Have you ever wondered about what grass-fed animals eat in the winter? This time of year the sheep are digging through the snow to find different things to eat, but they’re also being fed hay that we put up all summer.
In the past our hay loft would have been filled to the rafters with loose hay, loaded by horses. This hay was shoveled down to the cows through chutes in the hay loft floor. One big advantage was that our barn has a hay mower, which is a wooden platform that dumps the hay to one side of the loft or the other. Without this the hay had to be pitched by hand to even out the pile. In a barn this size that’s literally TONS of hay!
We harvest hay all summer, putting some of it in to small square bales to be fed in the barn, some in to large round bales to be fed outside, and some in to roto-bales (small rounds) for the sheep feeders. Growing hay adds important nutrients in to our soil, so it’s a great part of our row crop rotation!