Farm Update: June 2013

It’s almost hay season on the farm, with a few more weeks to go before harvest. This time of year also means it’s time to do one of the more glorious farm aspects—mucking out under the barn with the tractor. Our tractor is small enough to fit under the barn with the roll bar down, so that means every May or June Andy heads on down and gets to work.

DSC_4926-01DSC_4927-01There’s no two ways about it, a barn filled with fresh manure in the hot sun smells like roses. Roses that the cows have eaten and then digested and then crapped out.

DSC_4937-01Good job ladies and gents.

DSC_4928-01DSC_4936-01DSC_4931-01 DSC_4934-01It honestly doesn’t take too long to do, maybe 30 minutes or so. While it doesn’t get all the manure out, it gets enough. We could shovel the rest out but the farmer doesn’t seem to worry about it so neither do we.

DSC_4956-01DSC_4957-01 DSC_4959-01Eventually some of the fresh manure Andy mucked out will age and become compost for the gardens, while the rest will be spread back across the pastures to keep the greens populating that the cows love. Where some might find pungently horrible crap, I just think about the fact that it gives the cows more food to eat as the seeds in the manure re-seed the pasture, and with the composted manure it gives many of the neighbors soil an extra boost of nitrogen to help our gardens grow big and strong.

Some people might say happy life, happy wife but I think it’s happy animals, happy life. It might not rhyme, but it’s true.



2 thoughts on “Farm Update: June 2013

  1. We’re watching our hay grow here too. Will the hay go in part of the barn once it’s harvested? I’m not wise in the way of professional farmers, but I’m a bit surprised that the barn is only cleaned out once a year. I guess it would be too big of a job to do more often? I probably shouldn’t talk as none of our stalls were mucked out when we took possession of the farm a year ago, and they’re still full of manure. Can I say we’re just giving it time to age? I only wish we could use the tractor but the stalls will be a job to do by hand. How many cows live in the barn?

    1. Some of the hay is turned into round bales and wrapped and stay outside. The square bales go in the barn. Just keep in mind with hay you have to check it every once in a while for temperature because hay that gets too hot can = fire. I haven’t had to do this myself but I’ve heard it talked about up at the farm during hay season quite a bit. Oh, and the farm only has 7 cattle now who can use under the barn in the winter to get out of the elements. It used to be significantly bigger but the farmer is nearing retirement age. Here’s hoping the kids will take it back over and grow it back up.


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