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     Wow! What a week! What a month! Seems like we’ve had silage feed on the brain forever. This week we finally put an end to the insanity of it all. Yes, we asked ourselves the “tough” questions many a time during this whole process. Why? Have we lost our minds? What is the purpose? Why? Why? Why? I’m not sure we ever came up with any answers. We just do what needs to be done.          010.jpg            So, after the mowing of the hay……comes the raking and the baling. Earl is the professional baler man……for now. Michael is in his “rookie year” for baling. He may catch up with “big Dad” pretty soon. We had so much hay to bale up it was crazy. So, Earl got both balers out there and they went to work. Two balers make a huge difference.      075.jpg        After everything is baled up we turn around and immediately start picking up all the bales and hauling it home. Remember, it’s baled up as “silage” hay and it needs to be wrapped as soon as possible to prevent spoilage. Here we have Marshall bunching everything into piles of 7 bales. He loves driving tractor.   066.jpg     Earl and I did the hauling while the boys did the tractor driving. We come in with our trucks and both trailers and Michael loads the bales onto the wagons. Let’s just say we keep the road “hot” for hours on end. So, that’s where the late nights come in.    055.jpg     The one night we hauled until 1:30 A.M. I really don’t mind the late nights……it’s the next morning that I dread. Remember, the cows still have to be milked morning and evening throughout all this craziness. Needless to say, we got pretty strung out. Pandora was my best friend during all the late night work.    068.jpg     The dogs love all this field work. They think “truck riding” is the coolest thing ever. Dixie Chic drove with me for the afternoon. Until she tried to roll onto her back to sleep and she fell off onto the floor. Great entertainment.    076.jpg      We hauled everything to this spot and dumped. Then we go back for more. Back and forth for hours. Until finally the field is empty. Then we all do cartwheels and sing the Hallelujah chorus. Just kidding. Not yet……..we still have to wrap everything.     012           This is the “wrapper”. Michael loads a bale onto the wrapper and then it will automatically wrap the bale like saran wrap. Round and round we go…..until we have a long white snake the length of the field. Technology is amazing.     016.jpg      The silage bales are supposed to be wrapped within 12 hours of baling. Then when they are sealed in the wrap the fermentation process begins. That may take anywhere from 3-4 weeks. We can’t always wait that long before feeding it if we’re out of hay. The cows will eat it right away….they love it!     082.jpg     The wrapping takes time. The only time they stop is to reload the rolls of wrap. Marshall and I were the designated milkers while Earl and Michael wrapped up all the hay. Here they are wrapping up the last bale at 9:30 last night. Now we can finally do our cartwheels.      087.jpg     Here you go……all the silage feed wrapped up. Just shy of 700 bales. We look at these rows and wonder how in the world did we ever get it all done?!?!   083.jpg      Here they are. Just look at those tired faces. We could sleep for days….weeks….months. But alas, the cows never take a day off. It’s right back to work the next morning. We are so tired……………………..Carol