We have hay! Since the sheep are coming on Saturday (YAY!) I spent some time this week looking for hay. I priced some local people, and was shocked at what hay is going for right now. It's been a few years since I've had to buy hay, and it's gone up in price. I called the farm where I used to work to beg my boss to bale some hay for me. Lucky for me, they were baling a field and had extra to sell me at a very good price! We went last night to pick it up out of the field.
We had a great system going. I didn't get any pictures, because I don't think the guys would have liked me snapping pictures while they were working hard. David drove his truck and trailer slowly down the row of bales while his dad and I picked up bales and put them on the trailer. David's friend Jay went with us, and he stood on the trailer stacking hay. It didn't take us long at all to get it loaded.
Here's half of the trailer load.
We put half the bales in the small metal shed last night, and tonight we put the rest in the garage/shed. It smells so good in there now! This is some really nice hay....it's second (or third?) cut Max Q fescue.
See, regular fescue has a toxic endophyte (fungus) in it that can cause some problem in animals, especially pregnant ones. The seed companies have been working hard to come up with a solution to that problem. Fescue is a really great grass for grazing because it's drought tolerant and disease resistant. The companies developed an endophyte free fescue, but soon found out that the endophyte is what made fescue so great in the first place. They developed Max Q which is a variety with a novel or "friendly" endophyte. So, this grass is a great grazing forage and safe for animals!
Well, now you know more than you ever cared to about fescue.
The broilers are now truly free-ranging. The big chickens kept getting into their pen and eating the broiler feed, and the broilers had figured out how to escape their pen but not get back in. I just decided to open up that stupid, worthless, plastic green fence and let them all have the run of the yard. The broilers are living it up!
King of the mountain!
And I lost both turkeys. I suspect they died from Blackhead disease, which is carried by chickens but affects turkeys. Bummer! I talked to John (from Triple J) when I went to his farm last week and now mine are dead. I'll have to come up with some ideas on what to do next year. They recommend keeping turkeys and chickens totally separate (some say don't even keep them on the same premises), but I really would like for them to all forage together. We raised turkeys for several years when I was living at home. Maybe it's because my turkeys roosted with the chickens? Maybe they just need their own coop?
All I know is that I have to buy a Thanksgiving turkey this year and I'm bummed.