Monday, February 13, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hauling hay

We've had so much to learn about running our little farm. We were excited when we first moved in because we had 5 acres of grass hay that we could cut and put into the barn and hayshed. We felt so self-sufficient to have that hay in the barn for our animals. After we got the cow, we noticed that her milk production was going down. When we asked some of our dairy farm neighbors, they asked what we were feeding her. When we told them grass hay, they just shook their heads. Evidently, grass hay doesn't have enough protein for a milk cow. Bummer! So we ended up selling the hay we had so lovingly hauled and stacked in our barn and hayshed. Then we had to turn around and buy alfalfa hay from a friend.

We were having a hard time figuring out how to haul this hay home from Smoot. (We had hauled our grass hay on a flat bed trailer behind our van.) There was snow now and we knew the van couldn't get into the field where the hay was. Also, our van and flat bed trailer couldn't really haul more than a ton at a time. What a dilemma. Enter our wonderful neighbor, Blair Hillstead. He said he'd be glad to help us out. He showed up with a tractor and wagon and we headed on over.

Man did I get a better appreciation for my brothers and dad after loading this load of hay. For most of my growing up years, my dad and brothers hauled hay by hand. For those who aren't farmers, each bale weighs 65+ pounds. We had to throw all this hay on the wagon and stack it up that high. It was Russ, Betsy, and I. (Caleb was at school or he would definitely have been in on this!) Of course Br. Hillstead pitched right in too. He's over 65 and he totally put us all to shame. He just never got tired. (I was one ball of jelly from head to toe when I was done!)

Br Hillstead with Russ and Betsy

Ok, ok so I look tired. . . I am!

A.J. got to hang out in the car while we were loading.

Can we go home now??

Some pretty SV scenery where we were hauling hay:

The saddest part about all of this is that after we drove home to our house, we had to do it all in reverse. (Unload that trailer and stack it in the hayshed) Whew! What a day!

Baird family farm

Here's a few pictures of our little farm. (This is mostly for my little Michael (grandson). He loves pictures of our animals to look at.)

First our chickens on their roost. (Sorry for the fingerprint on the lens)

Then here's a couple pictures of our cow Molly and calf Spot.

This is how Russ would find them at night when he went to separate them after the calf had nursed. (such a cute picture) Molly has been an excellent mother and this isn't even her calf. When we bought her, we were nervous that we wouldn't be able to use all the milk and so we bought a calf with her. (In the dairy we bought her from, they always separated and sold the calves so that the dairy could get all the milk). They just waited to sell her until a different cow had calved and sold us the calf. We were a little nervous that Molly wouldn't take the calf but she has been amazing. You would never know it wasn't her own baby.

Here is one of the true dairy maids (Hannah), dressed in her fashionable milking attire and on the way out to milk.

Now you've had a little tour of some of our animals. (Sorry you didn't get to see the turkey or the rabbits) And just think . . . you got this tour without any of the accompanying aromas! ;-)