Picking up the Hay
In this method of picking up and stacking hay it is very important that the hay is dry. (About 15% moisture content.) To tell if your hay is dry go out to the field and check it in multiple spots. Dig through the windrow a little and see that it is all dry. It should look pale green to straw yellow compared to the live hay, but not too yellow. If you pick up a clump of hay and bend it with two hands it should be crackly and dry, almost brittle. It shouldn't be moist or wet at all.
It is worth buying a good pitchfork for working with loose hay. It may be as vital as a shovel is for digging in the dirt. Pitchforks with two to five prongs work the best for hay. I would recommend three or four prongs for loose hay. In the world of loose hay, less is more.
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There are two simple methods for collecting a big pitchfork full of loose hay. The first method is to lift the hay in the windrow and set it down again on the hay in front and repeating that process, essentially making a tall pile with a good center of balance. The pile is then lifted with the pitchfork from the bottom and carried to the truck. The second method is to set the end of the pitchfork at the end of the row (with a little momentum) and push along the windrow until you have a good scoop to take to the tuck. I use the first method because I grew up with it, but the second method may be growing on me.