a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Friday, December 14, 2012

Market Day and Peanut Hay...

Many small farms are unable to keep livestock any more.  The drought has finished many.  The need for hay far exceeds the resources.  All calves but one went to the sale in hopes we could find hay for our seed stock.  We wanted to keep our heifers this year since we had a beautiful bunch.  We could not, not knowing if we would find hay or not.  Many are making this choice and many have had to sell completely.
Hubby directs the trailer to the loading chute.  The bull was not happy and voices his discontent with part of his herd leaving.  He was in the corral with them but promptly jumped the gate crushing it with his heavy exit strategy.  Normally a nice calm fellow, he did not like this one bit.
On the news last night I heard people are stealing hay in Missouri and Texas because of the long drought or maybe just because they can.  Hay is at a premium.  We were able to go a different "hay" way this year.
Peanut hay!  We have hay and the cows love it!!!  I do believe we will have enough for the winter and that is a great relief.  We feed range cubes and keep feeder buckets out but hay or roughage is necessary.  I imagine horses would colic or founder on this but the cows are very happy.  In fact the first bale was rolled out by the bull himself.

In south Arkansas peanuts are grown.  They have a  machine that pulls them up.  After a few days, the peanuts are ready to be harvested.  Another piece of equipment picks up the plants and shakes them to remove the peanuts. What is left has been baled for cattle feed.  It would be an added bonus if peanuts voluntarily grow next year.

We are the lucky ones!  We have feed!  Our herd is the smallest it's been since we began.  Hopefully the rains will come well timed and we can increase our herd again.

For now, we're happy...WE HAVE HAY!

21 comments:

Brian Miller said...

well i am glad that you have hay, its tough times for sure..and sounds all the tougher for you and those that raise stock....so thank goodness for hay...

and what a treat if you get peanuts...smiles.

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Gail, sad you had to say goodbye to some, poor Bull......so happy you are able to feed the herd through winter, I fear many cattle, horses will go hungry.....Blessings Francine.

Buttons said...

Oh I know exactly how this feels as you know. I have never heard of peanut hay I wonder if my girls would like it.
We sold all our stockers this year and half our bred Mommas, We are shipping eight more in January hopefully this will let us have enough hay to get through the winter. If not we will have to ship more. As you know we are calving and every time I see a little calf starting to eat hay I say go get your Mom she has food for you.
I laugh so I do not cry. "Next year will be better" a farmer's motto.
Glad you got hay peanut hay even sounds cool. Hug B

Irene said...

It makes me sad to hear that you and other farmers have to get rid of their cattle because of the shortage of hay. It's a tough kind of business that you're in and I suppose that you can't get too attached to the animals. One way or the other, you always have to say goodbye to them but you don't want it to be prematurely like this. I hope that next year is a much better year for you with abundant hay and a thriving herd. xox

Lynne said...

Sad to think you have to reorganize because of no hay. Looks like you have found a temporary solution though . . .

Sandra said...

i am so happy you found hay, i was born and raised in peanut country, GA, and never heard of peanut hay... sorry you had to sell your bulls ladies.

Linda Wildenstein said...

Gosh so many folks in your line of work and hobby farms are having a terrible time. Glad you have hay that the cows can handle. You know I have friends who own donkeys and they are paying twice the price on hay this year....scary stuff.
We had a case here in NM where an entire harvest was stolen in broad day light. The owner of the field had "gone to town" for a couple of days and when he got back someone else had harvested, baled and hauled all of it away. Terrible situation. As they say, hang in there. Oma Linda

Farm Girl said...

I have always wondered about peanut hay. It would be a good way to put nitrogen back in our soil and I was thinking of what we could do with the vine.
That is a great idea.
It always make me sad when people have to sell their cows due to drought.
After my Dad died and we had to sell his whole heard, it was almost like loosing him all over again.

Laurel's Quill said...

You broke my heart, Gail. but so glad you got some hay for your crew. 2013 has got to be better for you!! Hugs, Laurel

TexWisGirl said...

really sorry you had to sell all your heifer calves. i know buttons knows this pain all too well due to the poor hay availability this year stretching so far across the country. but glad you have forage food!

C-ingspots said...

What a tough situation with the hay. I hope and pray that people will be able to get enough hay to provide for their livestock through the winter months. We have plenty of hay around here, but so many people are in financial distress that they don't buy the hay and feed their animals. Our horse rescues are bursting at the seams with too many horses. It's so sad. I'm so happy that you got some hay for your critters! Sorry you had to sell off your heifers though...I hate that small farms are having to sell out. That makes the almighty corporate farms all the more powerful, and that's not good for any of us. God willing, next year may be better! Merry Christmas to you Gail!! I've never heard of peanut hay before. :)

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

We are blessed too in the middle of the horrific drought this summer we managed to produce a sorghum crop that out produced the year before. We are blessed with a filled silo of high quality silage.

In fact we are buyin' bred cows to feed it to this winter along with a heap of feeder cattle. God is good!

Have a terrifically blessed weekend Miss Gail!

Sue said...

You guys are so resourceful. I like your determination, and I have a feeling it will be rewarded.

I love reading your life stories about the farm. When are you sending the next tale from the past my way for editing??

=)

Other Mary said...

Wow - that's great! I never would have thought of peanut hay! Of course there are no peanuts here in Wisconsin for the farmers here. We are all praying for a snowy winter and a rainy spring. I hope you and yours have a good Christmas and I safe, healthy winter!

carolina nana said...

I'm glad you found the peanut hay. Sad you had to sell your heifers,hope you got a good price !
Our area was lucky this season and there is plenty of hay. Maybe our turn next year for drought ,who knows.
Blessings
Marilyn

Pat said...

I never fail to learn something new when I come here.

Peanut hay. Huh. Who knew?

Glad you have food to feed to cows.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I never think of locales that have naturally growing grass as having problems finding enough hay. I think I just believe that the animals can just eat the grass.
Here we don't have grass...just dry, dusty earth with some brown straggly weeds, cactus and sage bushes.
If we decide to have any livestock, we must buy hay, and as you can imagine most of it comes from out of state or from farms down by the Rio Grande or up in the high meadows of the northern mountains near the Colorado border.

Grass hay is very pricey, so most livestock owners feed alfalfa, but it's not very good for some animals, like goat wethers that can get kidney stones from the high calcium, and some horses that have Insulin Resistance or Laminitis...or who don't want a hot horse.
My own mare cannot handle alfalfa, but I have discovered a similar feed as Alfalfa, called beardless Wheat hay that has the high protein and fiber that alfalfa has, but not the higher sugars and calcium.
My mare does really well on it and really likes it, too. I can also feed it to my goats and llamas.

I have heard of peanut hay and I'm glad you have that option. There is a blogger gal named Esther in Africa that has a herd of goats and horses and peanut hay is what she feeds them, too. That is apparently the only hay that is available and the animals do very well on it.

By the way, when I go on long trail rides, Apache's favorite lunch treat are Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches! I make two, one for her and one for me! :D

~Lisa

Country Gal said...

It is a sad situation for farmers all over now . I pray mother nature helps better farmers crops and live stock ! I am glad you have the hay you need .

LindaG said...

Very glad to hear you kept some of your livestock, and really glad to hear you found hay.
God bless. ♥

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

We who are not farming have NO idea what you all go through. None.
I was happy to hear you found a way to feed your cattle. I hope things get better, Gail.
Love,
Mona

Far Side of Fifty said...

Glad you found some hay for the remainder of your herd. We are about 9 inches behind on moisture:(

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