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Friday, June 1, 2007

Welcome June

Welcome June.

The grass is growing in Alaska, as are the hayfields. Spring has been cooler than normal tho, we need some heat now. We need the Brome and Timothy to grow as fast as it can. We need hay. Everyone here had a poor hay year last year, it was too damp so not all of the hay baled was as dry as it needed to be. We are clearing out the barn of hay, and that's always a scary thing, it's better to have a half a year of hay still left in the barn when the new hay comes up the elevators. The next 4 weeks we'll be missing finger nails and watching countless weather forecasts too. Choosing the wrong day to cut can make or break a year here, especially since we only get one cutting for dry bales. In the fall, we round bale silage bales. Some people call it bailage, some haylage. The dew point stays too high too long in the day for good dry hay for baling in the fall, so sealed wrapped round bales are our answer and the livestock love it.

Round bales are nice for the sheep. But you have to keep an eye on them. After several days the bales begin to resemble top-heavy mushrooms. Then you need to move the bale onto it's side, or it will collapse on the sheep. I had the horrors of finding a very flattened young ram under the then-consumed hay some months ago when I was moving the bale ring around. Sigh. I thought my other half had tipped the bale for me, evidently the sheep had done it on their own. Not a good thing. I had assumed we lost him to a predator. Now I'm more diligent. I have an idea designed for a new bale feeder. Perhaps Rick will have time after first cutting to get one welded up for the flock.

Hay hay hay. It's on every one's mind now. I'm sure it's the same for you. What kind will you get this year and from whom? Will you have your hay tested to know what the protein content is, and perhaps check your calcium to phosphorous ratio too? That's always good to do you know. 2:1 is important for growing healthy lambs in utero, and good for the ewe too.

Welcome June!
Oh, and ME, good luck at the show!

1 comment:

bopeep said...

Wow, I can almost smell that rose from here....I'm so glad you have started posting....we all missed seeing your photos...although we didn't know it yet.
Nice shot of Topple,
You are good with a camera,
Had a great time at the funny....must be the adrenaline.