Despite Saturday's rain, we were able to dry the 11ish acres of hay we had down. It turned out to be thicker than we expected and cleaner than we hoped for after the rain. Overall, it was a successful haying: clean hay, no machines broke down, and no one got hurt. With the help of our staunch crew, we were able to stack 900 bales in the barn in an evening.
This hay will feed the horses this summer, and the sheep (and BEN!) over the winter. We're sending some samples out for nutritional testing next week to see how it compares to last year's hay. (During the chaos of haying, we weren't able to pull out the bales of hay that came out of the new restored grass unfortunately—so we won't be able to see yet if there's any distinct nutritional difference between the unrestored grass and restored grass. But, we've got plenty restored grass booming in another field, so I'll cut some of that before the summer is out.)
Uncle Jim, who did the mowing on this cut said that the "chicken stripe" was so much thicker and heavier than the rest of the field that he had to slow down to a crawl. What's impressive about this is that we ran chickens in this field last year. So, the difference in grass production a year later is still significant.
Here are two videos we took while haying and posted to our Instagram account.
Jesse recording video while driving a tractor. (Never record video while driving a tractor.)
Jesse recording Cally baling up the last of the rows at the end of the day.