Monday, October 24, 2011

Have You Ever Heard of a "Beaverslide?

How about a hay sling?  We were in the "Big Hole Country" near Jackson, Montana when I kept seeing these wooden structures.  I asked my husband what they were and what they were used for?

It turns out they are used to make a haystack.  Long time ago horses pulled these frames.  Now they often use tractors.  The frames are built by hand with lodge pole pine.  If you look at the bottom you can see the runners. (Looks like the bottom of a sled.)
The hay in the haystacks made in this way will last up to four years.

The short piece is called the floor.
I think next year I would like to watch them stack hay using the beaverslide.  This form of hay "technology" has been around at least from the 1880's. One of the video's says they were invented in 1910. "Technology" can be pretty amazing. This year I have learned lots about putting up hay. 

YouTube video about how Beaver Slides work. 

Also watch the Horse-Drawn Loose Haying at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch - Deer Lodge, MT

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Absolutely fascinating! I helped stomp sileage a long time ago like those at the top of this are spreading and stomping hay. I've never seen one of these, but watched people make a regular stack 'just right' with their pitchforks. And-there must be a Youtube for everything!

  2. How cool it is to keep learning. Thanks for the words, the images and the videos. Multi multi..

  3. I found myself wondering what I would learn from your Slice today. So glad you are part of the SOLS community.

  4. I've just slung hay bales and stacked them. Hot work! I have never seen this haying technology. Pretty slick. It is so good that these are documented in video, as soon people won't know what they are or that there ever was such a thing. Thanks for keeping us informed!

  5. You always manage to find some fascinating bit of information to share. How do you do it?

  6. I am always curious. There are so many things that I don't know anything about. The Beaverslide intrigued me especially after I saw it up close. It is really quite an elegant apparatus. It amazed me that quite a few people here in Montana still use them. One of the things I learned this year was that there are lots of ways to stack hay.

    I grew up seeing the small rectangle bales and then later the haystacks that looked to me like big loaves of bread. In later years I saw the large round bales.
    Now I have discovered there are many more ways to make a haystack.

    All of your wonderful comments keep me thinking about all of you. When we were driving this weekend I saw a name of the ranch. I made my husband turn around so I could get a picture of it, Because I knew you would laugh. Tomorrow I will post the picture.

  7. If I had kept track over the past year of the information I have gained in reading blogs, I would have an interesting little book. Information like yours often takes me on a little side trip to Google or Wikipedia or National Geographic. Connecting new dots..


Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.