Hay making at Dungowan

by cjj on February 4, 2011

view of the house yard from the top of the hill behind it

view of the house from the top of the hill behind it

some of the bails needed to be turned on their side

some of the bails needed to be turned on their side so that the machine could pick them up

picking up the bales

picking up the bales

We had a great weekend at our cousins’ place. It coincided with a harvest of hay which we were very happy to see in action. They have a lucern paddock that is only about 12 acres, and is a small part of a much larger property that is leased out.

J’s cousin, also called J, had to go and check the cut hay every few hours through the night, and when it had just the right amount of moisture in it he had to bale it. On these hot days, it dries out too much during the day, and if it was baled then all the leaves would break off and fly away as dust. So in the early hours of the morning, the machinery was out and the cut lucern was packed into tight blocks.

It is extremely important to get exactly the right amount of moisture in the bale. Too little moisture and they’re bales of stalks, too much moisture and they will get too hot and burn down the barn!!! Really!

Cousin J asked us if we wouldn’t mind going down and making sure they were all standing on a certain side. Sometimes they fall over when they come out of the baler. Cousin A drove us around and we had to turn over quite a few of them. This enabled cousin J to use his tractor to pick up the bales. Each time he had collected a load he took them to the hay shed and pushed the pile off the machine trying to keep them in a pile and not let them fall over. On another day, these bales still have to be packed up properly along the side of the shed and this has to be done by hand. They have regular customers who always buy their hay during the winter months, so until then it has to be stored very carefully.

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