is not really waste. You know, because you are doing it....that sq bales are alot of work so you don't want to waste any.... the round bales are work, but not the human physical part of stacking, unloading, stacking.... But believe me, they will not "go bad" in the barn....
We try to have at least an extra 1-2 months of hay left over every year. Mild winters we have more.... but lately we are still feeding hay later in the "spring" and not starting as early in the fall it seems. However we have had a couple of milder years.... and this fall is shaping up to be more "normal" so far; with a colder/harder/ and most probably snowier winter that the last several. We will have the full 15 acres of corn silage this year, we did not work a deal on it so plan to put in 2 "bags" of corn silage.... If the plastic doesn't get torn it will keep.... and we will be able to feed less hay. If we keep more feeder calves longer, we will have ample feed. If we sell them sooner.... then we won't have to open the second bag.... we have sources and can often find hay to buy.... sometimes people come to us wanting to sell round bales that they don't want to carry over. But the thing is, when it is a drought, or the hay crop is poor, you don't want to be looking for hay that is going to cost an arm and a leg if you can find it.

As your yield increases, you will see all that, because you are doing your own. And a barn full of hay is just soooo reassuring....
Make sure when you do soil tests, pay attention to the micro nutrients... as they will make or break both the quality of the hay and the quantity..... And if need be find a good lab that specializes in hay ground samples. If you have access to poultry litter, I don't know if there are many "poultry houses" in your area....know that there is a big difference in broiler litter as opposed to laying hens as opposed to turkey litter. Get a qualified analysis... most sell it that way as the better it tests the more it is worth. The best thing about it is that it adds organic matter back into the soil regardless of the analysis.... you will also get weed seeds that pass through the birds... but to me that is a small price to pay.
If possible get litter that is composted on their farm in litter sheds, as opposed to direct cleanout. Less weed seeds make it through the composting.... it is lighter weight for spreading and spreads more evenly, and has less odor....

I am really happy for you guys to be able to make all your own hay. I remember what that was like when I first was down here.... cut it with a horse drawn sickle bar pulled behind the truck, raked it with a dump rake into piles and forked it loose on the truck, took it to the barn and forked it loose into the hay mow. Never a prettier sight or a sweeter smelling hay. But the best thing was that it was that much less I had to buy..... Alot of work.... I was 30 years younger....but I miss some of that today as we have gotten so much bigger.... Couldn't do the physical part with these knees.... but it was a very satisfying way to do it. And a sense of accomplishment to see that hay in the mow....
 

promiseacres

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Coffee is on.
Thanks @farmerjan for the words of wisdom. My goal is 5 acres of pasture, divided into 3 for rotation. DH agrees hay ground feeds more than pasture. Of course he is talking about raising a steer also.
We baled until we couldn't see to be safely be on the wagon then dh continued dropping the bales. Supposed to get wind so he was afraid it would blow and not be able to be baled. 150 bales were done. Sucky thing is the fighting that happens....
He tries but I am never going to be able to keep up. And he didn't want paid help. :th:barnie
Rabbit cages need cleaned, get feed, groceries, and finish hay.... :tongue
 

Mini Horses

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I still buy. This year it will mostly come from across the street. :) I will use both rounds and squares. Fortunately I have cover for rounds to allow free choice feed. My neighbor will actually bring them over & drop in place for me with his big tractor! Nice. Plus will continue to store a few in his big hay barns. Blessings!

For the milking goats I have a barn to store some richer hay to use at kidding & milking. The mini horse barn has perfect stalls for kidding.....and a milking area for all that...in a concrete floored "feed-tack" room. The minis only want their free access run I barn now.

It is overcast today. Still comfy temps....and still wetter than I would like. :old. I'm being too picky but, until I can dial in my daily choice and get it, I can complain!
 

Baymule

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Thanks for coffee PA. I slept in. I’ve been going full speed all summer and it’s nice to throttle back a little. But soon I’ll be back up to warp speed. Corn is ready, so I need to get that put up, I think Monday. Then cleaning up the garden, starting with Sheep. LOL We get the granddaughters from October 9-12, that means driving halfway and back, so 7-8 hours on the road 2 times. BJ went to Orthopedic surgeon day before yesterday and is scheduled for hip replacement October 14. He is in a lot of pain and is dreading and looking forward to surgery. His other hip is worse, but not hurting-for now. So that one will have to be done in another year or two. In the middle of all this, I have 45 Cornish Cross to slaughter, part out, bag and put in the freezer.
Today is a light day. We’re going after a tote bag of bulk feed for the steer. Since we have no way to unload it or no where to put it, we’re going to bail it out with a bucket, fill the 5 metal trash cans I usually keep other feed in, 1 big trash can on wheels, then refill used Feed bags and store in the horse Feed and tack room. Aiming at 2,000 pounds. BJ will help, so it will take longer. LOL
I’m enjoying my coffee, BJ is snoring in the new recliner we bought him, because it has a lever handle to close it instead of having to kick the footrest down. Bring on the day.
 
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