KEH what you described is the way my great uncle put up hay. He did add half a truck tire(cut around the center so it wouldn"t hold water) over the top of the pole sitting on the hay. Guess he did that in case of wind while they hay hadn"t packed enough on top. I wasn"t old enough to help with the hay then. But I remember seeing hay stacks all around this area. Back then hay was mainly for mules and some horses. We were still cultivating tobacco in to the early 70"s with mules. 3 mules could handle about 20 acres. Most cattle here then was the family milk cows.
My family had started hiring neighbors to square bale hay on our farm so I never saw a hay stack here at home. I do remember stories my uncles told about pea hay and forking it on a wagon with a team pulling it. They had a lot of bad words for pea hay. Said you could get the pitch fork in it and when you tried to lift it the runners would move 15 ft. in front of them. I can"t imagine how it was to get that in the stack.