Feeding Loose Hay from an Outside Haystack


| 5/27/2009 4:07:29 PM


Tags: hay tools, haystacks, vintage tools, James N. Boblenz,

Farmers needed to harvest and store fodder (hay) for those long winter months.

For the most nutritious fodder, farmers had just a short time to harvest grass between the time it was flowering and tender until it began to become coarse and stemmy.

As farmers increased the amount of livestock they kept, they had to put up more hay. Many barns did not have sufficient space in their haymows for additional hay, so outside haystacks were necessary.

Outdoor storage created different feeding problems. After the stack was built, the farmer had to dome and cap the top to keep rain and snow and sleet — nasty wet weather — from soaking in the top and ruining the stack. As the hay settled, it became more compact.

If he started feeding from the top of the stack as he did from the haymow, he destroyed the protective covering. So, farmers had to find other ways to feed hay from the sides of the stack.