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paying to stack hay?

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  • #21
    Oh hay stacking. Everyone's favorite pastime.

    Well my first inclination as someone who is currently living apart from their SO, would be to fly/bus/train them out to the farm- 150 bales between two people is enough for him to work up a decent sweat, and who doesn't love THAT?

    Although if we're being financially responsible (must we?) I'd say 150 bales for one decently in shape gal shouldn't be an issue. I've always considered myself a bit fitter/buffer than your average (particularly in the core/arm dept) and I've definitely done loads twice that size alone without much issue. Was it fun? NO. Did it save me money? I dunno, ask my chiro? I jest- but honestly, it is literally back-breaking work, so if you have the finances (which it sounds you do) that coupled with any concerns about the havoc it may wreak on your body I suggest plan B.

    Plan B. Farm kids are AWESOME. Not only for stacking hay but a myriad of other things around the farm, definitely a good resource to have!

    I would definitely ask your hay guy how he would like to deliver it- I've experienced everything from them dropping a hay cart off and picking it up hours/days later, dumping a load of hay from a truck w/ a dump bed, hay guys elevator-ing it into a loft and leaving it in a big pile and going on their, and unloading a tractor trailer load stacking as you go. If he's just going to dump the hay/leave the cart relatively close to where it will be stacked, and you're not concerned about any weather you may wish to gradually unload and stack it yourself just to gauge your tolerance for that. My vote is still for hiring some big strong dudes/ettes.

    Things to keep in mind-
    Make sure everyone knows how to stack properly/understands you'll be climbing on this to take bales off the top and already risk falling on your head enough riding, and we don't want to add to that risk. It's really not a difficult concept to grasp even without horsey background, and there are several threads on COTH you could review to perhaps help explain the process.
    Even if these kids are experienced for some reason everyone forgets to wear long sleeves/jeans/boots, and they will undoubtedly forget gloves as well- remind them to bring these things!
    Definitely supply them with cool water/drinks, and refreshments certainly never hurt- I used to pack a cooler with bottled drinks and freeze pops when we did big loads in the summer. Radio on was nice too.
    As far as how much to pay, even as a 20-something low on cash, I don't think I would answer an ad for hay-stacking at less than $14-18/hr slash guaranteed minimum of $25-$30 depending on your area. If you get two people and it takes 2 hours (which it really shouldn't) that's $72 on the high end total, so $3 in savings (don't laugh that's a small Bubble Tea!) as well as potential help around the farm. I don't think anyone would be offended if you casually mentioned that this might not be your going rate for other random barn work in the future.

    Oh and of course- don't forget to have FUN!
    "Sit back and prepare to be pissed off!"

    Eventer, Ballerina, Dancer, Model, and Waitress Extraordinaire (cos a girls gotta eat!).

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    • #22
      We don't pay our college/high school kids by the hour to stack hay. It sort of sets a precedent for when I want to pay them to do other things. We pay by the job at hand. I'll pay more to have them stack hay in the summer than in the winter; more to get it out of the field, stack it on the trailer, then stack it in the barn. To unload 100 bales in the winter months, they are all delighted to get $30-$40 bucks and I usually have 2 of them doing it. They work more efficiently b/c they aren't trying to milk the clock so to speak and they get compensated to cover their time for coming out to the sticks, makes it worth their while, etc.
      I've done this w/paying sitters, etc. to. We look at the job as a whole and go from there.

      We've paid day laborers in the past and paid them by the bale but that was maybe 10 years ago..paid them $1 bale for field to trailer; trailer to barn. That's what they asked for and we thought it fair. Did a couple hundred bales.

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      • #23
        Opening Caveat: I'm 31 and in better than average shape.

        I stacked 1000 bales or more last summer by myself. I'd work in the evenings or late afternoons and would do them in increments of between 80 and 200, depending on how many hayracks I had lined up. A good bit of the hay I unloaded, I loaded as well.

        I'd throw 10 bales to the ground, then throw them to a landing on the pile, and then carry them to the top to stack them in their final location.

        I would never pay someone for stacking or unloading, but I'm cheap and I like the hard work.

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        • #24
          I pay $11/hour plus all the drinks they want (non alchoholic of course). A couple of years I've stacked it all myself, but if it has to go into the hay loft, I can't throw it that high.

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          • #25
            Holy crap! Are you supposed to tip the hay guy extra to stack the hay? I thought stacking was just built into the price of the bale. I do tip him occasionally, but nothing on the order of .50 a bale. Yikes, and he heaves a beautiful stack, too.

            Yet another instance of my astonishing rural illiteracy, I suppose. Le sigh.
            Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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            • #26
              Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
              Holy crap! Are you supposed to tip the hay guy extra to stack the hay? I thought stacking was just built into the price of the bale. I do tip him occasionally, but nothing on the order of .50 a bale. Yikes, and he heaves a beautiful stack, too.

              Yet another instance of my astonishing rural illiteracy, I suppose. Le sigh.
              If your guys is stacking it for you then it sounds like he is fine with you paying what you pay and stacking it.

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              • #27
                If you are in shape, I would be inclined to do it myself providing I had the floor space and did not have to go 5-6 high. I used to stack 400 bales a year by myself and must admit it was one the most rewarding things I have done. Now have an SO that helps. Loved the hilarious comment about brain not sending message to let go....ending up on the concrete below. Too funny...

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