We are already behind in rainfall for the year so are taking the opportunity to buy as much hay as we can from the season's early cuttings. We have a great hay man who goes out of his way to take care of us so every time he bales we buy. He has a few buddies who hang around and work the field at baling time so that loading right out of the field is as easy as can be. He has even loaned us one of his fellows to help unload the hay into our barn so that we could manage yet another load on a day. The last time that the fellows were baling I could not go along to drive the truck. One of the buddies who hangs around is in his 80's so he drove the truck rather than walking along beside the trailer and handing bales up to my husband who stacks them. They have such a good time, the hay gets handled and we have happy livestock.
Everyone here is very well fed but they never get over the excitement of a trailer load of new hay showing up. The oxen who are housed at the front of the farm prance and bellow as we pull in the drive. Then we go through the process of going through several gates, moving animals along the way and trying hard not to squish anyone as they prance along beside the trailer, often snatching mouthfuls of hay on the run. We do try to keep most of the goats and sheep out of the barnyard but a few always manage to slip in. The chickens, which are truly free range, gradually begin to realize that there are tasty oats dropping off of that nice hay. They may stay out of the way while the hay is unloaded but many move in as soon as the trailer is moved. They pick the oats clean in a very short time.
And I must confess that I love the smell of fresh hay and am always so grateful to have the barns loaded.