The Bag Lady, as most of you know, feeds her cows with a front-end loader. It is a large, heavy machine, with a bucket on the front. There are three spikes attached to the lip of the loader bucket (called a bale fork) that is used to lift the bale and transport it.
The cows get quite excited when the Bag Lady arrives in the pasture with a new bale for them. It doesn't matter if there is still feed left from the previous day; they absolutely must come and check out the new feed.
The bales are tied with plastic twine, which is wound around and around the big round bale, and is sometimes a little difficult to remove. If there is snow or ice on the twine, the Bag Lady has to be quite creative in her method of removal. The accepted method is to leave the bale on the fork, with it held slightly off the ground and cut all the strands on one side of the bale. Then the Bag Lady goes around to the other side and pulls all the strings off. She winds them up in a ball, gets back into the loader and spreads the bale out on the ground, either by shaking it slightly up and down or setting it down and peeling the hay off with the bale fork.
Remember though, that during this entire operation, the cows are crowding around, trying to get that first bite of the new hay. They push and shove and jostle each other, stand directly under the bale, or behind the loader (the Bag Lady shakes the bale out as she drives slowly in reverse) and generally make a nuisance of themselves.
But the cows are nowhere near as much of a nuisance as the bull is. He is young and a little on the goofy side. He is also relatively tame, and likes to have his head scratched. The Bag Lady is always cautious around him because he does outweigh her, slightly (by about 1900 pounds!!!), and he can get a little rambunctious.
Here is a little video clip of the bull "helping" the Bag Lady take the strings off a bale recently. He started on the opposite side of the bale, and it took the Bag Lady a little by surprise when the bale started bouncing up and down and the loader started to move. Unfortunately, in her haste to get away from the bouncing bale, she didn't get her camera out and rolling until he was almost finished "helping"....
He had started on the opposite side of the bale and did that all the way around. Certainly made it easier for the Bag Lady to shake it out!
Have a great weekend!