April 16, 2010

Spreading the Wealth

Now that the horses are spending the nights outside, and all of the cattle are out of the barn, spreading manure has become only a weekly ritual. During the winter, when the barn is full, we usually go out every other day. Except for what goes into maintaining the compost pile, everything else is spread out in the various pastures. Here is Ryan in the waterfall pasture, which should be ready to hay sometime in June.
You can see how well this particular machine, made about eighty years ago by the New Idea Company, spreads the manure behind it. When it first arrived on the farm, Ryan had to fix some of the gearing in the back and replace the wood panels in front, but otherwise it was in good condition. It is a workhorse of a machine (pun intended) with a simple, easy to repair design, and it runs surprisingly quietly. Even heavy loads that are mostly wet hay are easily shredded and tossed around. The only serious design flaw is that it doesn't load itself.

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