This week was another busy one here at our farm. Not only was it the official end of summer, but it was also another week working towards our long term goals! The main things that I accomplished this week was purchasing a semen tank for our upcoming buck collection in October. Then we had a beautiful long weekend where, we were able to tick some much needed items off of the to do list. Friday, we were able to take our generator for service, to make sure we have a back up way to provide water to all of the animals and I was able to get a full load of bedding to tide us over for a least a month. The last time I stocked up on bedding was in July! Then Saturday we spent the day at my parents for their annual cookout. Sunday was spent doing my favorite things outside. I had a dear friend bring over her two doe kids over for me to evaluate, to help her determine if either of them have a place in her herd. Then I spent the remainder of the day cutting up a tree that fell a few weeks ago and taking it to our burn pile.
Monday was the biggest day of all, we went and got all of our hay for the year. This is always a mentally and physically exhausting day for us. Our hay supplier is awesome enough to let us use his flatbed goose-neck trailer, but making sure there are enough straps on the hay to not loose any is enough to induce anxiety. The past two years we have had part of the hay pile fall over and had to work to re-stack it and strap it down on the side of the road. This year, we learned our lesson and weren't going to let that happen. Rob purchased a large lot of big ratchet straps from an auction, and we brought every single one we owned with us. This is in addition to all of the straps that our hay supplier already had on there. We were absolutely crazy about our straps, I think there 15 in total on the load when we got it home. To top it off, we stopped a total of four times on the way home to tighten straps, add additional straps and to check the load. My dear husband also drove like we had a load of glass, and what should have only taken us 20 minutes to get home ended up taking us over an hour.
Once we got home the stress was not over, because we use our neighbors driveway with extremely heavy loads, as it is much less steep, but this was the first year trying to go through our field with our new fence and gates, that were JUST wide enough to fit the truck and trailer through. When we pulled out of the second gate, our nerves were frazzled, so we parked the truck and decided to have lunch before we worked on the last leg of turning the trailer around and backing it as close to the barn as we could get it. I give Rob so much credit, for driving, backing and his overall impressive heavy load management skills. Without him this task would have been nearly impossible.
Once we got the trailer in position we were able to take 10 bales at a time on the tractor up to the barn, its a bit of double work loading and then unloading, but the tractor works as an excellent hay elevator, limiting the amount of throwing above your head you have to do. After several hours of sweaty work, we were able to completely fill our barn, shed where we keep the buck hay and even pre-packed four bales of hay for our trip to Hocking Hills with the horses in October! It is a huge amount of work to load all of that hay, however, it gives us and our animals security that we have enough hay to feed them through the winter! Plus, I always love watching the goats dive into the new hay, like it is something they have never seen in their lives before. I hope they like it, because it is what they will be eating for the next year!
We have another big project in the works to improve the farm. I can't wait to fill you in on all the details next week! I hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather and getting items ticked off of your to do list. Happy Goating!