Adventures in Hay Gathering

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Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2005
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South Central, KY
Even though we are on 17 acres now, we do not have any hay making equipment so I continue to purchase hay, typically in the field. Since it's been raining almost constantly all spring, hay has been hard to find because no one is cutting. When my hay guy said he'd have some yesterday, I jumped on it and decided to buy 100 bales all at once. Now I know I'm getting old and I knew there was a reason I never got that much all at once before. I remember now. It's a lot of hay to move around, takes forever and is incredibly heavy.

We leave here yesterday at noon. You may remember that we had a terrible accident last July in our wonderful Dodge Ram truck. And, of course, hubby in all his widsom did not carry collision on it. He said that since we only use it to buy hay and take the horses to the vet it was a waste of money. Really?? I guess he didn't count on overloading the trailer with construction equipment and flipping both, now did he? But I digress. Our replacement vehicle is a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The name is misleading. Oh, it may have been grand at one point in its life, but it certainly isn't grand now. It's 30 years old, used to be a woody, used to be four wheel drive, the back window used to be electric. You are getting the drift? We paid $650 for it last year and I suspect we seriously overpaid. But, up until now, it ran pretty well even though it leaks oil all over the place and we need to put something under it to keep the barn floor from getting coated with oil.

So anyway, we leave here at noon, pulling our car hauling trailer. We drive for an hour to a place even more remote than where we live. (And I didn't think that was possible.) We drive thru the fields to where the hay is. Hubby drive, slowly, while two hired teenagers and myself stack the hay. We got 75 bales on that trailer and then headed home. Don't you know it's hilly here? There is this one giant hill near our house and I think I could have pushed the Jeep up it faster than it was going. We MAY have overloaded the trailer a tad. But we finally get home, back the trailer into the barn (not without much going back and forth as it's impossible for hubby to see around all that hay and he can't hear me giving directions because the Jeep is so loud). Then, the Jeep dies. Hubby says it got overheated from the heavy load and it has a vapor lock. (whatever, it's a piece of crap) Mr. "I can fix anything" takes a couple of parts off the engine, squirts something in there and varoom, it starts. We hook up the stock trailer and off we go for the remaining 25 bales.

We get to the field and there is no one there. No field owner, no helpers, nothing and his phone keeps going to voice mail. We figure he'll come on down when he sees us. So I leave him a voice mail and once again, hubby drive thru the field and I load 25 bales of hay into the stock trailer. For some of them I used the escape door on the side. I can't tell you how many times I banged my head on the top doing that. We finally get all the hay loaded and start to leave the field. Still no owner at that point. I figure I can always call him later and send him a check. The field, like everything else is hilly, right? Hubby is driving the truck, very slowly around a hill. The truck is actually on quite a slant. Then (and here's the good part) it dies. Um..........what's with that? But someone (namely me) had thought to bring the magic spray that worked so well at the house. Spray, crank, nothing. Spray more, crank more nothing. This goes on for an hour and a half. Finally the owner shows up on his fourwheeler. He goes back to his house and brings some gas in a small bottle. Parts are coming off, gas is getting poured in, I'm cranking for all I'm worth........NOTHING. I'm on the verge of tears now. How in the heck are we going to get this Jeep, a stock trailer full of hay and us home???? The men folk are standing there scratching their heads when I come up with an observation. (Now usually when I venture an automotive observation I get "the look" from my I can fix anything. The look is a way of saying: how can any one person be so dumb?) So I was fully prepared for "the look". But I had to make my observation anyway, using all the technical terms at my disposal. I asked that would it be possible that since we were on a hill, and the Jeep was at a pretty severe slant, that the little tube that brings the gas from the gas tank to the engine simply couldn't get any gas because all the gas had sloshed to the other side of the gas tank? Mr. I can fix anything and Mr. hay field both looked at me and I had a real moment there. Neither of them had thought of that. Hubby puts Jeep in neutral, lets it coast down to the bottom of the hill where it was more level, waits for just a minute and it starts right up. Of course then he had to go up the hill at 20 MPH, thru the field, and the pot holes etc, so it wouldn't happen again. By the time we got home it was, oh, I think 6:00 pm. He came inside to shower and I unloaded the 25 bales from the stock trailer. I'm not moving the other bales. That trailer is backed far back into the barn, right next to the door to the stalls. I'll take it off the trailer as I need it.

But I've discovered one truth. I will NEVER go fetch hay again. I find that whenever we are hauling a trailer behind us I am in full panic attack mode from the minute we leave the house until the minute we get home. I can't help it. I keep seeing the accident and feeling it roll and I'm crazy with fear.

So that was our day yesterday. I'm sore today, but so thankful to be home, with hay. I did express my concerns to Mr. hay field and he said next year we could work something out where he would deliver it to me. Now you're talking.

And I'd just like to take this time to mention that without my observation, we'd still be out in that hay field in the middle of nowhere, spraying and cranking. LOL
you poor thing! what we don't do for our horses lol You sound like me when I have to haul horses "I'm in panic mode from the time we leave till we get back home". I'm like that too until I get my winter supply in and something always's a given at my place that nothing is ever easy. Good for you for showing up those two with some common sense!!
I know how hard hay is to deal with.this year I am planning to buy from a local feed/tack store that will bring the hay and put it in my barn loft.We have a hay elevator and I plan to tip the workers.So much easier than hauling myself and since I can no longer lift the bales I'm glad to have that option.Just have to get Karl's grandson up there to get a space cleaned out and ready for the new stuff.Farming and horses ain't for sissies and old people.Think I am now both of the above.
I honestly thought we'd be spending the night in that hay field!!! But all's well that ends well. I've now got my years supply of hay so if I don't get any more this summer, it'll be ok. Having said that, however, I wouldn't mind getting another 25 to 50 bales for insurance, so to speak. Only this time, I'll have it delivered. LOL
Glad you got some hay. It sure is fun to have the Fix-It guys eat a little humble pie once in a while!

And I'm glad you survived the day. It's a good feeling to know you can feed your animals.
Getting hay is my LEAST favorite chore. Load it on the trailer, go home, unload it, go back, etc etc's heavy, prickly and the wire hurts your hands, even with gloves. Sure is nice to have a barn full, though.

The scariest one we did was when we were coming to an intersection and this van comes SCREAMING around the corner! We locked up the truck and trailer- which didn't want to stop anyway- as this van comes head-on. The van swerves to the RIGHT of us, drives through the berm on our right, goes around us and takes off. It was full of young GIRLS and they were laughing! We almost wet our pants! However, not one bale shifted off the truck or trailer- I can stack hay, that's for sure!
sounds like you had one of those days! I've switched to bringing in hay every month now, as doing it all at once was killing us. Sure will miss it raining men though! So much fun watching all the young guys pull in, shirtless to help put it in the barn. Oh well, I can't have it all.
Don't know how much the bales weigh out your way... (Hey, that rhymes!) I've lived in Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri. The square (I also don't know why they're called 'square' bales when they're rectangular... That really bugs me!) bales were about 50-60 pounds. I could manipulate them okay... but...

The ones here in Arizona top 100 pounds! I simply cannot pick them up! I can drag them, though, with a hay hook. lol! I go out to one of the reservations to buy my hay and the guys out there pick one up and throw! it on the truck... I asked them the other day what they ate for breakfast... We buy 10 at a time and just leave them on the pick up.

Using hay hooks on either end, Toni and I together can pick one up... barely.

Once we get back to Missouri to the wussy bales maybe I'll be able to pick one up and throw it on the truck... Not!


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