Monday, April 1, 2013

Working Out, Farm Girl Style

So, there has been a hay shortage in the area, what with this long winter no one seems to have anticipated that horses need hay. Which seems really short sighted since even when there is no snow on the ground the barn I'm at will need to throw hay. But, whatever. It's just one more way that I would run that barn differently.
Since no one else seemed to be able to locate hay, I found my own. It took one call to a number on craigslist, and I had access to all the hay I could need. It was just that simple.
Of course, it was a four hour drive with the horse trailer in less than ideal conditions, but I made it there and home again just fine.

You know the problem with hauling hay?
You have to get the hay onto the trailer and stack it, get the hay off of the trailer, stack the hay in a place that is dry and out of the way, since there is really nothing more annoying than having to move hay every time I need to get into the back of my barn.
So, given my limited space, where would be the best place to store roughly 60 bales of timothy that's accessible yet out of the way for when my ponies finally come home?
I can't store it in the horse half of the barn, since that would effectively block off access to two stalls. So that idea's out even though that half is nice and dry and would still let me park my truck in the 'garage' half of the barn.
I don't want to store the hay in my 'garage' in case we have another winter storm. My poor truck doesn't want to have to sit out in the snow and I don't want to have to chip the ice off of it. So that's right out....
I did unload the trailer into the garage so that the ice/snow/water that drips into the trailer wouldn't wreck my hay... But it was not meant to be a permanent solution
It kind of takes over my garage....
h yeah! I have that nifty hayloft! The roof is nice and new so there are no leaks, and it's about to be resided, so it'll stay nice and toasty dry. Perfect!

Now for a math problem:
How does a hundred-something pound farm girl move 60 sixty-five to seventy-five pound bales of timothy hay from the garage to a hay loft 12 feet off the ground?

Any guesses?
Nope, I don't own a hay elevator. Or a tractor. Or any piece of heavy machinery that could do the job for me (darn!).
So, in true farm ingenuity I developed a method using 2 18' boards, a rolling hay bag and a rope.

 Ad I managed to get the hay- one bale at a time- into the bag, up the ramp and stacked in the hay loft. I'm pretty sure that after 60 bales of timothy more than half my weight, I won't be needing to run to the gym any time soon.  Surprisingly, the hardest part was not moving the hay, stacking the hay of pulling the contraption up the ramp; but climbing up and down the ladder to the hayloft. Yikes.
The start of my hay stack in the hayloft during my first rest break

1 comment:

  1. Oh, that's a great idea! Also a great workout I'm sure :)