help with hay

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by moday, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. moday

    moday Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Does anyone do their own hay? We've got 3 goats, and will get lambs and possibly steer in the future. We have 5-6 acres that we could devote to hay, but have no idea what it takes. Right now the field is grass and weeds. Does that work for hay, or do I need to plant other stuff to make it more useable?

    Also, can I do it without tilling?

    Any idea what type of equipment to get and still make it affordable?
  2. heavenlyhaven

    heavenlyhaven Senior Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Belmont, NY
    grass hay does fine
    but if you want to plant you would need to till
    for "making hay" :shades: you need
    a tractor and the following attachements
    tetter (spreads it out to dry)
    mower (cuts the hay)
    rake (puts it in neat rows so baling is easier)
    plus baling twine and the know-how to fix things because everything seems to break down every year :angry:
    tho they are coming out with amazing attachments for ATV's...

  3. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    You could try to find someone to cut the hay and bale it for you. . . . I see ads on CraigsList all the time for people offering that service. That's what I would do if I had my own land. . . . I'm thinking if they cut it and either you pay them cash or split the hay somehow. Not sure how that works. It sounds awfully expensive to purchase those things (the haying equipment, that is). My grandpa has been doing hay for years and years, he has the all the equipment and us kids stack it.
  4. dobe627

    dobe627 Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    southeast PA
    we make our own hay and Heavelyhaven was pretty much right on what you need. We make small square bales, easier to handle when I am home alone. And my husband is a john deere guy so when it breaks down its usually not cheap, and yep it seems that something will break down everytime you get ready to make hay. Not only that but if you have had months of no rain, you can pretty much bet it will rain as soon as your cutting :hair: But if you live in an area with alot of farmers someone maybe willing to cut it for you for a fee, or you could split the hay. If you decide to get all your own equipment sometimes you can find people that need fields cut and they will let you have the hay. Its some work but with the price of hay you may find its worth it.
  5. Ivy

    Ivy Guest

    Aug 9, 2008
    You can always go with the manual options, a scythe.
    Thats what we use for cutting all the wild grasses and weeds.
    Sun dry and roll and tie.
    Later we plan to build an old fashion manual wooden bailer.
  6. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I think I would try and find a farmer in your area to cut and bale your hay since you only have 6 acres, that may be a little more cost effective than buying all the equipment.
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I have a small area of mixed grasses that hubby can't hit with the mower because it's all hillside....I have used an old fashioned mowing scythe as well as a gas powered weedeater to cut and dry, rake by hand and roll and tie...did this until I decided to use electric fence to keep my goats where they need to "mow" :ROFL:

    Seriously though, it would probably be better and more cost effective to have a "lcal" famer cut and bale...cheaper and you won't have to worry about the "mechanical headaches", either split the hay or pay for the fuel it uses to harvest.
  8. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I don't mean to contradict you liz but you should never split the hay, hay is a very precious commodity. Its better to just pay the farmer what he charges :wink:
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    No offense taken here Sarah...I just haven't had a problem getting hay around here, it's usually in abundance and now this past year hs been really good for local farmers...some even got third cutting so I can get it fairly cheap :wink: