Monday, February 23, 2009

All I Want Is Some Hay

Sorry to be fairly quiet lately, but goat preparations are full-tilt. I've spent many, many hours working on their barn and paddock. I moved a 3 foot high by 5 foot wide stack of lumber out of the area that will be their yard, which means I moved the entire stack about 30 feet. I smashed my thumb with the hammer at least 30 times hanging tin sheets on the newly framed barn walls. I reached into deep, dark, scary places and uncovered unspeakable things. I raked. And I raked. And I raked. And still, we're not quite finished. We're close enough to taste victory, but not quite there yet.

All the while, I've been shopping. Goats are complex creatures and have needs far surpassing those of a motley bunch of farmyard fowl. I've bought milk pails and medicine, hoof trimmers and hay racks, feeders and first aid kits. But the single most elusive thing I've had to buy for these goats? HAY. That's right, hay.

If you take a drive through my neck of the woods (or rather, prairie), you generally can't go a mile or two without seeing rolls and rolls of hay sitting patiently in freshly mown fields. Likewise, you can't go any distance without spotting signs along fence lines advertising hay for sale. You've seen the ones I mean - the handpainted wooden sign that simply says:

(555) 555-1234

Yet somehow, now that I'm actually trying to procure hay, I'm finding it extremely difficult to get the right kind in the quantity I need. Since most folks around here raise cattle, there's an abundance of hay for, well, cattle. This is not the same type of hay that goats generally prefer. Also, small square bales are rather difficult to find. Most of what is available comes in large rounds like the one pictured above, that can't be moved without equipment. I would have to have a round bail delivered, and once it was here, it would be staying wherever they choose to deposit it. Because I'll only have three goats, and will largely be caring for them myself without the aid of heavy machinery, I need small quantities of hay that I can easily move from storage to barn myself - i.e. square bales. I cannot find square bales of Sudan hay to save my soul. I keep trying and striking out. I did manage to score a delivery of 15 square bales of alfalfa, which is coming tomorrow, but that's a bit rich for them to eat all the time, so I still need some squares of good old grass hay for roughage. I keep telling myself that it can't possibly be this hard. They'll be arriving in just a couple of weeks, so the search continues.

No comments:

Post a Comment