Putting Hay Away the Old-Fashioned Way

| September 2005

Did you ever stop to think about how loose hay was loaded into the multi-level mows of 19th century barns, long before the advent of stationary hay presses and conventional elevators? Can you imagine the amount of labor associated with raising that provender high in the loft to make feeding it to the cattle the following winter less of a chore? Retired Thomasville, Pa., farmer Robert Rauhauser thinks about these questions, and finds fascination with early tools designed to lighten the heavy work of hay handling. 'I am really interested in all kinds of loose hay tools,' he says. 'The horse-powered forks used to lift the hay are my main focus.'