Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oxen Working in the Snow

The farm is beautiful under a layer so snow.  This is something we don't see very often in Southern Kentucky.  We had to move hay for the horses yesterday.  Maria took pictures of the process which I hope makes a little more sense of what we ask the critters to do.

Jake yoking George and James.  The boys are not tied.

The team of four going after the chains on the stone boat.  They are not tied together, they are following George the lead ox.  Even William has learned this fairly well.  (We have only had him since March.)

With everyone hitched, it is off to the round bales.  Jake  is riding the stoneboat.  I am getting ahead to open the gate.

A jumble of round bales.

Charles and William bring up the sledge.

We run a chain from George and James' yoke to a spike in the bale.  They roll the bale onto the sledge.

We do a quick tie with a rope to  keep the bale on the sledge.

The oxen, now back in their team of four, wait patiently for us to get done.

Then we are off to deliver the bale to the hungry horses.  That is a 1200 pound bale on the sledge.

The horses, of course, are waiting at their empty hay ring.

We untie the bale.

With the ring dropped back on the bale we are ready to go after another.

Much to the delight of a spectator.

So that's winter on the farm.  There is still some grazing in the south pasture but we'll need that in March so I don't want to touch it.

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