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  • #46


    BHR-You are right about that. However, when I could just go out to the barn and load a few bales for a target, I found that if you stack them with the stems running up, in other words, wire side out, they were tight enough to stop arrows from my 55# Bear Grizzly.

    #1Bubba- You are right about the paint scrubbing. Does that to fiberglass and carbon shafts also. Unfortunately, my Styrofoam block is now floating around somewhere in Galveston Bay, or washed up somewhere, more likely, thanks to a little spell of rain we had awhile back, that they called Harvey.

    There have been two mentions of pulling a calf with a come-a-long or fence stretcher. We bought one of those devices one time when we were retaining and calving about 70-75 head of two year old heifers. The brace consists of a semi Y shape to fit under the cow's hips, with a five foot or so piece of pipe forming the tail of the Y. This has a piece of strap iron welded on to the shaft as a place to fasten the cable fence stretcher which is used to pull the calf.
    This device will exert a lot of power, and if one is not very careful, and pull only a little, and only when the cow strains to expel the calf, you can damage the cow's hip structure, which results in the cow being "wobbly" for life. We abandoned the Y and come-a-long arrangement shortly after purchase, and only used chains and handles from that time on.
    Secure the chain around the feet, set your handle, brace your foot against her down leg, and only pull when she strains. This worked for me for about twenty years, and although I lost a calf or two, I never lost a momma cow, and never made one "wobbly."

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    • #47
      Good advice CRM concerning shooting straw bales with wire out and not on top and below.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

        Nope. The hook part is too small and facing the wrong direction. Boy, those things are collector items these days. Pretty much only horse farms put up hay in square bales nowadays. Those big round bales sure put a lot of kids out of work! Some hay farmers put their crops up in the large square bales simply because semis can haul them better. Mostly for feed lots though. They aren't much use on winter range. Most feeders are designed for the round bales. Or ranchers simply unroll the round ones (so stupid cows can crap all over half of it!).
        Quite a few of the dairy farmers here in Central New York still do the square bales. We see plenty of the round bales, too, but every summer you still see the square-balers out in the fields. Don't know whether it still helps a lot of kids find summer jobs, though -- we've had some accidents in the area over the past few years, and the labor watchdogs have come down hard on farmers. I can see both sides, but man, you're right, years ago that was just simply what you did for summer work if you were a kid who lived in the country. I started on my uncle's farm when I was twelve and worked every summer up through and including college.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
          Good advice CRM concerning shooting straw bales with wire out and not on top and below.
          I can't remember the last time I actually saw a bale with wire. Almost none use twine any more either. Mostly it's the orange or blue poly stuff these days. Better because it's easier to see it to clean up in the field.

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          • #50
            Haven't seen bailing wire since I lived in Texas. It could be convenient for stuff.

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            • #51
              I mentioned earlier seeing calves pulled with twine, looped around their feet and tied off to a handle if needed.
              Another use for small bales no one brought up was for feeding mulch machines when seeding lawns.
              They make saws for cutting up round bales, but my BIL used a chainsaw on occasion.
              Poly twine may be easier to see, but the old stuff will rot if it’s not picked up.
              Last edited by fitch270; 02-11-2019, 02:42 PM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post
                Haven't seen bailing wire since I lived in Texas. It could be convenient for stuff.
                "baleing" wire (balin' war) Is still a farm staple.
                Best thing about baleing wire is you don't have to send off for parts.

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                • #53
                  Balin' war will fix more things than duct tape, super glue, or spare parts. Partnered with a little rawhide, I think you could fix a moon rocket.
                  We always gathered up all the poly twine we could find when we cut a round bale. My Father was adamant that it would kill a cow if she ate it. Therefore, no poly twine in the pastures to this day.
                  Last edited by crm3006; 02-11-2019, 03:28 PM.

