Winnie Enjoying Our Hay!

winnie-eating-hay

Winnie (Shetland Sheep)

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Hay Testing

A few weeks ago, The Mill offered free hay testing. In order to get more accurate results, we purchased a hay probe bale sampler; it attaches to a  cordless drill.  The probe drills into the hay bale and chews up the hay for easier testing. The sample bag (a gallon bag) is attached to keep the sample free of contamination. We tested both our first and second cutting; our hay is right on target for good nutrition for our sheep. It’s really a good feeling to know we are growing, harvesting and providing hay for our sheep.  The sheep definitely enjoy our hay!

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Hay Sampling Tools

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Hay Sampling in Action

Hay Sample

Hay Sample

 

 

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Second Cutting 2016

It’s been a little over two weeks since we put up our second cutting of hay.  What started out as a beautiful Wednesday afternoon to bale hay turned into a visit to the ER. With my “I can do that” attitude, I tried to move the hay elevator closer to the barn loft. The crank is a manual gear and some how my left hand got hit/caught in the crank or gear; it all happened so fast that all I remember is the excruciating pain and blood.  In the ER, I was teasing that I needed to update my tetanus shot but this is definitely not the way I wanted it to happen.  My injury is mostly to my ring finger; it is a crush injury with fracture.  I am only able to look at finger now; maybe I will look at the ER photos at a later date. Thankfully, I had on my gloves. I checked them later to see only a small cut in them; my injury would have been worse without them.

Since the chores need to go on, my sweet husband finished baling and hauling the hay by himself.  I watched from the sidelines. Our second cutting yielded 200 bales.

Next cutting, I promise to “respect the hay elevator” as my  husband is always telling me…..

 

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It’s a Sign!

Our farm sign is now posted. Thanks to the wonderful work of Wilevi from Solitude Valley in Oregon. The sign is made from bark on Douglas fir. Just beautiful!

Farm Sign

Wind and Wool Farm Sign

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Hay Day: 205 Bales!

Every day we thought about cutting hay it would rain or storm. The barn  needed a few more finishing touches. It was a race against time! The barn was finished on Wednesday. Finally, we were able to cut and bale our hay this past weekend.  Besides having to replace the clutch on the baler, that included a ride to Messick’s in Elizabethtown, PA, the day went off without a hitch. Thanks to the great efforts of our neighbors who volunteered to help us. Now, we definitely need a hay elevator!

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Our Barn: Snap Shots

The barn is almost done but I wanted to share a few snap shots of the process. It’s the future home to farm equipment that now decorates our property.

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Sheep Off Broadway

Move over Shaun the Sheep, there’s a new star or rather a flock of stars in town……Making sheep history is a flock of Dorset and Romanov sheep from a northeast farm in Pennsylvania. The sheep have the starring role in De Materie, an opera by Louis Andriessen, being performed at the Park Avenue Armory  in New York. They are part of a dream sequence in which a white blimp floats overhead as the sheep move around.

For more fascinating details, see the article Excellent Sheep in the March 25th New Yorker.

 

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