Posted by: 347bennetrd | May 1, 2010

Feeding Baleage – Part 1

Well, as winter is approaching, it’s time to supplement some of the stock’s feed.  We’ve already been doing this for a while by feeding grain to the deer and more recently the ewes, but now its time to start feeding baleage.  You may have seen in your travels in the countryside long sausages of plastic covered bales?  Well my job is to go and collect 3 (two on the bale buggy and one in the front tractor forks) and then feed them out.  I’ll go over this in Feeding Baleage – Part 2, but I wanted to show you the inside of the tractor cab first.

Here we are, looking out through the front window.  You can see the front-end loader with the forks attached.  These are gruesome implements, I used them the other day to pick up a dead calf (but not by impaling it, let me reassure you).  You can also see the deer milling about impatiently waiting for me to get a move on and feed them.

There are lots of pictures on the dashboard (you can see a row of orange symbols), most of which are as foreign as hieroglyphs to me.  In fact the other night I tried to turn on the headlights and only succeeded about 100m away from the shed…

This next picture shows the various levers and sticks;

The stick with the orange on it is the gear stick – gears a to f.  There is a little orange switch just to the right of it which gives you an additional 4 gears per gear (??!).  The cog looking thing below the gear stick is the throttle.  The black stick at the bottom left corner of the photo controls the front end loader – up, down, tilt forks up and down, lift teeth up and down.  The three black levers work the hydraulics – in this case lift the baleage forks up and down, and rotate the baleage bed in order to feed out).  All the other ones I don’t really know what they do…  The little yellow knob activates the power take off shaft (I used this the other day to turn the auger and fill the grain silo.  I also just read that they are a common cause of accident cos you can get your clothes caught in the spinning part and get a limb torn off.  Oh awesome.)

Anyhoo, I was feeding out yesterday and had a bit of a mare.  First I had to reverse about a hundred times before I got the forks correctly lined up to pick up the bale.  Then I blithely started taking off the plastic netting before remembering that this it what holds all the grass together.  So I left it kind of dangling there.  I started feeding out then pulled the wrong hydraulic lever, resulting in the second bale flopping on top of the first one.  Poo.  I managed to make it fall off, then had another hundred goes before forking it again, meanwhile all the grass was falling about and turning my nice round bale into a muddle.  I got it back up though and successfully fed it out.

As I was driving away from the paddock I suddenly remembered that I had left the netting out in the paddock and had visions of deer accidentally eating it and choking on it, rather like dolphins getting strangled by beer can holders.  So I walked back in to get it (did I mention it was raining very heavily?!).  One stag was funny, he thought I was going to feed out more and was licking his lips in a very salacious manner.    Lots of things to see, especially when you’re fixing up your own mistakes!



  1. Well done you, most impressive. I’m sure next time will be easier and quicker!

  2. This is awesome. Seriously, this would have made an amazing fly on the wall documentary complete with cock ups and new discoveries. Country calander/farming associations etc should be covering you

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