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                  • #54
                    Baler's twine was one of my primary playthings when I was a kid. Used it to lash poles or sticks together for making forts; tying up cousin Chad when we were playing cops and robbers; all sorts of fun stuff. I made a trout creel once (actually more of a "live-bag," I guess, out of burlap and twine that lasted for a couple of summers. It worked great, way better than a wicker creel or stringer.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                      Balin' war will fix more things than duct tape, super glue, or spare parts. Partnered with a little rawhide, I think you could fix a moon rocket.
                      We always gathered up all the poly twine we could find when we cut a round bale. My Father was adamant that it would kill a cow if she ate it. Therefore, no poly twine in the pastures to this day.
                      My f-i-l, rest his soul, would put out round bales but never pulled that cursed poly string off the bale! He put bales in the same spots every time.
                      Between the cows pooping and peeing and tromping around the bale, it soon becomes a knee deep quagmire. Rain, sleet, snow or any kind of moisture and the quagmire turns into a fetid swamp and the cows just keep tromping that poly crap deeper into the mud.

                      NOTE: poly (PVC) can survive, underground, for 1500 YEARS!

                      In a few generations, some poor schmuck farmer will sink a hamey in that ground and bog down a John Deere 9600 with all the poly twine!
                      He'll pull that hamey out of the ground and it will look like Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians!

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                      • #56
                        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.
                        Dont see hardly any squares here anymore.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                          Balin' war will fix more things than duct tape, super glue, or spare parts. Partnered with a little rawhide, I think you could fix a moon rocket.
                          We always gathered up all the poly twine we could find when we cut a round bale. My Father was adamant that it would kill a cow if she ate it. Therefore, no poly twine in the pastures to this day.
                          The funny thing is hiw weak it is when you straighten it. The old stuff anyways.

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                          • #58
                            As I'm sure you don't know, HF, a square baler can be adjusted to vary the weight of bales. Most feed lot bales are 75 lbs and sometimes lighter. Bales going from field to the farmer's own barn would usually be 100-125 lbs and sometimes even heavier (ugh!). The feed store bales are made lighter so wimpy horse hobby farmers (mostly women) can handle them. It also increases store's profit margin as they buy the hay by the ton and sell it by the bale. Changing the weight of bales is done by changing the bale length. This requires adjusting the location of the knotter mechanism which adds a further dimension of complexity to the machinery = a further dimension of machinery to wear out or break down. I don't know for sure, but I suspect round bale weight can be adjusted by similarly changing the timing of binding and kick-out. It is probably not necessary to move the knotter mechanism. Weight of round bales is not as critical because it's not necessary to personally handle them when picking them up from the field or feeding cattle. Constantly adjusting the square bale weight is often required because hay can be heavier or lighter in certain areas of the field. If the machine is improperly adjusted for hay density, the square bales can become lop-sided (banana bales) or fall apart and/or break when lifted = wastage. Broken square bales on a field being harvested are about as common as gopher holes. Round bales break too but relatively speaking it's extremely rare and cleanup is a LOT more efficient. The only real advantage to square bales is ease of handling and storing compactly under roof. If a farm has a very tight margin for tillable acreage/cow, storing under roof might be necessary (though I would think the wastage factor from storing round bales in the field vs lost during and after square baling should just about be the same). But those would be small scale operations and today small scale operations really can't survive without supplementary income = hobby farming. Those "farmers" don't have to be as concerned about efficiency because they don't make their living that way. Perhaps small scale operations close to metropolitan centers might have a slight edge due to decreased transportation costs to processing facilities.

                            Anyway, there's lots of factors to consider but it seems round bales have all but entirely replaced small square bales in real agriculture (especially beef ranching). Driving back to Montana several times a year through northern Minnesota, North Dakota, and at least half the state of Montana, I can tell you it's been years since I have seen a small square bale anywhere: on the field, under cover, or on a semi. It's all big round ones with a few big square ones on trucks (probably headed to feed lots somewhere).
                            Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-12-2019, 11:14 AM.

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                            • #59
                              Round bale and wrap them, no need for a barn or anything else. I have actually seen silage bags here fir the first time this year.

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                              • #60
                                "Broken square bales on a field being harvested are about as common as gopher holes."

                                Honk, one of my jobs when we were baling three big meadows (alfalfa and haygrazer), was to kick the broken bales apart and dig out the broken or bad tied wire so the baler could come back and re-run the broken bales. We usually didn't bale as heavy as you describe, tried for a weight of about 75-80 lbs. (This was when all loading and stacking was done by hand, before the advent of bale loaders, which increased field efficiency, but did nothing for stacking in the barn.)
                                Bermuda and prairie hay were not baled so much for weight, but for bale size uniformity, again to facilitate barn storage. Oat and wheat straw, when baled, you just took what you got!

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