Hay Hook


Several people had asked about what the hay hook found in the barn looks like.

If you click this link for Google images of hay hooks, you can see that it must have originally had a handle, but it’s missing now. This hay hook looks like it’s been put to work in its day. They made do with it anyway!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 14, 2011  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-14

    If you know someone with a drill press, (your cousin maybe?) you can cut an old shovel handle into the right length with that chop saw Sassafras Farm’s just past owners left in the cellar, and have someone with a drill press drill a hole through the middle, then run a carriage bold through the whole works, and violá! You have a new handle on your hay hook! Take some time to get it just the right length to fit between the handle ends, and find a section of the shovel handle that is comfortable for you to hold, and make several, because if it’s not a good quality shovel handle, it may be difficult to drill out. Remember though, larger in diameter is better than smaller within reason, because too small and after a long time your hand will cramp up.

    Hay hooks are good for supporting the end of a bale with one hand while holding strings nearer the other end. My cousins used two hooks at a time, one in each hand but I never got that knack right, I’m better with just one hook.

    I see that the ‘hook’ end is a bit flattened out, maybe your donkey hoof trimmer has a forge and will heat it up and pound it back into shape for you. That’s a job that blacksmiths have done for centuries after all! Not all blacksmiths are farriers, and not all farriers are terribly good blacksmiths with things other than horse shoes, but most can manage something like that!! :yes:

  2. 12-14

    I’ll tell you what I think. That hay hook was originally used with the winch system in the hay loft in your barn. The hooks I’ve seen for using by hand are generally quite short and have a “T” handle. I think this one of yours originally worked on a rail system that would have been up in the peak of the barn. So the winch brought the hay up, and this hook could be used to lift bails and move them to other parts of the loft along a rail. That way no one had to carry bails from the front all the way to the back. Instead they just had to place them along the sides and stack them, which is a lot easier when they are already near the part of the barn being filled. Of course, I could be wrong. Is there a rail along the peak of the hay loft?

  3. 12-14

    Love the nosey chicken!

  4. 12-14

    The poor hay “Hook” doesn’t look so much like a hook. Ours were forged in one piece, like a big c, with a long handle(still one piece) bent over to fit a persons hand. I don’t think they ever wore out, at least as long as I can remember.
    Love love love your new little farm. Its glorious!!!

  5. 12-14

    @bbkrehmeyer, Yes! I’ve seen them like that too. The handle is just an extension of the hook itself bent around in the right shape. I have some old ice tongs here with handles like that. My current hay hook has a wooden “T” handle though.

  6. 12-14

    :happyflower:Yup—thats a hay hook alright, and it HAS been used a lot–a handle will be easy to add.

  7. 12-14

    That poor thing looks like its been run over, more than once! Your local feed store should have replacements for cheap. :D

  8. 12-14

    I believe that would be one of the cheaper farm tools I would be buying. I use one to lift up the end of a bale and drag it where I want it to go. Two would be good too if the bales aren’t too long.

    This looks like it has been “rode hard and put up wet!”.

  9. 12-14

    Hey speaking of curious chickens…Is there a chicken coop on the farm? The barn seems to have a one story section attached. Is that storage or the chicken coop? I’m in love with your barn. I noticed what appear to be old horse collars hanging up in the barn loft. Old barns generally have nifty “stuff” tucked away in boxes or basket or hung from nails on the walls–old horseshoes, bits of broken harness, strange tools, a fully functional hay winch, old bottles, bent wheels, bits of things. Most farmers are reluctant to throw anything away as they might find a use for it in the future–and often do! You’ll have great fun poking around there and in the other outbuildings.

  10. 12-14

    That sucker looks like a good weapon of sorts too! :happyflower:

  11. 12-14

    That isnt an individual hay hook. It worked with your pulley. I have several different kinds of hay hooks we use daily. Saves your fingers and hands for sure.

  12. 12-14

    I’ve seen regular hay hooks that look like that, it should just have a wooden dowel between the two flat pieces for the handle is all, that either broke off or the bolt worked loose and fell out. If you look at the link Suzanne posted you’ll see pictures that are very similar, it has obviously seen some hard use though and/or been rolled over by the hay wagon a few times to get it so bent up near the hook end though.

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