Haystacks instead of bales - DIY Hay - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 06:01 PM
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Scythe. I miss using mine. A shoulder injury means it is off limits. I taught DH how to use it and he clears an area large enough to fill the bed of the pick up and we feed it fresh cut. We have in the past cut and stored loose hay. It was always piled on pallets on cement under a roof and salted if fresh but best was to allow it to dry windrowing and tetting and then stack on pallets under a roof.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 09:43 PM
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I am on the hunt for scythe now! Forget the weedwackers for the hillside, I can scythe it down & feed it to the horses! OP, I am eternally grateful you created this thread, it dusted off my memory back to the good ol' days, my dad & his scythe, thank you.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 10:54 PM
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Same here. And quite honestly, hay made and stored that way is waaaaay better than all the modern uniform stuff.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 10:59 PM
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While I haven’t put it in the traditional stacks, I’ve “harvested” hay from areas that haven’t been fenced in yet. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it does help the hay budget.
I’ve done it two different ways…

If the grass wasn’t terribly high, I’ve used a riding mover. I would run a bare swath down where I would want a windrow, then mow both sides of the windrow area to spit the grass into the bare place. I raked the windrow up neatly, flipped it as needed until it was good and dry, then scooped it onto a wagon to store inside. Or, if I knew it was really really dry, I’ve stuffed it into paper feed bags or something that it could breathe a little bit and stored it under shelter.

The other way is using a brush hog, then rake and dry like above. That year I had a large space inside one corner of the barn, and stored it all piled up.
Can’t say that “making” hay this way is my favorite to do though, and I haven‘t done an area bigger than one acre at a time.

I will say that I've used this homemade hay primarily for my non-horse farm critters though, and I've utilized the bagger feature on my push mower more than once to help put all the cut grass to good use.
(disclaimer: there have been no chemical based products used on any of my grass or fields, and only natural or organic anything else.)
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 12:59 AM
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i think Id rather work a couple hours over time then go buy a few bales and a tarp. If you have an acre of grass put a temp fence around it and let the horses eat it.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 01:07 AM
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Why not just buy some stakes and wire or portable panels and graze it by sections? Just move the pen as they finish up mowing it down for you? So long as there is food left and nothing terrifying tries to eat them, most well-trained horses are pretty content not to go too far. Graze them out there only when you're around if you're worried about escapees.
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
i think Id rather work a couple hours over time then go buy a few bales and a tarp. If you have an acre of grass put a temp fence around it and let the horses eat it.
Well, all the overtime in the world doesn't mean a thing when there is a hay shortage in your area and everyone is sold out.
For me, I have far too much grass and far too little horses and other critters to keep up with it. That acre or two of "work" can make a huge difference when there is no hay to be found come Jan or Feb and the temporary pastures are covered in snow.
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