Royal and the Big Hay Bale

We bought some huge round hay bales last week but the cows haven’t been very interested in eating them. People say you can feed cows a low quality hay, but ours are a little picky. We supplement with fresh vegetables from the farm and alfalfa and all sorts of treats, so we aren’t afraid that they are going hungry or are short of protein or other nutrients. At the same time, we have all this hay and it is has too many seeds to use as mulch and really we prefer to get a couple of uses out of the hay – first as feed then as compost if you get my meaning.

So, Karl thought it would be fun to roll a whole bale into the pasture and see what the cows did with it. We had some idea of how Royal would react – he often plays with his food – so we all gathered around to watch! Luckily Karl Jr had his phone with him to capture some of the fun.

Some of you have seen these bales in our driveway, but for those who haven’t, they are about 6 feet tall and well over 6 feet across. Within about 10 minutes the whole thing was reduced to a messy heap and the cows were happily munching away at it. Even Juno, the calf, had a little taste. You can see her dash off to the right towards the beginning of the video. She is almost one month old now and just starting to try solid foods. She won’t be weaned for months yet. As the herd all live together all of the time, she will nurse as long as her mother, Tessie, will allow it or until she moves to another farm.

(I can’t find the original video – still looking)

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