Curious about my hay

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FullCircleWVa

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As my introduction post mentions, I'm a first generation 'farmer' giving it a go. Well, of the farm I bought, a section is a real nice 4-5 acre pasture that I decided to put up in hay. I got a Vicon disc mower on auction, as well as a cheap 4 spool sunflower hay rake that I had to clean up a bit and a NH 65 square baler ($250 auction find!!!). A little elbow grease and we were in business at what I thought was fairly cheap. I was able to put up just under 350 squares on two cuttings and was curious what my cows would think of it. Well I decided to take a few bales out the other week and before I could even get it off the SxS, Lucy had to test it and I'll be darned they ate it all haha.. had me feeling like an Ice Cream truck... was only lacking the music! IMG_1831.jpg
 

ClinchValley86

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Bravo!

Acquiring equipment that way is the best route to take IMO. If ya have the time and know how. Equipment be crazy!

We started with a Long 460, a ford 501 sickle, 4 wheel 3pt rake, and a soft core Massey baler.

Shiny stuff is pretty though.

Good looking animal you have there, too.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Thank ya Jeanne, Clinch. You don't realize how expensive things are til you go to looking at it haha so... Auction it was. We were fortunate, only sheared the pin that rotates the knotters once, while the flywheel sheared.... a dozen times? 🤬

I enjoy it spending time with my dad who recently mostly retired from plumbing.. and it keeps him busy to boot.

Today was a fantastic day. That red cow was my first pair, she's got a little black heifer I plan to keep. She's a great cow, doesn't cause trouble and is easy on the eyes
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Eat it up like candy. As my grandpa would say.
I gorge myself every chance I get. Unfortunately I see some regret in my friends' lives and realizing how important my old man is to me while he is still alive is a blessing that I'm thankful for. He really is my best friend.
 

anewcomer

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FullCircle, no more hay than you need, buy it, don’t try to produce it. You’ll be money ahead. Also, don’t retain heifers. Sell all your calves. Buy replacements as you grow. At your size, you are a terminal herd. All calves should be sold. Buy a terminal bull.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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I figure with the grass I have, I can run maybe 10 pair so probably 65-70 round bales will be needed eventually. I will end up having to buy some, but I was able to cut for a lady on shares this year as well. I gave her 10 hours of cutting for 24 4x5's, that's a deal I won't always have available. When the time comes I will probably sell the mower, restore the baler and sell it and then run that extra pasture as just that.. but we are just enjoying the process at the moment you could say. Getting my nephews out to pick up square bales is a tough day to beat. Letting them feed those same square bales out is just a good feeling. And I can always sell that calf, I have a steer about her age that i'm going to wean with two yearling heifers we have once I get rid of some steers taking up room in the back of my place. She's just a real nice calf is all. I like her demeanor
 
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anewcomer

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Wholeheartedly support these ancillary benefits! But remember to put a price on those benefits. If you are good with equipment, you might develop a good custom hay business. But, remember, it is different from your cattle business.
 

1982vett

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Thank ya Jeanne, Clinch. You don't realize how expensive things are til you go to looking at it haha so... Auction it was. We were fortunate, only sheared the pin that rotates the knotters once, while the flywheel sheared.... a dozen times? 🤬

I enjoy it spending time with my dad who recently mostly retired from plumbing.. and it keeps him busy to boot.

Today was a fantastic day. That red cow was my first pair, she's got a little black heifer I plan to keep. She's a great cow, doesn't cause trouble and is easy on the eyes
Shearing flywheel pins is usually timing on the plunger or you need to tighten the brake disk that holds the needles up. I’d start with the brake disc. Vibrations baling can let them slip while baling letting the plunger stop do it’s job…keep you from baling up the needles.
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Shearing flywheel pins is usually timing on the plunger or you need to tighten the brake disk that holds the needles up. I’d start with the brake disc. Vibrations baling can let them slip while baling letting the plunger stop do it’s job…keep you from baling up the needles.
Definitely the plunger.. when I pick up 1"x8" sticks at the edge of the meadow they like to get caught every time it seems
 
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FullCircleWVa

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🤷…or trying to bale tree limbs.
Tree limbs unseen, tedder teeth that broke off and a couple pieces from that old rake were culprits this year. Got a lot to look out for next year. Tried keeping an eye out and we caught a few pieces while raking but hard to catch it all. I'll do a better sweep and rake teeth inventory nexy year :D
 
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FullCircleWVa

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Guess that makes me sound pretty lazy. I had about 15 ash trees that the borers had got to in the past 10 years that were lined on this field. I fell all of them last winter and missed a bit of the shards of dead tree while cleaning up. The majority of the time, that was the culprit. I tried picking them all up at the time but there were SO MANY lol. This next year should be better, them having a year on the ground to rot. We'll see
 

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A dull cutting edge on the plunger, very large windrows, spots of wet green hay, and ground speed too high can also shear the bolt on the flywheel.
 

1982vett

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Still, have someone watch closely for the needles advancing as the bale forms indicating slippage. That brake slipping isn’t all that uncommon in older equipment. You might also hear a knock as the plunger arm clips the stop before it fully engages.
 
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