Wife: (sniff..) All our kids are gone...Me: Who's gonna hay?

Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:01 am

Need some help here. I put up about 2000 small squares a year for the cows.For some reason the kids have grown and are about to leave the house and the farm is not big enough to hire help.I like squares because I can store them in what I've got and I can't produce enough hay for 20 or 30% waste I'd have by storing the rounds outside.

Anyway, I'm looking for help on inexpensive ways I can get the hay by myself. I've thought about that hay basket thing. Anyone had any luck with that? I'm thinking accumulators are too expensive and may need too much horsepower (my biggest tractor puts out 55 hp at the drawbar).

Thanks for any and all suggestions,


Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:31 pm

The basket cart would be the cheap, simple route!--BUT I am not sure how they work in small fields or on hilly ground!---If you have fairly flat ground I don't see a problem with the smaller tractor, (a load of bales is going to be awkward and a little top heavy)
The accumulator would pull the easiest but the last count I had price was $6,000. or so, and that only gets the bales in a bunch!--You still have go pick them up,---they have a loader mounted "clamp" for that!---more $$$$ !
Our neighbor here is getting into trouble---eeeeerrrrr-- cow business!!! LOL!! and has this setup for his hired help to use! thanks; sonny

Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:30 pm

We used to hire neighbor kids to help during hay season. Someone was always looking to make some extra money. I suspect that sort of help would be hard to find nowadays.

Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:34 pm

I have my neighbor do my cutting and baling. Sure saved me $$$$ on equipment.

Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:23 pm

Bigdog wrote:We used to hire neighbor kids to help during hay season. Someone was always looking to make some extra money. I suspect that sort of help would be hard to find nowadays.

Yep, I remember working for 2 cents/bale. I could bring home $20 /day or more.

I might have to do that, but I wonder the going rate nowadays.

Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:21 pm

My brother in law had to tool up for round bales. Got to where the high school kids didn't want to work in the hay field. Before he retired he and my sister did all the cutting, raking, and baleing by themselves. The didn't have to depend on anyone else. The last high school kids he worked were getting 5 cents per bale.


Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:08 am

i can tell you how i did it this last summer. I cut,raked,baled and hauled it myself. :cry: althought i only baled about 600 small squares and not all of it was at the same time.

some of it was in low areas that was too wet for the round baler. I'd come along after it dried out and clean it up and small square it.some of it was second cut bermuda.

if you could space it out it wouldnt wear you out all at once. But then you have to gamble with the weather.

my largest tractor is only 52 hp.

Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:26 am

My uncle got fed up with the young-uns not showing up like they said they would, and when they did they all wanted to drive the tractor. He had about 35-40 milk cows, so he stopped planting corn and turned all his fields into hay. Sold all his equipment except 2 tractors, the round bailer and other implements he needed to bale with.

He started feeding the cows nothing but hay. Lots of roughage makes them very thirsty, they drink lots of water thus making lots of milk. He had figured how to keep the butterfat at just the minimum and still not be rejected by giving them a few pulls of grain while they were in the milk parlor.

He eliminated all his help, most of his equip. exp. and left the bales in the field where they lay until he needed them. He made more money with less work with fewer expences selling lots of marginal milk.

When he needed hay for the calves etc. he took a round bale and cut into it with a chainsaw. Split it down to the middle and took off the layers he needed.

Boy this site brings back memories.