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  • #16
    HF - I think that you can correct another user without saying he doesnn't know what he is talking about.
    Those rude manners of the petty little men are rubbing off on you.

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    • #17
      Fair point. I certainly didn't mean it in to be rude, it was just plainly obvious Honk was making claims apparently out of his depth on this particular matter.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post

        No, that's not true you don't really know what you're talking about here. Well, maybe it's true in Ontario but I doubt that. An inumerous amount of people need hay they can put out and transport without equipment, and that's just one of the many reasons small squares are still common place. I'm not aware of any real disproportion between rounds and large squares, either.
        That is because you live in hobby farm country! Talk about out of your depth!! Crm lives in Texas and though hardly my buddy, he will back me up on this. I came from Montana and I'm back there every year. In real ranching country no one can bother with feeding tiny square bales. Too labor intensive to harvest and to feed. The ranchers have special units made to bolt onto the back of a 1 ton pickup frame (always 4x4!) that stick the round bale in the middle with a giant prong, lift it up and back onto the back of the truck bed where it remains on the spike till rancher drives to the feeder in the field where the rig drops it in. Or he can simply drop it on the ground and unroll. You don't feed three or four hundred cattle with little square bales unless you can afford to hire someone to spend the whole day doing it. Good luck with that when it's -25!! And ranchers at that time of year have better things to do than waste time fiddling with teeny bales ... like watching the cows who are calving to help if they need it (and yes, they are calving RIGHT NOW!). Where I live here in Ontario there's a few hobby farmers and they have a helluva time finding square bales. One potato farmer has a square baler that he uses to put up barley/wheat straw. He sells those bales at a healthy price to the local trans-Canada feeding station where the semis with cattle stop to fuel up their load. The truck drivers buy the straw bales for bedding in the trucks (actually, though called "bedding" it's just for the cattle to stand on and absorb excrement - they don't lay down during transport). Dan could probably make some money baling hobby farm hay too ... except that he doesn't raise any hay ... and his machine is pretty much worn out junk. Why don't you go on line and see just how hard it is to find one of those little square balers these days! If you knew anything about modern agriculture (and clearly you do not!), you'd know that carrying a load of squirrely small bales on a truck across a rough field is dicey in the extreme. So much fun stopping and picking up and restacking a dumped load ... especially in a blizzard! With round bales, the rancher barely has to leave the warmth of his pickup cab to do the feeding. He could freeze to death or die of a heart attack unloading square bales.

        Even here where I live where it's all dairy farming (and quite a bit of it), all the farmers have gone to either big round bales or haylage tubes. Big round bales still have to be broken and put in the feeding machines but it's a lot easier than dealing with hundreds of small bales. Also, easier to simply pick the one big bale up in the hay lot and take it to the barn rather than having to load up a whole bunch of tiny square ones. And no, dairy farmers do NOT store hay in lofts above the barn and throw it down to the cows like the old days. If the hay lot catches on fire due to spontaneous combustion (which is not terribly rare), it's just the feed that burns up. If the loft catches on fire, it's a bunch of multi-million dollar equipment (2 milking robots = $400,000) and the whole dairy herd that goes up in smoke. Haylage tubes are ideal. The dairy farmer scoops up what he needs from the end of the tube with front end loader/tractor and runs to the barn, drops it in the feeder, then heads back to the hay lot for more if needed. The haylage is dense and stays put nicely in the scoop during transit. Most dairy farmers have silage silos and graineries but those usually don't hold enough to feed the herd. And often the feed in them is richer than what's needed. So the farmer mixes silage stuff and hay in the feeder or alternates food sources as needed. It's all quite scientific. But there is NO place in modern scientific large scale agriculture for tiny fiddly square bales! And if you're farmer who's not into large scale agriculture, you better have another source of income! No one is going to even pay their land taxes raising a couple of cows and horses. Sure people do it ... but they are hobby farmers, not in the business of making money.

