I really like feeding round bale hay out.  Last year after I re-seeded one of my leased hayfield it was clear that I would need to buy some hay.  There were just not enough square bales (actually rectangles) I settled on organically certified round bales and have been happy with the quality.  Getting them into the barn was quite challenging. 

I had to attach a spear to the bucket of my tractor, borrowed from the trucker who had 38 round bales of hay expertly stacked on his flatbed trailer.  Then he had to negotiate backing into and then down my driveway.  This process took about 20 minutes of negotiating the turn in.  Next I had to spear the upper middle of each bale, tilt and raise, then back up, turn around and travel about 150 yards to my barn doors. These bales are approximately 6 feet in diameter and weigh from 800+ pounds.  Loosing a bale off of the spear is not desired because one would need to figure re-spearing it.

Driving into the barn and stacking the bales on their sides was next.  Four bales down and then three bales nested between the floor bales. Couple than with having to avoid the hammer trusses in my post and beam barn.  It was exhilarating and a little nerve wracking.  The trucker arrived late afternoon that then added the element of working by tractor lights – my barn has one light at the end of the barn.  It all worked out, but I was quite happy when the 3+ hours of moving was over.

Then I was confronted with taking apart the bale for our cows.  Feeding the entire round bale would result in a fair degree of waste. So I roll these 800 pound monsters, pick the hay off the floor or the bale and stuff the hay into a plastic garbage barrel which then gets deposited in a hay rack or on the ground – the cows like both.  If it is raining or snowing too much the hay gets put on the ground under our barn. 

Next year it will be back to feeding square bales and I will be wresting several of those 35 pound beasts daily.  Variety is spice of life for this old body.