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Bush hog and wheel rake for hay?
Posted by kevin fort causeway at 2015-09-01 18:53:23
So I have heard that granpa did it, and so don't see why I can't, yes use a bush hog after killing frost and get a consistent wilt and then wheel rake it all into a windrow for a sheep ration through the long dry winter with no snow cover. Perhaps it could even be baled? Thoughts on this redneck way of making hay are appreciated.
This is a sorghumsudan/cool season grass/weed/legume mix and not dairy quality feed needed. But if I leave it stand I will lose all the legume leaves after frost...
Or otherwise I could bale it conventionally and then grind it all to make a better ration. With long dry winter I would rather feed out the windrows....
Response by NoraWI at 2015-09-02 06:14:59
I guess it would work if you live where it is dry and not too deep a snow. Would NOT work in Wisconsin!
Response by Bill Smith at 2015-09-02 06:33:01
It wouldn't work here, that much I know. If you can get it dry enough you can bale it. The problem with a bush hog is you seldom get anything like a clean cut and you leave a lot of crop in the field. As far as raking it into a windrow and leaving it, what about ground moisture and rain? My sheep won't touch cut hay on the ground in meadow. It's like they don't see it and are expecting standing grasses.
Response by Dan in Illinois at 2015-09-02 07:25:34
In Illinois people will cut right ahead of a forecasted frost and bale when dry. Drying time can be long because of cool temps. Depending on frost timing of future frost may kill legumes. Goodluck with your forage.
Response by Dennis M at 2015-09-02 20:12:41
Some bush hogs were made to do that, mine has a plate that can be removed. Cutting with the plate off keeps the grass from being chopped up and will leave it in a windrow. My father in law used one to cut his hay before he got a mower.
Response by Billy Foster at 2015-09-03 06:04:37
If you had a sickle bar mower I would suggest building stacks. Last fall I couldn't get some hay picked up before a rain that was coming so I experimented and built a stack. My intent was to leave it in the field until spring and see how the hay inside looked after a Maine winter. I didn't get a chance since the lambs eat it down to the ground in mid December. My concern with your idea of a windrow is that with a windrow you only have a little depth and a lot of surface area any moisture is going to get all the way though the pile and leach any nutrients it has out. In a stack you loose some hay on the outside but you have much less surface area so a lot of hay is still protected from the sun and moisture.
Response by KC Fox at 2015-09-03 10:06:12
I don't know about a brush hog mower But a sickle bar mower and a dump rake have fed a lot of cows even when the snow was deep. that is how grampa did it dad did it and I have did it. I don't know about feeding sheep Goat will eat it like that in a windrow. I have read in some Beef magazines about this new way to feed your cows in the winter and there talking about mowing & windrowing you hay, they said that your cows drank less water when snow was on because they eat snow with there hay. It sure don't cost as much to mow and windrow. as it does to bale and grind the hay and it is there in front of them all the time24-7. I don't know how much snow that you get but cows here dig through the snow quite deep to get the hay, horses got along good with the windrowed hay. there is nothing new about feeding your livestock this way, It was normal way to feed in 1934 if your cows got any hay that was mowed and raked, most cows then was lucky to get hay that standing. this part of the country had alot of horses because they would travel further to water & feed than cattle.
Response by Dale Wagn er at 2015-09-03 11:50:36
Done that. It worked but is wasting a lot of it. Bale if u can

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