Hay mow

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11 comments on this post.
  1. Steve Parkes:

    The Barley Mow is a common name for pubs in the English Midlands (and maybe other parts of the country), with the ‘cow’ pronunciation; it’s puzzled me since I was a kid. There’s a folk song called ‘Good luck to The Barley Mow’. It’s one of those cumulative ones (like ‘The old lady who swallowed a fly), and list everybody remotely connected with the pub, from the brewer to the slavey (serving-girl).
    But for some still-puzzling reason, the name is pronounced the ‘moe’ way. No doubt a modern misinterpretation of a printed text. I’ll continue to learn my traditional songs in the traditional way (from gramophone records).

  2. Black-flies, Hiccups, and “Tedding The Dew Off” | Catamount Aviation & Under Orion Farm:

    […] with close to 3000 bales stacked in the hay mow, and just two more fields to mow, one more that is ready to bale, this crazy summer is working out […]

  3. Katherine:

    I grew up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario (Canada) and we called that part of our barn, where the hay was stored, the haymow :-)

  4. bob:

    I grew up in northern wisconsin and we called the top part of the barn the hay mow as well – it means the part of the barn, not the hay piled there.

  5. Marcia Buck Barker:

    Growing up on the Maine coast we played in the mow. It was part of the barn not the hay.

  6. Judith:

    Grew up in North Dakota and am of Norwegian heritage. As a child we loved to play in the hay mow (rhymes with cow) on Grandpa’s farm. Interchangeable with hayloft.

  7. Marceil Skifter:

    Originally from California, I didn’t know the difference between a haymow and hayloft, and thought for years the terms were interchangeable.
    My husband, a Minnesota farm boy has finally educated me as to the difference.
    Everyone knows what a “loft” is in a house – made with three walls and open along one side that overlooks the lower floor. It is the same with a hayloft – hay can be pitched out over the open side to anywhere below to feed cattle (or straw for bedding).
    A haymow, which is usually found in colder parts of the country, is a second story that covers the entire area below. To access the hay, one climbs a ladder to reach the opening in the floor of the haymow (which is also the “ceiling” of the first floor)and the hay is pitched down through that hole to feed the cattle below.(Both a loft and a haymow have a big door that opens in the front to the outside, as well, as this is how the day is put up in the mow.)
    Having the mow built across the first floor, where the cows are kept keeps the heat in during the cold winter months. An open loft would mean the heat rises to the top of the barn and doesn’t keep the cattle as warm. (The barns are not heated, of course, except for the body heat of the cows.) Also, there are almost always doors on the openings to keep the heat from escaping.
    He also pointed out the opening to the mow is usually along the side where the cows are lined up in their stanchions, and situated halfway between the cows for better dispersal. If cows are lined up on both sides, there might be two openings (one on either side), as it was in his family’s barn.
    So, there’s everything you always wanted to know about haymows vs haylofts!

  8. Don:

    Grew up on the farm in Concord Twp, Jackson County, Michigan. Our barn was L-Shaped and had three separate mows (rhymes with cow). Dad planted Timothy & Clover which we’d bale and put up in one mow. We also had Alfalfa which we’d bale and put up in another mow. We’d harvest wheat and oats and then bale the straw and put that up in another mow. Timothy & Clover we’d feed to the yearlings, steers and bulls. Dad would feed the Timothy to the milk cows (Holsteins). The straw was used for bedding in the pens and stanchions.

  9. Don:

    Oops, …feed the Alfalfa to the milk cows…

  10. Jean:

    Very interesting reading! Don, do you know why certain animals were fed different types of hay? Just curious :-)

  11. Jean:

    Thank you for posting this explanation, very interesting reading, I enjoyed it, bringing back many memories of growing up in Iowa :-)

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