        Harmonious, you should stick to political science lectures. You actually may know something about that. But for agriculture, you are WAY out of your element. I have lived my whole life in intensive commercial agricultural communities. I can drive a grain truck or combine, feed cattle, shoe horses, and pull calves. And I also have a doctorate in history (with a minor in political science) and essentially a second BA in biology. Maybe I don't know everything but I have sure given it a helluva go. Keep that in mind next time you think I'm talking out my butt.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post
          Fair point. I certainly didn't mean it in to be rude, it was just plainly obvious Honk was making claims apparently out of his depth on this particular matter.
          It's "plainly obvious" you know absolutely nothing about modern farming and ranching. See below response. You must live on another planet if you think farmers who make a living in that business still use tiny square bales.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

            That is because you live in hobby farm country! Talk about out of your depth!! Crm lives in Texas and though hardly my buddy, he will back me up on this. I came from Montana and I'm back there every year. In real ranching country no one can bother with feeding tiny square bales. Too labor intensive to harvest and to feed. The ranchers have special units made to bolt onto the back of a 1 ton pickup frame (always 4x4!) that stick the round bale in the middle with a giant prong, lift it up and back onto the back of the truck bed where it remains on the spike till rancher drives to the feeder in the field where the rig drops it in. Or he can simply drop it on the ground and unroll. You don't feed three or four hundred cattle with little square bales unless you can afford to hire someone to spend the whole day doing it. Good luck with that when it's -25!! And ranchers at that time of year have better things to do than waste time fiddling with teeny bales ... like watching the cows who are calving to help if they need it (and yes, they are calving RIGHT NOW!). Where I live here in Ontario there's a few hobby farmers and they have a helluva time finding square bales. One potato farmer has a square baler that he uses to put up barley/wheat straw. He sells those bales at a healthy price to the local trans-Canada feeding station where the semis with cattle stop to fuel up their load. The truck drivers buy the straw bales for bedding in the trucks (actually, though called "bedding" it's just for the cattle to stand on and absorb excrement - they don't lay down during transport). Dan could probably make some money baling hobby farm hay too ... except that he doesn't raise any hay ... and his machine is pretty much worn out junk. Why don't you go on line and see just how hard it is to find one of those little square balers these days! If you knew anything about modern agriculture (and clearly you do not!), you'd know that carrying a load of squirrely small bales on a truck across a rough field is dicey in the extreme. So much fun stopping and picking up and restacking a dumped load ... especially in a blizzard! With round bales, the rancher barely has to leave the warmth of his pickup cab to do the feeding. He could freeze to death or die of a heart attack unloading square bales.

            Even here where I live where it's all dairy farming (and quite a bit of it), all the farmers have gone to either big round bales or haylage tubes. Big round bales still have to be broken and put in the feeding machines but it's a lot easier than dealing with hundreds of small bales. Also, easier to simply pick the one big bale up in the hay lot and take it to the barn rather than having to load up a whole bunch of tiny square ones. And no, dairy farmers do NOT store hay in lofts above the barn and throw it down to the cows like the old days. If the hay lot catches on fire due to spontaneous combustion (which is not terribly rare), it's just the feed that burns up. If the loft catches on fire, it's a bunch of multi-million dollar equipment (2 milking robots = $400,000) and the whole dairy herd that goes up in smoke. Haylage tubes are ideal. The dairy farmer scoops up what he needs from the end of the tube with front end loader/tractor and runs to the barn, drops it in the feeder, then heads back to the hay lot for more if needed. The haylage is dense and stays put nicely in the scoop during transit. Most dairy farmers have silage silos and graineries but those usually don't hold enough to feed the herd. And often the feed in them is richer than what's needed. So the farmer mixes silage stuff and hay in the feeder or alternates food sources as needed. It's all quite scientific. But there is NO place in modern scientific large scale agriculture for tiny fiddly square bales! And if you're farmer who's not into large scale agriculture, you better have another source of income! No one is going to even pay their land taxes raising a couple of cows and horses. Sure people do it ... but they are hobby farmers, not in the business of making money.

            Harmonious, you should stick to political science lectures. You actually may know something about that. But for agriculture, you are WAY out of your element. I have lived my whole life in intensive commercial agricultural communities. I can drive a grain truck or combine, feed cattle, shoe horses, and pull calves. And I also have a doctorate in history (with a minor in political science) and essentially a second BA in biology. Maybe I don't know everything but I have sure given it a helluva go. Keep that in mind next time you think I'm talking out my butt.
            I thought the big round bales were so the cattle could eat the dry centers out of them first.

            Comment


            • #21
              what is the answer ??

              Comment


              • #22
                You're putting words in my mouth. I never claimed that large scale modern agricultural is dependent upon small squares. My contention was, and remains, that a helluva lot of people besides horse farms utilize or produce small squares.

