Shades of Ireland

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hay Chores with a Little Help

Today, Seth is pretty darn sick. Two weeks ago, at his job at the stockyards, he had a slight altercation with a big calf and a gate. Even after missing work last week, he was still sore but well enough to go in to work-- he thought. Charlie has apparently brought us home some kind of flu bug from Kansas City. He was down for most of the weekend and it looks like it is Seth's turn now.

Even so, life on a farm still goes on---with or with out help. Adam is my baby and I know that I have spoiled him...... at his age (of almost 10) the other kids had lots more responsibilities and chores. With Seth sick and Charlie and Salena working full time off farm, Adam had to step up this morning and lend me a hand.

He has milked cows with Salena in the past but I gave him a refresher course in muilking Holly this morning. Then he got the moving dolly and put out hay for the penned critters while I fed lambs and grained the heavily bred does.

After the house chores (chickens and Ellie May) and breakfast, we zipped into town to get Seth some medicine. Then back to the house for the final morning chore---- hay for the cows.

This is by far the biggest and most time consuming chore that we have. Luckily, we only have to put out these big bales about twice a week. Today was the day! I probably should have done it yesterday but there was still some that they could finish cleaning up and there are still places in the pasture with "standing hay". Long grass that is still edible but my cows are a bit spoiled and prefer to just wait it out, bellowing at the gate for me to bring them the good stuff......

First we have to hitch up the hay dolly. It has a leaky tire that we have to check and usually air up.

OK--- I had a picture here of my son airing up the tire but it has been removed because fo some reason this blog entry gets a gazzilion hits on this picture..... Not sure what is going on but I get a creepy feeling about it soooooo it is gone!

Adam bought Neil a new snazzy digital pressure guage for Christmas. He was happy to handle this for me just so he could get to use it. I will admit to being a bit irritated to hear, " Daddy says......" several times during this process...... I figure if the dang thing has air in it, we are good to go. We aren't going more than 3/4 of a mile. Adam insisted that chaos would occur if we didn't have precisely 50 lbs of pressure in each tire.....

It only took me two tries to get it backed up and the forks slid right under the bale with out 4-wheel drive. So much easier with out 2 feet of snow! Adam just does not have enough rocks in his pockets yet to hoist them up. I constantly watch that cable in the pulley while I crank it up. If it ever snaps.......

This is the best part about having a helper!!! He can open the gates. Especially since Seth's repair job on the truck doors only worked on the passenger side. I still have to roll down the window and reach out to open the driver door.

Drop the bale (slowly uncrank the pully is a better description) and pull out from under it. Then cut the hay strings so the cows won't eat them or get tangle up in them and saw off a leg trying to get out.

Some jobs are lessons in perserverance. This hay ring is heavier than the others and it takes quite a heft to get it up on it's side. I kept telling him I would come and help him when I got through pulling off all the strings. Call it machismo or hard headedness, he just kept at it until he got it up.

By this time, the cows had figured out that the buffet was being refilled and were heading our way at trot.

Roll the dolly forks back up and head back out for the second one.

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