Wellard Street, Serpentine, WA, 6125

Work Hours
Mon-Tues: Closed
Wednesday: 9am-1pm
Thur-Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 10am-3pm
Public Holidays: 10am-3pm

Note: Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

Magpie Hay Baler - c. 1930

“MAGPIE“ HAY BALER – c. 1930

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Until the mid-1800s, hay that was harvested for livestock was simply piled into stacks or moved into the barn for use during the winter. Moving the crop involved pitch-forking it onto a wagon and pitching it back off at the destination. The portable hay baler was built to compress and store hay for stock feed. It was known locally as a “Magpie baler” because of the pecking action of the machine. It would be towed to the location of the haystack, where the loose hay would be fed into the machine and held in the compressed state by ties that were made from light wire formed on a frame that came with the machine.

This style of baler is quite labour intensive, with a man necessary to fork hay to the compressor, another to insert dividers between bales and wire to tie the bales and another clearing and stacking bales. While a big improvement at the time, the wire ties proved a problem in the stock feed and they were later replaced by twine tying binders and automatic balers. The baler was manufactured by the International Harvester Company, most likely in its Geelong, Victoria factory.

Magpie Hay Baler - c. 1930
Magpie Hay Baler - c. 1930