For manually baling hay: Insert 2 sisal ropes, inside the gaps of the blanks along the 60cm sides, overlapping on both sides. Fill closed box with hay, somebody standing on top to compact it. When filled to top, tie the ropes and open locks to remove the
free counters
Pictured above is haymaking European style, depending on large parcels of land, little manpower & which is fully mechanized.  The grassland, natural pasture or established fodder grass is mown, after which the cut grass is turned several times and  finally, overnight or when totally dry, collected in windrows. A big round-baler will compact and tightly pack the ready hay,  which makes storage that much easier. If not totally dry (mainly due to poor weather conditions during the haymaking  process), the hay can also be collected loose & stored in big barns. Fire hazard, often caused by self-combustion due to  overheating in wet hay, must always be kept in mind. Grassland should be cut at the optimum growth stage, early flowering,  to ensure optimum digestibility and protein contend, but this is often made impossible by rainy weather conditions.  For several years we have tried to make hay during the active growing phase of the grass, which is in and shortly after the  rainy season in the tropics. Very high humidity in the air, recurring showers and the lengthily process of making hay manually  make it close to impossible to dry the grass to the stage when it can be safely stored. This causes moulding and extreme  fire hazard. We have therefore turned to making silage during the wetter times of the year, and hay is only made out of  almost dry grass, or “standing hay”, during the dry season. This hay more resembles straw in respect of quality &  digestibility but will still fill a hungry cow´s stomach and this certainly is our main concern in this drought ridden continent.  For full instructions for building a hay-box, which greatly helps storing manually made hay, please click on the sketch. This  hay-box is one of our earliest and most widely adopted inventions, now featuring on most Agricultural Shows all over Kenya.  For years we have not made hay any more. Quality was simply too poor. In its active growth stage dry matter content of  natural pasture grass here is from 7% to 10%. Air Humidity at that time is between 80% and 99%. One day drying increases  dry matter to only 10% to 14%. Making hay is impossible under such conditions. But even silage making with this little dry  matter content is truly challenging, even after trying to wilt the grass.   Therefore a new idea was born: Rather than to wait for all the pasture-land to mature to a workable dry matter content  (meaning it has deteriorated to extremely poor digestibility levels), we will attempt this new system this year: We have  made plenty of hay in the middle of the dry season, which is really easy to make as you only have to cut down and bale the  standing hay, no additional drying needed at all! Then, once the rain season has started we will begin harvesting grass at only  10% dry matter content, when it’s digestibility is at it’s best and wilt it for a little over one day to reach at least 15% DM or  better still 20% DM. Then we will mix this in certain proportions with the hay and chop all of it with our faithful chaff  cutter. We will possibly add some Maize Germ Meal / Wheat Pollard for further increasing of dry matter content. Through  this method at least 50% of the total silage mass should have good digestibility and therefore feed value levels.