The driver must be skilled to turn the tractor and swather around at the end of each row. Swathers are big lawn mowers - very big lawn mowers!  You see branches in the pictures because I was standing under a plum tree when I took the photos. The grass is left in long rows for the baler.

 

The swather does more than cut the grass, it also crimps it. This swather actually does more than cut grass and alfalfa.  It has a big rubber roller inside that crimps (squeezes) the cut stems.  Crimping the stems allows them to dry faster.  After cutting, the swather leaves the cut hay in a long row so the rancher can use a baler to make hay bales.

 

When it is not being used, the swather is stored in an old chicken coop.  That way it can stay out of the weather. Zzzzzz!

Click any of the above pictures to enlarge them.

Tyler is the dark horse and you can just see Billy's ears and toes.

        This is a picture of Sarah with Tyler and Billy hitched to a sickle bar mower.  When this mower is used in the field, the bar is lowered down to the ground and it cuts the grass like many scissors all at once.  This machine uses only real horse power and it is how farmers cut their fields before there were tractors.

        Tyler is the bay (dark reddish brown) and you can just see Billy's ears and toes.  When they work together, Tyler is always on the right side and Billy is always on the left.  Thanks for the photo Sarah T.!

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