How To Make Hay Stretch

rachels.haven

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Like building a rock wall? No worries, no smart donkery suspected. Sounds like a challenge. :)

The bales that did side stack properly made more stable stacks. This is my using rather than saving hay so I'll get to unpack them in the next few weeks. I suspect they will be less smushed as logic says the bales would stay more structurally sound stacked that way now that I think about it. I suspect a lot of them not stacking is a green stacker error.

My bales are also a bit pre-smushed. They may need to be encouraged back into shape, which might be able to be done better with practice.
I'll get the loft stacked that way next year if the hay is nice and dry. You can stretch your hay and/or you can stretch your storage space. Stacking tight on the side may help stretch space and make stretching hay less of a necessity.
 

farmerjan

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Just to clarify, we only stack the bottom row on end.... then the rest are stacked "flat" with the strings up to grab easily.... but we do alternate direction every row..... but again, will work around any obstructions like an upright post or something. The cut side down on the bottom row has to do with how it breathes ???? I do notice that if you stack with the bottom row flat, and they are there for a few years, the bottom row tends to smell musty. It seems to accumulate the dampness when flat but not when on end... Makes no sense to me except that the flat side is tighter and doesn't breathe like the edge side.
 

Nao57

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Just to clarify, we only stack the bottom row on end.... then the rest are stacked "flat" with the strings up to grab easily.... but we do alternate direction every row..... but again, will work around any obstructions like an upright post or something. The cut side down on the bottom row has to do with how it breathes ???? I do notice that if you stack with the bottom row flat, and they are there for a few years, the bottom row tends to smell musty. It seems to accumulate the dampness when flat but not when on end... Makes no sense to me except that the flat side is tighter and doesn't breathe like the edge side.
XD

What's the right way to stack the mice in between the bales?
 

Mini Horses

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MY animals do not care how tight, which way, I stack. They don't offer to help nor do they condemn the effort. They DO complain loudly if I do not supply at least some of the goods to them, so they can munch while I work! 😁

AND -- no matter how good the baler, how tight the bales, as they age there will be just a touch of loosening. Now, if it was loose to begin, holly cow -- it's all over when you grab those strings....literally, hay all over the place.

With 8 cats, not many mice around here any more. Seems to have helped with the snakes arriving, too. I'm loving it.
 

Nao57

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MY animals do not care how tight, which way, I stack. They don't offer to help nor do they condemn the effort. They DO complain loudly if I do not supply at least some of the goods to them, so they can munch while I work! 😁

AND -- no matter how good the baler, how tight the bales, as they age there will be just a touch of loosening. Now, if it was loose to begin, holly cow -- it's all over when you grab those strings....literally, hay all over the place.

With 8 cats, not many mice around here any more. Seems to have helped with the snakes arriving, too. I'm loving it.

Cats are fun though...if you have good ones.
Wow that's so awesome. You have so many cats they'll be eating each other instead of the mice! What great fun to watch.

Are any of your cats black cats? XD Its funny that everyone likes black cats.
 
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Mini Horses

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None are black. Most are grey tabby or solid gray -- all with white trim. Related...mom, kittens. One of the eight is my sons cat but, on my payroll. He never misses a meal! He is a lovely white with only a couple spots, blue eyes. Not the hunter they are but he has his place.

YES -- I feed them 2X a day. If you want them to hunt, keep them well. It does not make them stop hunting just because you feed them. I do not leave it out 24/7. That can draw unwanted feeders. A couple like to mosey over to the coops, they do get mice there as the chickens don't eat all of their feed.....mice know. Several frequent the barns, all around the house, yard, etc.. they have their rounds. They were taught to hunt. The mom is from a barn cat family. More cats than I've had in years past but, it seems to take them to keep rodents at bay. There are cropped fields on either side of me. Corn this year -- oh my....mice & corn! While I don't want more, this past 2 years has been really good with them here...rarely have a mouse in the house now....and few in the barns.
 

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None are black. Most are grey tabby or solid gray -- all with white trim. Related...mom, kittens. One of the eight is my sons cat but, on my payroll. He never misses a meal! He is a lovely white with only a couple spots, blue eyes. Not the hunter they are but he has his place.

