Letters to the Editor in our September/October 2017 Issue

Letters to the editor in our September/October 2017 issue.

| September/October 2017

Hay for Horses

I just read the short article on the Grit newsletter. You asked about other hay stories — well, this may not be the only time you’ve heard people doing hay my way, but I’ll tell you anyway.

We have four small fields and at one time had four horses, with no haying equipment except a tractor and a pull-behind mower that sometimes just knocked down the tall grass.

The fields are about 200 by 200 feet, and the horses couldn’t keep up with springtime grass. We usually end up cutting it. Sometimes the weather is perfect for haying. My adult daughter and I are the horse people, so the horse chores were left up to us. I’m sure my husband was in the house shaking his head at us.

Since the grass had gotten so tall, I wanted to get it off the fields before it ruined the grass underneath. We hand-raked the grass and piled it into the tractor scoop after it had dried, and brought it to the barn. The ground floor is wood, and we spread the long grass around to let it really finish drying. We were able to feed it out to our horses without any mold growing on it.

We figured that we had about 8 to 10 bales worth of hay from each field. Not bad for the effort. While I wouldn’t recommend making hay this way, it is possible. One has to be really careful about it being dry, both so it doesn’t catch fire in the barn and mold forming before you feed out. I’d love to get a real hay mower, but now it’s only me and one horse.

We may not be the only ones to have made hay this way, but our hay guy thought we did well to be able to manage it.

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