Saturday, December 5, 2015

little roundtop

Back in October, I decided to put up a small roundtop shelter for winter hay storage. Not a big building project; a simple kit that comes in a box. Very popular in these parts.

The Little Green Sportswagon as rolling workbench.

Just to give you a frame of reference, here are five good-sized bales. Right now my little herd eats about one of these bales every day; they'll need more in winter. Bales vary in size and weight, depending on the plants, the time of harvest, the weather, and the baler. Lighter bales are easier for me to handle, but then of course more bales are needed. The goats care about the poundage they get to eat, not the number of bales I have to drag around. They are funny that way.

The pallet and a vapor barrier (here, a tastefully-arranged assemblage of overlapping feed bags) are necessary to prevent mold forming on the bottom bales. Mold is the very devil. Moldy/dusty hay becomes a very expensive mudhole-filler.


The roundtop turned into not my simplest project.

First, there was a backorder.
Then, there was a dead birch to be taken down.
Finally, there was the 12x20' frame to assemble and anchor.
The whole process took a lot of patience. And expense.
And most of November,
during which I was very anxious to Get The Hay. 


I'm still not sure it's properly "up."
But it's as "up" as it's likely to be this year.
And I've been working on the interior:

Isn't this a beautiful sight?
There are about 60 bales in there now.
I'll be comfortable with 120 more.

Even though I supplement the goats' feed with a bagged forage product and oats, good hay is an important mainstay of their diet. If I can fill the little roundtop with enough hay for several months, I won't have to scramble to bring home a few more bales every week, all winter long. It will be a load off my mind.

(Was that the most appropriate use of that expression ever?)

I had hoped to buy all I need from my neighbor, but he had a bad year and has already sold me all that he could without cutting off his other customers. My original HayMan, who is a good friend but lives quite a distance from here, was sold out before he had even made his second cutting last summer. I have two back-up suppliers, but the quality is not great...which will mean more waste, right from the get-go.
And as you know...
Goats do not need any help generating wasted hay.

See all that beautiful clean hay on the floor?
It was in the feeder two minutes ago.
Then LeShodu pulled it out, bit by bit.
Now she considers it inedible.
Because It Touched The Floor.

I'll have to get busy this weekend, making calls.
Hay farmers are the most popular people I know.

Flashback from last Winter: Meals on Wheels Boots
One meal for two goats in a separate paddock.
Sometimes a luncheon hamper is easier than dragging a sled.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
May your hay never touch the floor.