A new job means a new post. We have a lot of beautiful green rye grass that the cows just cannot eat fast enough. It does not last long and we sure do not want it to go to waste. My brilliant farmers came up with a genius idea. We would cut and bale the grass and then chop it and mix it in with the cow feed. Sounds like a great idea to me. We already have all the equipment to get the job done.
This is the rye grass being cut. This cutter is pulled behind a tractor.
This is some cut rye grass. You can see the pretty green uncut grass in the back by the trees. The process would be like baling hay. We will cut, fluff, rake and then bale. Did you hear the part about FLUFFING THE RYE GRASS…I AM ONE HAPPY GIRL!! The rye grass has a lot of moisture in it so it will be heavier. I will not have to fluff it at such a fast speed and Van will make the bales smaller so they will be easier to work with.
Here are two more views of the cut rye grass.
This is Pug raking the grass. And here is my favorite fluffing tractor and fluffer. My boss man really knows how to keep this girl happy. It did not take too long to get used to fluffing slower because this field is really bumpy…slower is much better when it is bumpy :)
This is Van baling the rye grass. You can see these bales are much smaller than hay bales.
Since the bales are heavier we have to load them different than the hay. We stagger them on the trailer so the weight is more distributed and balanced. I have to drive zig zag through the rows of bales so Pug can load on one side and then the other. It is not too hard if the bales are in a single line. But if they are beside each other I actually have to “back the truck up” or in my case the tractor and trailer. I am getting better at it and it really helps that I am out in the middle of a field with no fences to get in my way. :) Sometimes they just jump out of nowhere and really mess me up. :0
This is Pug loading the bales onto the trailer with the forklift.
I can carry 6 bales on this trailer. That is quite a load. Pulls like it is 900 tons. Okay that does sound like a lot but guess what… I asked Van to guestimate how many pounds each bale weighed and he thinks (depending on moisture content) they weigh between 1500 and 2000 pounds. So yeah, I am carrying at least and maybe more than 9000 pounds. I think that is kindly cool!!
This is my view from my tractor of the loaded trailer.
Mickey can haul 3 bales on the white dump truck. Every bit helps when it comes to hauling back to the barn. While I was traveling back to get another load I got to the woods part and said to myself…what would I do if I met Mickey coming towards me on this narrow dirt road in the middle of all these woods. Then I thought…that would never happen. Big mistake…NEVER SAY NEVER!! I could hear him coming. Luckily my trailer was empty and I could get off the road where there were not so many trees and he got around me. I was really hoping that would not happen again.
Excuse me ladies I am just TRYING TO DO MY JOB!!! Moo Moo Moooooooove!!!!
“Over the river and through the woods”. Well there ain’t no river and I sure as heck ain’t going to Grandmas house. The barn is quite a ways from the rye field. Feels like about 900 miles. Just look how far I have to go to get to the barn.
I have to go through the woods.
Down the power line road. Across this cow field.
Down this dirt road. And down yet another dirt road. It sure feels like 900 miles. And after that I have to get unloaded and then head back the same way. Thank you Jesus for music and my i-pod!!!! I be jammin’. And just in case you are wondering… I timed it in my head…it took 900 minutes…okay maybe closer to 900 seconds :)
Once I get back to the barn Pug (and sometimes Van, Mickey, or Greg) unloads the bales with the front end loader. There is a large spear attachment on the front of the loader that literally spears the bale and it can be put wherever it is needed.
My boss man is not just a good driver…he is a GREAT driver. He can unload a bale and then BACK it into the barn.
And he does this at quite an impressive speed.
I know for a fact that I will NOT be doing this job…EVER. I like to keep my tractor in the forward gear. It is much safer for all…equipment, animals, and people.
If you ask the crew they will tell you that I complain and whine about 900 times a day…okay that is a lot but actually may be pretty precise. But I can promise you that 90 percent of that is for humor’s sake. I love to laugh, make other people (and cows) laugh, and I even at times like to laugh at myself. I do complain and whine about my job but it is all in fun (most of the time). Laughter is one of my favorite gifts from God. So here’s hoping you get to experience a lot of gut busting laughter in your lifetime…the kind that makes you cry AND pee in your pants (just a little) at the same time. And how long do I want to keep doing this job?...at least until I am 900 years old. :) :)
This was another genius idea from my brilliant farmers. The cows love the rye grass whether we chop and mix it in the feed or just give them a whole bale to munch on. And there is nothing like finding a solution to a problem that also keeps something so beneficial from going to waste. The rye grass makes the calves (as my hubby would say) "butterball fat". And I personally think it makes the mama cows "fat and sassy". Only one downside…cow poop is already stinky enough. But cows eating rye grass make poop that goes to a whole new level of stank. Around here stanky poop = happy cows…it is one of the things I live for. I love farmers…especially mine.