Using a Scythe for Mowing Hay

I'm getting a scythe soon for mowing and will possibly be growing some hay for my donkeys. Has anyone else had experience with a scythe?

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I'm getting a European style one (lighter than an American style). I would love to hear any stories! I've searched the internet a lot and watched lots of videos on youtube.
Thanks!

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By akyramoto from Northern, CA

March 4, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know about the european scythe but I've used the american style. The handle was aluminum and the blade was, hmmm, 30". The key is a very sharp blade. If you develop an easy swinging movement, the blade will slice thro the grass like butter. It's not about how much hay you can cut in a swing but finding a pace that you can maintain. I'd swing then move forward about 1/2 a step. You will swing from right to left and the hay will be swept to your left.

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March 4, 20110 found this helpful

A European scythe is usually straight & lighter. I just got mine today! I went with a 22" grass blade, since I will do some tight quarter mowing. I haven't put it together yet. I got a whetstone & peening jig to go along with it. I'm very excited. I've already hand cut some grass with a sickle & am drying it out for my donkeys. Kinda like a test run of drying hay. I'm surprised at how fast it's drying out!

Of course my donks are making all kinds of noise when they see me out trimming since I throw them a few clippings fresh.

I'm excited about not using fuel & the fact that everything I cut will either be dried for donkey food or mulch for the garden. Previous years it just got hacked to death by the mower & did nothing!

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March 5, 20110 found this helpful

Keep it clean and sharp and safely tucked away when not in use. As "takelababy" mentioned, when using it's important to develop a smooth and steady pace. Make sure unsuspecting animals or humans are not around when using so that no one is harmed. I honestly don't know the difference between a European or American model, but it makes good sense to use either with great care! Safe usage and happy hey days for the animals! :)

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March 6, 20110 found this helpful

I mowed a bunch yesterday, I'm def getting the technique down & not trying to muscle through it. I think the key things are staying relaxed & keeping the blade sharp! Its amazing how effortlessly it slices through grass!! Its also very relaxing in a way & feels rewarding to look back and think "I just mowed that!"

so much better than a lawnmower! haha. I'm gathering the cuttings to make mulch for the garden also.

Yes I think it's common sense to take care of this took (keeping it clean & sharp) along with using a great deal of care because of the nature of the tool.

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