- December 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm #81886
So, I know most of us aren’t making hay right now . . . but I’m going to some auctions looking for a hay rake. I like to buy the right piece of equipment straight away and not buy/sell. My only experience is with a rotary rake. And I’ve seen side-delivery rakes going for $1000 so I’m wondering if you all think the advantages of a rotary rake outweigh the side delivery rake. I plan to run this rotary rake on an I&J PTO cart.
If you use a side delivery, do you just forego the dolly wheel and attach it to your forecart?December 16, 2013 at 7:04 am #81888Donn HewesKeymaster
Well, there are a few ” it depends” in my answer to your question. Who is the hay for? How much do you want to make? How much time do you have? How much money do you have relative to other needs? What horses and harnesses do you have? Do you already have a simple fore cart? This is something you will want. Do you have a tedder?
In most circumstances a side deliver rake will work great. I tend to only rake “dry” hay. by that I mean, the hay is ready to bale and needs no further drying. I realize that a rotary rake can be used in a slightly different manor. But back to my other questions. To what benefit? Other tools play a bigger role in good hay making, in my opinion.
A side delivery rake is fun and easy to use with horses. Hook it to a separate fore cart and you don’t have to unhook it. I have two rakes hooked up all the time. I have a Tedder hooked to a ground drive PTO cart, and I have a baler hooked to a gas powered PTO cart. I still need one more home made forecart to move hay wagons with out unhooking anything. But that is me, and the time constraints I have, the number of animals and help I have, and the number of bales and quality I want.
A rotary rake might improve my hay making slightly, but a new barn would do a lot more! Sorry for the long winded answer. Posting before coffee.December 16, 2013 at 9:41 am #81890Does’ LeapParticipant
I think Donn hit all the right questions. Those rotary rakes are pretty slick, but very expensive. We put up 1500 – 2000 bales and can’t justify a rotary rake. Try amortizing that rotary rake over the amount of bales you plan to make over the next 10 years and see if it is worth it. We use a JD side delivery rake behind a forecart and it works well. Like Donn, I do not dry in the wind row. I rake when it is ready to bale.
GeorgeDecember 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm #81896JayParticipant
I agree with Donn and George: amortize the cost of the rotary. I use old New Idea 3 and 4 bar rake tedders as well as an IH 5 bar rubber tired ground drive might have had a dolly wheel but is on a forecart all haying season. I also use a Grimm tedder. The NIs throw the hay to the side slightly and sometimes that is useful and some times not so I can use the Grimm. The NI 3 bar rakes are ok for most 1st cut – for 2nd cut I use the IH exclusively – less loss. I also put the 1st cut up loose, but I bale the 2nd – again- less loss of hay. I have slowly acquired these over the years- I certainly didn’t go out and buy them at once. JayDecember 17, 2013 at 8:29 am #81898Ed ThayerParticipant
I like the concept of amortizing your costs to justify the equipment. We started making our own hay last year and It took a year to find what would work for us on a budget. I figured 5 yr for all our equipment purchases for us to break even.
Regarding the rake, like Jay, we use a Deering 4 bar roller rake. I purchased it for $125.00 and then replaced all the tines for another $200.00. I liked it because it was ground drive and very well built. It does a fine job of raking dry hay and is simple to operate and can be pulled with a tractor or horses.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.December 17, 2013 at 9:26 am #81900Michael LowParticipant
This could be a whole other discussion:
The costs of equipment and the need for it on a farm. It can certainly make or break an operation.
I was talking to an older farmer in our town, now mostly retired he still trucks cattle and makes hay. I asked him where he got a group of heifers he had outside his barn. He said they came from an organic dairy that just shut down, 4 years after starting.
When I asked why they closed he said “Too many minuses, not enough pluses.”
“New truck, tractor and barn, too many minuses and not enough pluses.”
Pretty basic (and effective) version of accounting.December 17, 2013 at 9:37 am #81902Livewater FarmParticipant
I use a rotary rake behind a groundndrive forecart for dry and balage also use with tractor
does not rpoe hay like side deliver y
BillDecember 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm #81904
Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve seen side delivery rakes go for 1000 and more around here and I see rotary rakes at $3000. Sure 2000 isn’t nothing but my time is also worth a lot. I don’t look at this as a purely business decision. Cause given what I do here, I think I’d find a tractor cheaper than the team. So it’s partly the farm business and partly the thing I wanna do With my life. Not everybody is in my situation. I’m glad to hear that you all are happy with those rakes as I hope to find a cheaper one. Certainly I could if it were a 3 bar or 4 bar rake.December 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm #81906JayParticipant
A couple of observations about side delivery rakes- to some degree the more bars, the cleaner job of raking (bars pass over the ground more often). With the New Idea rake/tedders, if they have been hauled behind a tractor, the teeth may be beaten up and the clutch piece that slides on the axle to engage either rake or tedd gets worn. It can be replaced. With horses, when the rake hits a bump or groundhog mound, they slow momentarily and ease over the resistance. With a tractor, the governor senses the resistance and digs in – beats up the rake. The controls on those old high wheel rakes are placed just right to reach them from the seat when you drive the team. JayDecember 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm #81907
Nothing like shopping for hay stuff in the snow!December 18, 2013 at 10:45 am #81911Donn HewesKeymaster
I love hay making and like thinking about in the winter. We are feeding out some nice hay right now which is funny because I don’t recall making any! but I must have.
I all ways think about how I make hay because I have found, at least for me, it has been a slowly evolving process. I have slowly added tools and abilities as I saw were my slowest or weakest part was. Always aiming for better hay, less fossil fuels, more redundancy. and more enjoyable work for me and the animals. While I am very happy with my set up today after about 10 years of tinkering; I don’t think for a minute that I am done. I still see better wagons, loose hay, different rakes and tedders as all possibilities in the future.
Fun to think about while you are plowing snow or feeding hay!January 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm #82276back-fortyParticipant
I use a 4 bar JD side delivery rake with a dolly wheel and a 5 wheel Farmhand wheel rake, both hocked to my forecart. In the alfalfa I like the wheel rake, with the slow ground speed of my horses there is very little leaf loss. In heavy canary meadow hay I find the J.D. rake less prone to plugging. As most every one else is saying I try to rake only hay dry enough for baling.
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