The field of cut hay. look at last weeks blog for a photo of the uncut field taken from about the same spot.
We have been fully occupied the past week with hay. Our neighbour cut their hayfield on Kirby Crescent for us, a few pictures of the cutting on last week’s blog. This was Tuesday morning and on Friday we began to pick up the hay. We were too busy and the hay was too wet to try picking up before Friday.
Getting ready to load the empty wagon for the last trip on Friday.
On Friday we dusted off things that we had not touched for years to make sure they worked, pumped up the flat tire on the wagon, quickly knocked together front and rear racks to keep the hay on and harnessed the one horse from the new team, not he mother and the mare from the older team. The horses were a bit of a handful for the first time out but we soon figured out what we had to do to get them to work reasonably easily. For the first two days, Friday and Saturday, we had to keep one of us on the wagon at all times and the lines in the hands too. On Monday when it was just Aerron and myself, Aerron did the driving and right away started to leave the wagon and fork up hay, keeping near the lines and having them wrapped once round the rack at the front so that they were always handy. This worked well and as for those times when the horses decided to move ahead on their own., a call to whoa and a quick tug on the lines had them stopped easily. With our old team we could both walk along loading hay and simply call whoa to stop them and give them the go ahead kissing sound to move them up. The new mare Marta will learn quickly.
The hay loading gang on Friday. Aerron driving, Gabriel leveling the load, Sam in white getting a forkful together,Jenniehoisting up a forkful and me looking for hay. Marta was dancing around a bit and Marie was standing patiently.
Same spot, different angle and I have found some hay.
The wagon is 8 feet wide and the load pushes out a lot further.
Sam putting up a forkful. It gets harder as the load gets higher. A full load is well over the top of the posts at either end of the wagon.
Here Marta was getting a little agitated about something and was dancing around a bit.
There was a lump of hay wrapped around her bit, I’m removing it here.
The horses handled the load on the hill no problem but it is only less than a half a full load. First two loads were like this so as we could get the bugs sorted out and see how the horses were.
Heading out of the field to the road and to the barn. This would be the second and last load for Friday as by the time it was off loaded into the mow, it was getting too late, too dark to do more.
We managed to get only half the hay up before the rain Tuesday morning. Two part loads to start things off on Friday, one full load and a very small one on Saturday and two full loads on Monday. We are hoping that it will dry out enough on Wednesday to get another load off and if it stays dry through Thursday and if we can get enough picked for the CSA , then Aerron would go out again on his own to pick up hay, while I stayed as CSA members arrived tor their shares. We need only one full day’s work and we’ll have the hay off completely. But it is likely that we will be unable to ask that much of the horses at this time, it would mean a very early start and drawing the last load home after dark, four really full loads would do it. A very long days work for the horses but not unreasonable.
The large overhead fork in the barn worked alright but then on the full load on Saturday we had a very big lift and the fork did not lock into the car properly, the rope went really tight then the car shot along the track and the fork along with the load dropped to the mow without me pulling the trip rope. I went up to the platform, got the fork locked into the car as it was supposed to be and liberally oiled and worked things. After that it worked much better, nothing was broken.
The barn fork is going up and the yellow trip rope hangs to the left
The hay car with the fork locked in moving along the overhead rail across the hay mow. The trip rope comes down from the fork, right side. The rope pulling the car is slack and goes from left of the car to the left end of the barn, through a pulley then crosses in the photo again to a pulley high up on the right side then down to a pulley on the floor near the door where it hooks to the double tree pulled by the horses.
Another view of the car and the fork
A blurred photo, but it shows Aerron forking off the last bit of hay on the wagon and Sam in the mow spreading the hay dropped from the barn fork.
I’ll have to get some photos of the horses pulling up the loaded hay fork and the loaded fork itself going up to the car then rolling along to the mow. Meanwhile these photos of the empty fork will give you some idea of how it works.
Looking towards the end of the barn across the hay mow.
Most of the hay is now off the wagon
Thanks very much to those who volunteered their help for haying on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Jennie, Ken and Sam, your help was and is immensely appreciated. We got much more done than we would have otherwise. Thank you very much.