YES -- I feed them 2X a day. If you want them to hunt, keep them well. It does not make them stop hunting just because you feed them. I do not leave it out 24/7. That can draw unwanted feeders. A couple like to mosey over to the coops, they do get mice there as the chickens don't eat all of their feed.....mice know. Several frequent the barns, all around the house, yard, etc.. they have their rounds. They were taught to hunt. The mom is from a barn cat family. More cats than I've had in years past but, it seems to take them to keep rodents at bay. There are cropped fields on either side of me. Corn this year -- oh my....mice & corn! While I don't want more, this past 2 years has been really good with them here...rarely have a mouse in the house now....and few in the barns.
That is really cool! Thank you for telling me about it.

And you know many people wish their cats were mousers.

Its interesting how people can harness a better life using the power of animals to replace sweat equity.
 

Finnie

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I miss my 12 year old kitty. But I don’t think he was catching very many mice during his last year of life. His brother died a year before he did, and that’s when we noticed the mouse population start to pick up. But I know the 12 year old was still catching baby rabbits, because he would leave the back leg halves laying around uneaten. Also since he died, the chipmunks and ground squirrels have gotten bolder. I see them right out in the open now.

My husband has been trialing all sorts of mouse trap contraptions. He doesn’t like cats scratching his truck and throwing up on it, so he’s hoping he can control mice on his own without cats. I’m in no hurry to replace my cats anyway. Starting over with new ones won’t be the same. But I hope he gives the ok on it in the spring.
 

Nao57

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I miss my 12 year old kitty. But I don’t think he was catching very many mice during his last year of life. His brother died a year before he did, and that’s when we noticed the mouse population start to pick up. But I know the 12 year old was still catching baby rabbits, because he would leave the back leg halves laying around uneaten. Also since he died, the chipmunks and ground squirrels have gotten bolder. I see them right out in the open now.

My husband has been trialing all sorts of mouse trap contraptions. He doesn’t like cats scratching his truck and throwing up on it, so he’s hoping he can control mice on his own without cats. I’m in no hurry to replace my cats anyway. Starting over with new ones won’t be the same. But I hope he gives the ok on it in the spring.
I didn't know that cats throwing up on a truck was a thing.

Maybe like a teenage hazing ritual for comparison?

The water bucket mouse trap is pretty good also; you can find it on youtube. Sometimes people hook up recording devices on it.

Am I understanding you right...that your cat was hunting baby rabbits? I didn't even know that was possible because of their size being so similar on a species level. Amazing.

The cost of cat food and dog food can sometimes be a turnoff. Our cat food expense sky rockets a lot because my brother won't buy his own dog food and then waits till we're looking the other way to use it for his dog. And I think this happens in other households also.
 

farmerjan

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I have barn/feral cats. More than I can count or try to. We have a coyote population and some become coyote meals I am sure as there will all of a sudden be a few less at feeding. I had a HORRIFIC problem with rats a few years ago because the owner had feed in the large canvas totes delivered and not put into any type of container. (I rent). I used to come home at night from work and see 15-20 or more in the headlights as I swung around into the driveway, up in the small garage where he was keeping the feed hear my house. It really was bad. Got a couple half grown kittens from a farmer, where the cats were good mousers. They had some kittens the next year (neighborhood traveling male cat) . Had the females spayed, and one was killed on the road, and the other 2 disappeared. In the meantime, I noticed a huge decrease in the rat and mouse problem. I am pretty sure the landlord has poisoned some as in the last few years I had a spell where several came to the house and died at the house, they were sick looking and stagggering, but I can not prove it. He doesn't appreciate that they have gotten rid of the rodent population..... and they are in his barn alot and I know they are getting mice as they sometimes bring them to the house to eat.
That said, I cannot pet them, and by the time I can find the kittens, they are pretty wild. One had kittens near the house ans as soon as they opened their eyes, they all disappeared... I think that the momma cat moved them but I can't rule out the coyotes. There are plenty of places for them to get a way from the coyotes, but if they are out hunting in the field, they will get caught before they can get back to safety.

I feed them once a day, at the house, and they stay in pretty good shape. I don't expect them to try to subsist on just what they catch. Feeding them just keeps them healthy so that they can do their job of hunting. I am going to live catch some and move them to the new house although I don't have a barn here and I worry about the road. I may move some to a couple of other barns we use and I will feed them there.
The one place that I call the nurse cow field, has a small barn and the cats there often bring parts of rabbits into the barn.
 
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