                But first off you don't need to tell me about hydra beds or what silage or bedding is.

                I don't live in boutique ranch country unless you consider a very low populated section of Wyoming to be that. There are no big coroporate ag establishments here, only guys and families that scrape out a living off their own properties.

                Cattle and horse herds are fed with rounds, sometimes large squares, I agree with you on that. But I have spent enough time buying and selling hay, having semis with small squares shipped to be and baling hay (small squares, too. Right up to last summer, also) to know that what you're saying isn't strictly accurate.

                If you have a stack truck getting smalls off the field isn't necessarily some back breaking affair, but when you're selling it after cutting it's up to the customers to come load it off the fields themselves. Bailing them is no difficulty.
                My tons of it are kept in a quonset and I have a lot of various uses for the stuff. Even if it is hard to get ahold in Canada, everywhere I've been from Texas, NM, Wy (California produces a lot three string affairs that are idiotic in that their practically just too heavy to move by hand) the stuff is absolutely common place. Lot's of hay farmers produce it, and while their main clients aren't Beef Inc, I'll stand by my original assessment that smalls have a lot of uses and are not a rarity at least in America.

                Also, it's a bit ironic you claim to have pulled calves. The reason for that will be shown at at least some point on this thread.

                Comment


                • #23
                  "That is because you live in hobby farm country! Talk about out of your depth!!Crm lives in Texas and though hardly my buddy, he will back me up on this."

                  +Several, Honk! Good response to the troll who thinks he knows all! I have seen ranching and dairy operations all over Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, and you are right on point. Most, if not all, have gone to either the small, or large, round bales. Some of the handling down here is done with a tractor, which, with a 3 point hook up attachment on the back, and a front-end loader with a double spear, can handle two large round bales with one trip. The even make a special hay hauling trailer with offset troughs on either side that can haul as many as eight or ten bales side by side. The other thing I see, in the West Texas farming country, is the huge rectangular four wire bales. Don't know exactly what they use those for, but I suspect, since most are alfalfa, they that is what they send to the mill, or grind on site for that haylage you mentioned. They have a machine similar to a combine in Colorado that cuts corn at a certain stage, and grinds, or silages, stalks, leaves, ears and all. They auger it into trucks in the field and put it into prepared pits for storage, then feed it out with front end loaders.
                  Even my brother in law's small operation in Oklahoma uses round bales, and he is just over the "hobby rancher" line. I think he runs about forty head, or so.
                  Yep, square bales that can be bucked and hauled on a pickup truck have gone the way of the buggy whip and the Model T, except in a few cases where people get them baled for horse feed, or bedding straw, as you mentioned. Usually that is an old baler and they bale the oat or wheat straw after combining.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by crm3006 View Post

                    +Several, Honk! Good response to the troll who thinks he knows all! I have seen ranching and dairy operations all over Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, and you are right on point. Most, if not all, have gone to either the small, or large, round bales. Some of the handling down here is done with a tractor, which, with a 3 point hook up attachment on the back, and a front-end loader with a double spear, can handle two large round bales with one trip..
                    Again, nothing I disagreee with. But from the perspective of a hay producer (something I suspect neither of you have done as Honk didn't add it to his resume and CRM talks about hay forks and bale feeders like their pretty foreign to him) my point was that a lot of the stuff still gets made.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      When I lived in Texas, I guess I was a hobby farmer, because I bought square bales of alfalfa hay tied together with steel wire that I moved with a wooden handled hay hook.
                      Think of Marlon Brando "On the Waterfront.". I coulda been a contender...
                      I think the bales weighed about 70 pounds each.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post

