Hay Auction

I had grand plans to post my Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles on Saturday.

We had a simple hay auction to attend and then the warm, November afternoon was mine.

I had thoughts of sitting on the front porch rocker in the sunshine with my computer and my pictures……

But, alas, this was not to be…

First, the auction-

For those of who wonder how we feed our herd of 19 beasties, or maybe you don’t wonder but I am going to tell you anyway, the answer is any way we can!

We have a 130 acre pasture, but in the dryland prairie, that is only good for about 4 months of grazing and occasional winter munching….

Sometimes hay is donated, sometimes we find it through local rancher friends, and sometimes we attend that Saturday morning crazy event called the Hay Auction.

At a local livestock auction facility, on the 2nd Saturday of the month, stacks of golden hay sit waiting for the hordes of bidders to arrive.

With breath steaming in the cool morning air, the bidders wait for the auctioneer, eying different stacks of hay, calculating price per ton and how high they can go, determining number of bales that will fit on the trailer if the price is right.

The auctioneer begins the bidding–

Now, auctioneers are tricky- they always try to start the bidding at a price that will get someone to jump in and bid without them having to lower it; but these are savvy bidders, they wait the auctioneer out…..

He knows that he can’t pull too much salesmanship on this crowd—

(The guys with the cowboy hats and clipboards are the auctioneers– yes, they look just like normal folks)

And the price on the early bales goes low….

We buy twelve round bales, weighing 700 lbs a piece- paying around $100/ton– later bales sell for $150-$250 a ton!

This will feed our crew for just over six weeks, if we are careful and the weather does not get too bad– those of you math genius’s out there can figure out what we pay a month to keep our herd if you have lots of time on your hands—

Closer to the city, folks are paying almost double this– hence, the horses being dumped at auction houses, but that is a whole ‘nother soapbox for a whole ‘nother time…..

The auction house keeps a beautiful John Deere articulated loader on hand to load the bales of hay that have been purchased– as these bales can weigh anywhere from 650 lbs to 1900 lbs, this is a very nice service— except when the loader tries to take off your rearview mirror on your truck—

Fortunately, we have collapsible mirrors, so no harm done, but it was a sign of things to come!!

If you don’t know what articulated is, it means it bends in the middle—

It’s your 50 cent word for the day; see if you can use it in a sentence…

So, we are all loaded up, stacked high, wedged in, strapped down…… or so we think

‘Bout 5 miles from home……
Yes, those would be two of our hay bales in the middle of the highway, with a semi driving behind!

That would be my handsome husband trying to unload our tractor so we can go and get our bales off the highway…..

This is a really nice view of him, but I didn’t tell him so… I didn’t think this was quite the right time for that…..

This is our friend, the Prairie Pastor, who also happens to be a firefighter, with his fire truck, graciously directing traffic—

We woke him up from a nap…..

What are friends for??

This is my handsome husband again, trying to clean off the highway– he takes his clean up job very seriously–

“Honey, you look great…. doing a good job… looking really handsome!….”

He can’t hear me- he has his ear plugs in-

In the midst of the chaos, my son, who was helping load the tractor at the house, smashed his fingers between the trailer ramps and the trailer, breaking his middle finger of his left hand—

So, we spent the afternoon in the ER, getting x-rays—so much for my sunny afternoon on the porch—

My son has had a grand ole time waving his hand out the window at passing cars…. I can’t figure out why they keep honking at us!!

Oh yeah, this is what happens when you have had a little too much to drink, trying to be safe by riding your bike home in the dark, and pass the action house……

Just kidding…. its just these crazy redneck folks having a little joke…. they have such a sense of humor……

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 9:10 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Liked that story about the hay auction. Can’t say we’ve ever had them out here in Ontario. If anything, a lot of Ontario farmers ship hay south and make some good dough.
    Would like to hear about the other soap box thing-horses being dumped at auctions. So sad. Tough when one can’t afford to take them in, but it’s just a sign that something worse is going on. I wonder how many hungry people are out there…
    Keep writing, you’re good at it.

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