Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not PRETTY, But It Works....

This all started a little over a month ago....

We had just received our second 14" snowfall of the season, and there was no place for it to go, since the drifts from the previous 14" were still deep and "crusty".
These drifts were ROCK hard, and had not melted, since the temps were in the single digits to the teens.

One of our neighbors came along with his large 4x4 tractor, and shoved enough of the snow around so we could at least get out of our driveway. In the process he nearly got HIS tractor stuck - the snow was THAT deep.

Since he never takes any money for anything he does to help his neighbors, Deb made him an Apple pie, and even tossed in some home-made butter.

Then, for no particular reason, a week later, she made a CHERRY pie for him.

He must have been impressed, because this past Friday, he brought over a nice big round bale of hay for my cows!

Since I feed small bales, I not only did not have a bale spear to handle the bale, but I didn't even have a "Hay Ring" to put it in so the bovine wouldn't just scatter it out the first day.

It was aggravating for the cows at first, Mabel is the only one tall enough to be able to pull some out of the top, since it was sitting on end.

I knew it wouldn't be long, though, before the critters would tear through the net wrapping, and "dig" into the hay. I needed something FAST.

Lucky for me, there was an auction the next day.....

I took a few things over to the auction site Friday afternoon, figuring that I'd look around at some things while I was there.

While wandering around the tractors, hay balers, wagons, plows, and all other manner of tempting farm machinery, I struck up a conversation with a fellow "wanderer".

Obviously, I wasn't in his "class" when it comes to machinery.

He began bemoaning as to how everything on the sale was "obsolete junk" and that he wouldn't allow any of it on his place.

One man's junk, is another man's treasure....and one man's treasure, is another man's junk....

In a few seconds he went into a tirade about a certain piece of livestock equipment that he'd be "embarrassed to sell".

Enter, one bent up Hay Ring....

The man rambled on a few more minutes, then got in his truck and headed home to Shangri La....

I went over and took a good look at the Hay Ring.

Yeah, it was beat and bent, but was still bolted together. I figured that it would do my Bovine - and their goat body guards - rather nicely, and further figured that it would go for cheap enough for me to afford.

While I'm not totally sure, I think that there were only myself and one other bidder - most everyone else was looking at us and shaking their heads. At any rate, the bidding was over in just a couple bids, and I was the winner.

The biggest problem I had, were the 9 rusted bolts still attached to the ring. Luckily, a friend happened to walk by, and brought some tools from his truck. In mere minutes, we had the thing apart.

Admittedly, I found myself wishing I had some bright orange paint, a couple flags, and a loud speaker so I could drive by Shangri La, and flaunt my latest purchase but, it started to rain and the paint probably wouldn't have stuck.

As it turned out, I drove straight home peacefully, in a rain shower.

This afternoon, I grabbed some new bolts and installed the ring around the bale. The cows, especially Mabel, watched me warily, but hunger overcame their suspicions.

The two goats "helped" me put it together, so it didn't bother them as much - food is food, no matter how you package it.

Here is hat it looks like around my hay bale:

Hay Ring

That's Sally stomping off because Mabel breathed in her direction....

Long ago, I figured out that it would be a long time before we afford a new ring (or even a USED one), so this one was the right fit at the right time.

Besides, it enhances my "Hillbilly" reputation....


  1. I think that looks like a great hay ring, one that will last years. Phooey on the guy who said there was only junk.

  2. Hey, if it works, it ain't junk in my book. In true northern redneck style, I was gifted a used hay feeder for my wedding a couple years ago. I was THRILLED. So thrilled I ran down to open the barn lot gate in my wedding dress, with no shoes on, hair flying, parents bawling at me to get the hell away from there in my dress. hehe No accounting for taste or good sense. Now if I could keep the goats from pooping the damned thing I'd have it made.


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