                        Again, nothing I disagreee with. But from the perspective of a hay producer (something I suspect neither of you have done as Honk didn't add it to his resume and CRM talks about hay forks and bale feeders like their pretty foreign to him) my point was that a lot of the stuff still gets made.
                        A lot of the stuff still gets made? Where? Mars? My former landlord in Montana ranching country is strictly a hay farmer. NOTHING but round bales. As I said, many of the pure hay farmers will bale up the BIG square stuff simply because it moves on rail or truck better (a full load of round bales will hang over the side of the semi flatbed trailer so far that "wild load" guide vehicles are required in some jurisdictions). Almost no one custom bales with small square bales any more. Most custom operators do haylage which is incredibly efficient re protein retention ... but it's not as easy to deal with when feeding ranch beef livestock, especially in winter. It has to be moved a bucket load at a time. Dairy cattle mostly don't leave the barn these days so haylage can usually be laid out fairly close by. Beef cattle aren't fed in a barn so they need to be kept moving around (by moving the feeders and/or rotating pastures), especially early spring. Otherwise they tear up the range and wipe out new grass before it can get going. Hauling haylidge to them a bucket at a time is sometimes not very efficient. Some guys will use it as a supplement to regular hay (like "cake"), especially during the harshest part of winter. But it's not cheap to put up because few ranchers can afford the expensive equipment and most custom balers aren't interested in doing haylige on shares. I'm not sure if sharing it can even be done. Once the tubes are on the ground the stuff is pretty much impossible to move without a dump truck. Not efficient! So it's a balancing act: maybe +200% more food value per ton in haylidge but is it worth the other costs associated with harvesting and using it?

                        Finding anyone who bales square bales here has become a real problem. One old boy still did it about seventy miles west on the highway but he died and the farm was destroyed by developers. The horse hobby folks are now having to go out of province for their square bales. Most have just given up and buy round bales and pull them apart (which is not fun if you've ever tried it!). Fortunately, horses are a lot less wasteful than stupid cattle. They can easily digest almost everything while cows have trouble with the stalky stuff so they tend to pull apart the pile looking for leafy feed and crap all over everything in the process (which is why unrolling round bales is less desirable than portable stock feeders). Horses tend to waste much less. Unfortunately, they don't sell nearly as well at the meat auctions. And making a living raising and selling horses is about akin to a gambling career!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          OK. The answer is, this is a handle for an obstetrical chain, used for pulling calves when the mother, usually a heifer, is having difficulty birthing the calf. The first picture is my chain and handle from the '70s, '80s era, second are actual hay hooks, used mostly to un-wedge tightly packed bales of hay in the barn. Third is a buggy whip, fourth is a Model T truck. Thanks to everybody who participated!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            "CRM talks about hay forks and bale feeders like their pretty foreign to him)"
                            Humongous Flatulence, I don't see how you get that hay forks and bale feeders are foreign to me. Another assumption you make in ignorance. I've hauled a many a two bale load with a Massy-Fergerson tractor, both loading them on a trailer and feeding them out in the winter. I can even stand a bale on it's flat end and put the "feeder" around it with the forks, which, in a smaller operation, wastes a lot less hay than rolling them out, but feeds less cattle at a time. Usually done when you have a smaller lot of cows cut off for whatever reason.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              HarmFul knew what it was so he had that covered. I’ve only seen calves pulled with baler twine, which still gets used on small squares around here some. Of course those are used mostly in the old barns with haylofts. The bigger operations do use round bales, but not always exclusively. No one builds two or three story barns anymore, especially after a hay fire burns down the old barn.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                                OK. The answer is, this is a handle for an obstetrical chain, used for pulling calves when the mother, usually a heifer, is having difficulty birthing the calf. The first picture is my chain and handle from the '70s, '80s era, second are actual hay hooks, used mostly to un-wedge tightly packed bales of hay in the barn. Third is a buggy whip, fourth is a Model T truck. Thanks to everybody who participated!
                                I guess I only saw the pulling hook. Didn't see the buggy whip or haying hooks. Obviously I know what those are. I should have recognized the pulling hook. If the chain had been on there it would have been a giveaway. Back when I was a kid, everyone where I grew up would have known what that stuff is. A sign of the times that no seems to know these days. Sigh! Fun contest.

                                For those who don't know, here's how the pulling chain works: The ends of the chain are slipped over the birthing calf's knuckles (similar to slipping a choke collar over a dog's head) and the hook end of the handle is fitted into the chain (similar to a tow chain hook being hooked over a link in the chain). The flat part of the hook acts as the handle. Sometimes, as I recall, in stubborn situations a come-along can be used in place of the handle if there's someplace to hook one to (e.g. a beam in a calving shed). And there's also the other contraptions with ratchet and cradle that fits over the cow's butt. Those are for real stubborn deliveries and smaller heifers that might simply drag across the ground with come-along. Those are a real whatzit. Probably would have stumped me as I have only seen one used once.
                                Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-10-2019, 07:18 PM.

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