Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day --- Defined

Ahhh, yes...Labor Day. The third day of a nice long weekend where folks get together and BBQ and visit with friends and family. In other words, a DAY OFF!

Nope, not around our place. We were blessed with labor on Labor Day. How nice.

First we cleaned a space for the new hay. It was dusty and moldy smelling there and filled with, did I say, dust? Just about the time we thought about face masks, the cleaning was done.

Then we drove to the feed store in the Labor Day traffic. You know the kind. The kind where every other vehicle is a huge motor home with a driver who hasn't driven his sleek behemoth since, uhm, last Labor Day? Thinks (he) owns the road? Nope, not today buddy.

We arrived home, just before the rain (de rigueur on Labor Day in western Washington) with the loveliest pallet of second cutting timothy in the world. It's from Idaho and certified weed-free. Not that we "ride" our miniature horses in the National Forest (where weed-free-ness is required) ... but this helps us not seed our pastures with weeds either.

After we removed the top layer so it would fit, we carefully backed the luscious hay into the barn and started the unloading process.

As we get a little creakier each year, we've learned to take advantage of gravity and throw some physics into hay handling. Gone are the days when we relished the idea of bucking hay out of the field, sweating profusely in the 85 - 90 degree heat and sticking our arms so many times with hay stems that we looked like really sloppy intravenous drug users!

This kind of hay is something we've just discovered this summer. It's a compressed bale, super handy to use and stack, weighing in at about 50 pounds. From the Standlee Hay Company ,it's quite amazing to see how advanced hay production has become. Weighing is easy because it falls off in little chunks that we fluff up before dividing it among the three miniature horses and the donkey. We love this hay, as do the critters.

Check out the small space that's holding a ton of timothy! With our digital scale on the floor (for weighing hay and horses) we're all set for the fall and a good part the winter. The feed store will call us when the next shipment comes in and we'll grab another ton or so. Couldn't be easier!


2Grandmas2 Tuesday, September 07, 2010 4:34:00 PM  

Wow...that is beautiful hay!! I especially love that it fits in such a small space; I buy a bale or two (max) at a time as I just don't have the storage space. I might be able to store at least the winter's worth with those.

SouthernSass Tuesday, September 07, 2010 5:06:00 PM  

My husband chose cleaning out our bonus room (aka-junk room) for the day. It was so much fun....

And yes, I remember the sticking and itching of hay from childhood. I still love the way it smells though!

penni Tuesday, September 07, 2010 7:10:00 PM  

I so remember bucking the bales, sweating like a pig, and getting all prickly -- hmmm. I don't think I miss that.

Never Say Never Greyhounds Wednesday, September 08, 2010 4:46:00 AM  

I definitely don't miss my "hay" days. :-)

Regarding water and greyhounds, the water temperature is comfortable, but I'm not sure of the exact degrees.

the7msn Wednesday, September 08, 2010 12:41:00 PM  

What is it about a stack of hay that makes me count it...36.

Sandy ~~~ Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:07:00 PM  

Ha---you are sooo right Linda! 36 it is, and at about 50+ pounds a bale it's about as close to a ton as the pallet can handle. Since they sell by the bale anymore because weights can vary so much, the pallet cost what the price was a bale times number of bales. BUT, by buying the whole pallet I got a 10% discount on the whole thing. Worked for me...and I counted it a few times too!

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