Friday, October 1, 2010

Farm Equipment Friday: Bale spear

Last we left Farm Equipment Friday, the hay was cut, tedded, raked, and baled.  And we learned about some seed signs.  But we had left the hay bales out in the field!  That’s one of my husband’s pet peeves, and we do not do that around this farm.  We pick them all up and carry them inside.  (And by “we,” I mean he does it and I take pictures.)

Lana @ Walking the Off-Beaten Path posted about this a while ago, so check her out too.  She drives the truck and trailer.  I just take pictures.

The fields that I showed you in the previous posts were around our home, so all we needed to do was pick the bales up with the tractor and haul them up the driveway.  This summer, we also baled a hay field that was a few miles away from our home, so we needed to load these on a truck to go the distance.

First, we use the bale spear on the front of the tractor to pick up the round bale. See that really long prong?  That’s the bale spear.
bale spear

And there’s two smaller prongs mounted above the big prong.  These help with stability.
moving round bales 1

Once the bale spear is stuck in the bale, you pick up the arm, and tilt it backwards.  This helps the bale stay in place during transport.
moving round bales 2

This tractor has sort of a fork on the back.
moving round bales 3

We use this to pick up a second bale from the bottom, so we can carry two bales out of the field to the truck at the same time.
moving round bales 4

This cracks me up.  Every time.
moving two round bales

So the bales get gently loaded onto a trailer, and slowly driven down the road back to our barn.  This particular trailer can haul 8 bales at once.
loading round bales on a trailer

Once the hay is back at the house, it gets unloaded.  Basically the same process as picking it up off the ground, just starting at a slightly higher elevation.
unloading round bales from a trailer

Then into the barn…

storing round bales in the barn 1

storing round bales in the barn 2

And onto the stack!
storing round bales in the barn 3

From here, as the cows need it, John takes a bale at a time out to the pasture for the cows.  It’s getting to that time of year when our pasture is not so good anymore, so they are starting to go through hay more quickly now!

Step 1 - Mower/conditioner
Step 2 - Tedder
Step 3 - Rake
Step 4 - Baler
Step 5 - Bale Spear


  1. Never leave the hay bales in the field. I saw a field the other day and the bales were still in the field and the weeds were as tall as the bales there were Longhorns in the field and I wasn't in Texas but east of Indy on I70

  2. Nice blog! We still go under our bales with the forks. I think it's the old dog-new trick thing ;-)

  3. I love watching the baling process. Our neighbor bales our pasture for us (and uses the hay for his cattle.) We just sit and watch. Adam likes to say that the baler is "poopin out moo food" when the bales roll out so maybe you should include that term next time you write about it. :)

  4. Ann - were the longhorns eating the pasture, or the hay bales?

    Lana - We use the spear so it's easier to dump the bales right into the feeder ring. I guess that's another piece of Farm Equipment!

    Katie - I love it!! I am so going to steal Adam's quote!

  5. lovely blog! I follow you.. hope you stop by too!


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