Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hay Is For.....

With this cold cold winter we have had,
our hay stores are disappearing at a faster than normal rate.

My barn is looking emptier every day.
We may even have to buy hay if this weather keeps up.

I allow the horses a generous amount of hay most days,
and when it is extremely cold, they have unlimited access.
My horses are not picky and they are not wasteful, either.
They eat every last blade of hay that is left on the ground.

The goats, on the other hand, are quite wasteful.
Their hay is deposited in a hay rack...

from which they graze.

What falls on the ground is not touched.
(I even suggested that they blow on the stuff that falls to the ground...
you know, to blow the germs off!)

But no, once it hits the ground it is no longer good enough for
our spoiled caprines!!

Have no fear, though....
we waste nothing here on the farm.

We scoop up what falls on the ground

and give it to the chickens.

They have the best time picking through the hay,
eating the greenest pieces and scratching through the rest.

This hay gives their yard good footing during the winter...
especially during times like this, when the chickens have no interest
in leaving their yard to free range.
After all, everything of value to them is under the snow.
(Yes, my chickens are fair weather birds...spoiled, too!)

The amazing thing is that for all of the hay that we have placed into the
chicken yard, over time it disappears.
The chickens have a tendency to pulverized everything in their yard.

So, for now I am hoping for warmer days, melting snow and 
the emergence of edible grass!

PS:  This morning Dr. Becky is going to get x-rays of Scarlet's jaw.
I should have more news for you tomorrow.
Thanks for the words of encouragement.
Unfortunately, the tumor is bony, not in soft tissue.
We'll keep our fingers crossed!


  1. We are in the same boat regarding the hay. Starting this weekend we have to go over to the next farm to get hay. This is the first time EVER we have had to do that. It is going to be a long winter!!!
    Will pray for good news when reading rhe xrays. This is the part of owning animals that is so heart breaking when these health worries hit us.

  2. Farmers of old must have felt good knowing they produced the hay that keep their animals alive. And not a single straw was you illustrated. It is a malvelous cycle, with the manure going for composting, which then produced fabulous food to sustain the farmer. Pretty darn amazing, really.
    Don't you feel like a pioneer?

  3. Prayers for Miss Scarlet, I will be waiting along with you and with your other blogland friends.

    Oh! the goats dont have that 5 second rule huh? What falls on the ground is okay if you pick it up within 5 seconds... Spoiled rotten those babies are...

    Even the feathered gals dont like their feet in snow, can you blame them?

    Sounds like your farm is one well oiled working machine. Thank you for posting your day.

    A friend is taking care of his first hive in his backyard, he has the hive closed up for winter and is keeping them fed, but with the cold weather we have had here in GA, he is worried. This is his first winter. There are some dead bees around the hive. Do you know if this is normal? He does not want to open the hive to see in as the cold will get in there.

    I too am looking into a hive. Lots to learn.

    I do hope this winter breaks soon and your hay supply hold out. Its one cold snowy winter here in Ga and all up the east coast.

  4. Funny Karen, then I must be a farmer of old...cause we grow our own hay to feed our critters, too!!!

  5. My morning coffee with Bee Haven is enjoyable as usual. I'll keep little Scarlet in my prayers. You're are so lucky to have you as their caretaker!

  6. I too, have been amazed at how bedding (hay and pine shavings) gets pulverized by my chickens. Great little composters, I guess.

  7. Good luck Scarlet..I'll keep you in my thoughts...
    As for the chickens being spoiled...I think that's a benefit of being any part of Bee Haven Acres!!!

  8. I can't woo my girls out of the coop for anything lately! Not a smidge of sunshine and everythings covered in snow. They won't budge. I had a hen get an impacted crop from eating straw, and now I'm afraid to put anything in there - would hay do the same? I was swinging that bird around every which way but loose trying to get her to vomit. Never did work, but her crop finally went down. What we do for those birds!

  9. I do the same with the hay my goats waste. My pigs also enjoy getting hay to munch on.
    I'll be thinking of you and Scarlet.

  10. Our chickens like to rummage through the leftovers too :-).


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