Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mowing hay, no bloggage for a day or two.

In the meantime, I'll leave this...

This is not a family photo, but one I found on the web a long time ago. This is a very early baler with an old hayloader style pickup. A hayloader was attached behind a wagon pulled by a team of horses or mules (or a tractor) which picked up the hay out of the windrow and into the wagon, where it would be spread out by a man (or two men) with a pitchfork. Note the guy which the pitchfork on top or the baler, he is feeding hay into a hopper above the bale chamber.

The guy sitting on the back is tying the bales. Early balers used a system of wooden blocks inserted into the bale chamber to form the individual bales. There were slots cut into the blocks to allow the wire to pass through for tying the bale.

This seems very complicated and labor intensive, but it's much less so than a stationary baler. I would think it is worlds better than loading a wagon with a pitchfork...

I thought this was an interesting picture because the baler is being pulled by what looks like a small crawler tractor. That seems to me like it would tear up your ground too much, which would not have been good in the days of horse drawn sicklebar mowers.