|Sometimes Sweet Noah Basking in the Sun|
|Now This is Sweet--an almost full barn of hay|
|I want a trailer like this for Christmas......do you hear me Santa?|
|My(sweet rotten) girls in their hunter...red...Minty and Carly wrestle a stick while Ashley referees|
|Beautiful day...last of the fall color blowing in the wind|
|Two tired puppies resting on their platform (Carly & Ashley)|
|A woodbox full of dry wood...sweet|
|Container full of scavenged kindling|
|The girls again---yes that is a snowman on Minty's scarf|
|Over two cords of wood, covered and dry.|
|Warm fire...a large mug of coffee...sweet!|
|And an old friend curled behind the stove....very sweet|
Last weekend was very productive if not exhausting. I was able to locate 50 more bales of hay (via Craigslist) that was just a few miles away and also lined up someone to haul it for me. After work last Friday I made a flying trip to the big city for cat/dog supplies for the next six weeks, and picked up a couple of chairs for my sis. The guy hauling my hay was to be at my house by around 4:30 so when I say flying I flew, although I do get off at noon on Fridays it's a quite a few miles to cover.
I made it home a little after four. The hay and guy hauling it didn't arrive til 7:30 ish. It was dark, maybe it was a little earlier. Did I mention it was dark? He had to wait on the people with the hay to get in out of the field where they were...haying. Due to the dark, and an unfamiliar trailer they had loaned him to haul the hay, it was impossible to get as close to the garage as we wanted, so ended up having to carry the bales a little ways off the trailer to stack in the barn. Some of the bales were very heavy. I was very pleased it all fit, and because they had dropped the price of the hay from 7.00 to 6.00 bale I got 59 bales instead of 50. Woot. (Insert--how often does that happen--someone loans you their trailer to haul the bales and drops the price????) Hay is still higher than it was last year but I'm very thankful to have more in the barn. It has some weeds but it is green and mostly grass and the bales are very packed--you cut the string and the bale explodes like biscuits in a can.
So now I have appx. 213 bales in the barn, from various sources and of course various quality. I'm thinking to feed about 1 bale a day when the weather turns cold so by my calculations this should get us through til May. Of course there is likely to be bad bale here and there and other considerations, but it's the best I can do for now. I've never fed out all squares so am struggling to figure out the appropriate amount. Usually I feed out big round bales (lots of waste but very convenient) and some squares around lambing time. There will be no lambs or pregnant ewes this year so that will help.
I have about three or four 'old old folks' that I'm going to put into a separate pen for the winter so they can have unlimited choice, but for the rest of the flock it may prove to be a long winter. I'm not sure who it will be harder on--me or them. They are very spoiled, but this year they must clean up the balance of what I feed before more will be fed. I'm realistic and know that sheep won't eat certain types of hay, but I also know they are wasters. Wish us luck. I'm only feeding about a 1/2 to 1/4 a bale right now as I've opened up all the pastures to let them have room to roam and feed. There isn't much left out there but it seems to be doing the trick for now.
Since I haven't posted this yet, I'll add that I have 1 & 7/8 cords of wood already delivered and the rest on the way. It wasn't me that figured out the 7/8 either, but my wood guy is very meticulous about explaining (as my eyes glaze over) how much he hauls and why he hauls that way. He is a very good wood provider! This wood will be mostly green, with about 1/2 a cord dry thrown in. What isn't used this year will season over the summer and will get me started next winter.
Winter is upon us and while I still have a few things to do, at least the main tasks are almost completed. Rearing back a little and letting go of an expansive sigh my hay hauler said it all, simply, 'sure takes allot to get ready for winter'.
Hope you all are making headway on your getting ready for winter list too.