The Great Re-Baling

With the dairy barn, we inherited a big mess,including 2 or 3 hundred bales of straw that had long since been eroded into piles rather than stacks.  Apparently mice like to munch the string, so most bales had broken.  And ground hogs had burrows all through them.

Job is King of the Mountain

We wanted to recover the space in the barn and use or sell the straw, which while old, is fine for landscaping or mulch.  We arranged with Caleb K to bring his New Holland baler over and planned for a day of baling  He arrived as planned, and we made to move our tractor, a 1970’s vintage Ford 4000, and implements out of the way, .  Of course, the battery was dead.  It took the combined jump from the truck and a booster to fire it up. I’ll probably wait until Spring to replace the battery, which is about 6 years old.  When Caleb fired up the baler and we started feeding, it got jammed up and the shaft broke with a bang, pretty much on the first bale. Not a good start.

Caleb working on the baler.

He headed off to get the part.  Of course no one had the thing in stock, so around noon he called and said it would be at least Monday.  We rescheduled for the following Friday.

Thursday Jean leaves a note on my desk.  We had a half beef on order from Links, a local meat processor, and they were going to let us know a “week or so ahead” when it would be ready so we could make space in the freezer.  I had doubts it would fit in our freezer anyway.  I ended up taking a half vacation day, and we went and picked up a new freezer and 500 odd pounds of meat. Not exactly the original plan, but we got everything  put away that evening.  Friday Caleb got the baler running without too much issue and we got started.  I will say that re-baling is wildly more painful than baling in the field, although at least it wasn’t 95 degrees… Even so, I think I didn’t hydrate well enough.  When I got home after Friday’s work, I felt chilled and ached pretty much everywhere.  By about midnight I felt fine, which is good because we still had sixty or  eighty bales to finish up on Saturday.  We had already sold a hundred bales, and as we finished baling, a truck arrived to start loading.  These were nice tight bales, easily 60 pounds.

Caleb says the New Holland folks stand behind all their equipment…except the manure spreader!