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Thread: Loading hay

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I remember, as a teenager, hand-loading (and unloading) hay bales in Louisiana in the summer. I'd have hay and dust all over inside my clothes - stuck to me because of the sweat. Pretty miserable.

    I told my dad one time that the thing that kept me going in college was the fear that I'd have to go back to the farm if I flunked out.

    Mike
    Yeah, but I'll bet you didn't have to buy pre-ripped jeans. Mine had patches on the knees soon enough. It was bad enough in a hay mow in Wisconsin in the summer, I wouldn't even want to think about Louisiana.

  2. #32
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    Then add rock salt powder to the mix ....

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    Yeah, but I'll bet you didn't have to buy pre-ripped jeans. Mine had patches on the knees soon enough. It was bad enough in a hay mow in Wisconsin in the summer, I wouldn't even want to think about Louisiana.
    No, I've always wondered why people want ripped jeans these days. Back then, if you wore clothes with holes in them (for other than work), it was a sign of poverty.

    Even today, I want jeans that look decent - no holes.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #34
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    Girls in high school now are wearing jeans that are slit at the knee but the top and bottom of the rip is hemmed. This lets them wear ripped jeans but it skirts around the no ripped pants rule since they are nicely hemmed. Unlike daisy Dukes et al.

  5. #35
    I grew up on a farm in southern Iowa. Dad baled the small square bales and we handled each one as it came off the baler onto the hay wagon. I also worked for some other farmers who used Alice Chalmers round balers. They produced small, round bales about the same weight as the small square bales. With the small squares we typically didn't use hay hooks. Rather, we used gloves and handled the bales with the twine wrapped around the bale. With small, round bales the only way to handle was with a hay hook. Some people used 2 hooks, I always used one. In those days I weighed about 125 lbs - about 50 lbs more than the bales I handled. After loading a couple of wagons you figured out how to leverage your body to get those bales from the ground to the wagon which was above your head. It was hot, dirty work. I still hate the smell of fresh mowed hay!

  6. #36
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    My parents moved to town 18 months ago after 67 years on our family farm. In cleaning out the outbuildings after their pre-move auction, I came across the bale hook my old man made for me when I was about 12 from an electric fence post (3/8" steel rod in those days). My brother and I, before we were big enough to stack bales on the wagon five high, would tag team all day. One drove the tractor that pulled the baler and wagon, the other hooked the bales off the chute and dragged then back to the old man who stacked them. Saved him a lot of walking, and meant we could bale faster. I moved to the barn soon as I was big enough to move bales all day alone, and later loaded thousands upon thousands on the wagon while another, significantly younger brother drove.

    I may mount the bale hook for a shop wall curio. Great memories in all that work we did together. We tried to create similar family opportunities for our two kids when they were still here, but it's tough when the "paycheck" jobs are all in an office or somewhere else off the homestead, and don't admit of any pre-adult participation. We raised chickens, waterfowl and sheep, made wood to heat the house, gardened for much of our food, and raised our own outbuildings together, but none of it felt like that very, very essential, contribution to the family economy.

  7. #37
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    lifestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    ...
    I may mount the bale hook for a shop wall curio. Great memories in all that work we did together. We tried to create similar family opportunities for our two kids when they were still here, but it's tough when the "paycheck" jobs are all in an office or somewhere else off the homestead, and don't admit of any pre-adult participation. We raised chickens, waterfowl and sheep, made wood to heat the house, gardened for much of our food, and raised our own outbuildings together, but none of it felt like that very, very essential, contribution to the family economy.
    That way of life is rare for most people today. For many kids these days if it can't be done on a screen it can't be done. I have kids come out to our farm often - some have never had the opportunity to even walk around animals and crops except in petting zoos and flower gardens. I had two boys come once who had never played outside!

    Here they can take a llama for a walk, check the chicken house for eggs, plant a bean in the garden, throw some hay to the horses, shovel some manure, hold a baby chick, drive the tractor, extract some honey. When the hens get too old to lay eggs we invite families with kids to come and learn the details about where their food come from - they take home chicken for their freezer.

    alpaca_dria_IMG_20160925_18.jpg alex_beehives_smaller.jpg chick_and_jaden.jpg FarmDay2017_IMG_20170617_113107_141.jpg

    Good clean fun!

    JKJ

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post

    We used to get up hay on a mid '60's half ton pickup. It would be piled even on top of the cab. Typically, we would count on getting 90 bales on that pickup, but fortunately, didn't have far to go with it. We would toss it up pretty high in his family's barn, with each of us on either side of a bale, throwing it, and flipping it into place on the stack by the strings.

    Holy Cow. 90 bales!!!! I bet no one was tailgating that pickup truck.
    That's two and half to three tons of hay on a 1/2 ton truck. Most I ever got on my Toyota Tacoma was 23 bales,and that was pretty sketchy going down the road.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  9. #39
    I have a 60 head cow herd, and usually roll up about 600 round bales per year. This last year hay was short so have barely enough to make it to grass time. The bales weigh about 1000 lbs each, could make them heavier, but the cows would waste more, that size seems about right. Have not used small square bales since high school.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Holy Cow. 90 bales!!!! I bet no one was tailgating that pickup truck.
    That's two and half to three tons of hay on a 1/2 ton truck. Most I ever got on my Toyota Tacoma was 23 bales,and that was pretty sketchy going down the road.
    They baled small bales because the guy feeding the cows was old, and frail. The truck only had to go from the field to the barn, so not on the road.

  11. #41
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    Once only once did I work hay. I was in junior high and went to help a friend whose grandpa did a bit of farming. As usual for that era I went in tee shirt Bermuda shorts and Chuck Taylors with no socks. You hay handlers know the outcome of that. Thatís why once and only once.
    Jim

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    Once only once did I work hay. I was in junior high and went to help a friend whose grandpa did a bit of farming. As usual for that era I went in tee shirt Bermuda shorts and Chuck Taylors with no socks. You hay handlers know the outcome of that. That’s why once and only once.
    Jim
    Surprised you made it through a load. Ouch!

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    Surprised you made it through a load. Ouch!
    I often handle hay, unloading and stacking as well as feeding, in socks and Tellec shoes (kindof like Crocs). The little pieces in the socks do get annoying. The guy who helps sometimes always wears high-top boots. Long sleeves will help keep the arms from abrading. I can't imagine handling a few hundred square bales in shorts and tee shirt!

    JKJ

  14. #44
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    A local hardware store put a sign up list to add your name to.
    Lots of miserable heat in the mow.
    Local farmers would come in and select the number of kids to hire.

    One day I was hired along with 3 or 4 others by a farmer who was uncle to a close friend of mine.
    He had a rigid proceedure you had to abide by. Nice guy. Just.....that's southern Iowa.
    He took quick notice of the way I handled standing on a stiff riding wagon on rough and steep terrain.
    He asked me to work for him the entire summer. He did a lot of custom bailing and had much demand.
    Every day just him on the tractor pulling the baler, wagon and me. The rest of his crew hauled to the barn and worked inside, upstairs.

    That gave me a good feeling about myself.
    I'll always remember his kindness
    Last edited by Bill Jobe; 02-02-2019 at 11:43 PM.

  15. #45
    I never bailed hay, being a suburban boy. I found this thread very interesting, not only the way it's done, but how it obviously left such memories for you guys. Thanks for sharing!

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