The chorus to the old TV Rawhide song popped into my mind the other day as Lee and I unrolled a 1000 lb. round bale around the side of a hill. There, I’m giving my age away. I believe that was one of the first westerns Clint Eastwood was in before he moved on to Italian spaghetti westerns and became famous. Actually, I probably was just born and have a great memory for westerns at that tender age. I’m sure that’s it.
Lee and I were certainly doing our best to unroll that big bale, contrary to the way it really wanted to go. It very much wanted to go down hill and we wanted it to go around the side of that hill. We use mainly round bales with the goats, wrapped around with a cattle panel so they can’t crawl on top the bale and use the bathroom. Which it seems they absolutely must do if they get half a chance. Most of our goats are disbudded at an early age because we find horns a real nuisance. So they can easily stick their heads through the cattle panel to munch on the round bales and we have little waste.
The bales are 4x5 and weigh 900-1000 lbs. and where we get them, sometimes a partially moldy bale shows up. Every now and then, while baling, some wet hay is caught up with the dry and you get that off again on again layers of mold in the bale. If you want to get a goat sick, just force them to eat moldy hay. Goat polio is one thing that can happen when the rumen gets messed up.
So, when I found this round bale sitting out for the goats and I saw how it was layered with mold, yet had good hay in it too, Lee and I decided to unroll the bale and let the goats pick through it. They could eat the good and leave the bad, plus we would have another bale out for them that was good, so they would not be forced to eat something moldy because of hunger.
Being on a hill farm, you would think this unrolling business would be rather easy. The round bale is at the top of a hill, so just remove the cattle panel wrapped around it and let ‘er go on over the hill. That’s all well and good unless there is fence near the bottom that a round bale, picking up steam, could easily wipe out. Now, we all hate fencing so that wasn’t a good idea.
Lee and I decided to unroll it around the hill, keep nudging it at one end to keep it rolling where we wanted it, while pushing from behind to keep it going. Neither one of us volunteered to jump in front if it went the wrong way. So, we kept a close watch on pushing it from behind carefully and nudging it at the end to keep it traveling on around the hill.
Another thing to remember is to put the goats someplace where they can’t help you. They would think this activity would be loads of fun. They’d be trying to jump on the bale while it was rolling, or better yet, jump in front of the bale and yell, “Hey, I’ll be the first one to get a bite as it rolls towards me!”
Some would even jump up and try to help you push the bale a lot fast than you really wanted to go. They are so helpful. So, put them up somewhere to prevent run away bales, squashed goats, and squashed people trying to save goats.
As usual, trying to encourage us as we worked hard on something, a song would pop into my mind and I would naturally have to belt it out as we worked. I’m sure, if I hadn’t taken up being a goat farmer, I would have been a singer, a really terrible one, but I have to sing in situations. My long suffering husband puts up with it, the goats don’t mind me belting out songs, and I’m sure my husband thinks, “Well, if it keeps her working, let her sing all she wants.”
Dredging up the words, and making up a few, from my newly born baby brain when I first heard the Rawhide song, I let the world know what was going on. “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, get those round bales a rollin’, Yee Hah!”
Now, I have to put in a comment here. I did look the words up afterwards on the Rawhide song and much to my concern, they didn’t do “Yee Hah!” They had the words “Hah! Hah!” Come on! What self respecting cowboy, rounding up steers, would yell Hah Hah at them? It sounds like he is laughing to keep them moving. Any western watcher knows the cowboy says, “Yee Hah!”
So, around the hill Lee and I went, pushing, tugging that round bale and me inspiring us with song. “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. Lee, keep that round bale rollin’, Yee Hah!” Don’t try to understand it, just make it go around it, and don’t hit that fence down at the bottom! Yee! Hah! Rollin’, rollin’, rollin. Keep that round bale rollin’, Yee Hah!”
If that doesn’t make you want to go out and roll a round bale, what would?