Managing winter hay

Until we have more pastures fenced for a longer grazing season, we will be feeding hay in winter. Thanks to the farmer who hays our land and nearby fields, we can purchase hay without going to the Dewart auction. Using the forks on the front of the small skidsteer I tucked 23 round bales into the bottom of our barn. Since moisture can collect at the back of the barn in wet weather, I set the round bales up on pallets along the back wall. I have been carrying forkfuls of hay to the round bale feeder for the Belties and to the Katahdin's feeder twice a day. Once the ground freezes  and the wind turns cold I will fill the round bale feeder for free feeding. I have been averaging 4-5 days for each round bale so I estimate that I will need to buy hay at the beginning of February. Thankfully our farmer has plenty to buy. With the back of the barn converted to a lambing paddock, I will only have room for 4-6 round bales in February. As our flock grows we are planning keep the grazers on pastures longer and to store hay in the top of the barn in the space freed up by moving part of the woodworking shop back into the house.