Interesting events happen around the slough every day, most people would not agree with me spending time watching Hay being loaded. Years ago (here he goes again) Hay was loaded by hand, I loaded very little. That is one job I was just not cut out to do, I would help once in a blue moon; only if a guy was in dire straights.
I have a long story about helping “Willie”
who I helped when I volunteered on his Cattle Ranch, (Ranch is used lightly) but that’s not what this blog is about. The Hay Barn pictured above appears to be a separate entity as the Cattle Ranch, I have not seen any hay used to feed the Steers over there. It’s sold by the ton, I on the other hand have to buy it per bale, $11.00 the last time I did; for straw.
The truck in the image is capable of carrying 40 tons of drayage, I imagine two trailers of Hay weighs all of that. It would take 6 muscle bound huge men all day, 8-10 hours to load that much by hand. Lifting them with Hay Hooks off the ground and literally tossing them up to the guy on top, the bales weigh almost 100 pounds each. It was 2 pounds of beef steak, three fried potatoes, biscuits and a pile of vegetables to fuel these guy’s up at lunch. Then they repeated it for dinner, cooking continued all day for three hefty meals.
Hay is not loaded by hand any longer, it took them 15 minutes to load this one while two others waited in line. I’m sure it was loaded mechanically, If I were to say by forklift I may be correct but I don’t think so. I’m confident it remains hard work, someone has to be holding a pair of Hay Hooks just in case.
Hay is Cattle feed consisting of either Alfalfa grown in the field, wind rowed to dry in the sun, finally a mechanical bailer drops it in an upright harvester bail stacker and taken to the barn. If it’s not Alfalfa it most likely consist of “Vetch” a mixture of Alfalfa, Clover, and Maze. Maze is a cousin of Corn which is mostly used as Silage, it is placed in a big pile and basically turns into sauerkraut; and it smells like it while in a 50 ton pile, all winter long.
Early this morning I wasn’t the only one watching the show, this group of Cows and Calfs were curious as well. The little guy is most likely a Steer, he may have been looking at that Bull across the pasture dreaming of what may have been. While the Cows see him as well; most likely saying to one another “I sure hope he doesn’t come over here.”
All three trucks were loaded by 7:30 am, as for me, Skunkpuppy and the Cows everything returned to normal one minute after the trucks left.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance