1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

HELP!!!!!! Anyone have any good ideas for a hay holder for horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by brandibaby23, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Songster

    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    My boyfriend has to build a grain box and a nice "thing" to hold hay and not to let the hay fall on the ground. Any good ideas on this, plans pictures. This is for a horse barn. ANy ideas will be [email protected]@[​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009

  2. ducks4you

    ducks4you Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    It's not so important what you build to put hay into. It's more important what it made out of and where you put it. I often feed hay just in the corner of my stalls during the bad times when my horses cannot have turnout, mostly when it's too slick outside for any kind of footing. Otherwise, my horses enjoy a great deal of turnout and feed in the manger inside of the shelter. Be less concerned about your horses soiling their hay, and more concerned about their safety. Horses naturally pull back when they are stuck, and they have memorized "Murphy's Law," if there is a nail, piece of glass, broken ANTHING, a horse will find it and hurt himself/herself.
    There should be NOTHING that could cut, injure, or hangup your horses. Look at ranch supply stores--you can find pictures online, if you like--and see how they constuct their livestock feeders. Check backyardherds.com and see what others have built. (lupine built one, I think, this summer, for instance.)
    BTW, I destroyed my shelter's manger this June in an attempt to free my 27 year old Arab. The best we can figure is that he had a stroke and fell into it, then couldn't get out. It was a nightmare, considering that I had owned him for 23 years--he really was a part of the family, and he died there. So...here I am, stuck with what was a wooden manger built to withstand a tornado, made out ot 2 x 12's and supported by 2 x 4's, now mostly ripped apart with 3 inch nails sticking out in places. I ripped out any torn wood, hammered a 5 inch, 2 x 6 (rounded off) piece to the nails that i couldn't remove, and I'll be purchasing metal sheep fencing to put in it's place, so I can use it again without having my two horses strew the hay everywhere. Fortunately, I have it safe enough for them to use this 12 x 16 shelter which sits abutted to the barn, and has a catwalk so I can throw down hay from the loft.
    Sorry for the painful story. You can ALWAYS clean up soiled hay. You will never forgive yourself if something you built or used permanently injures your horse.
  3. AkTomboy

    AkTomboy Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    DJ, Alaska
    Bathtubs [​IMG] Cheap and easy to clean. I have one 4-H kid who made wall hangers out of PVC also
  4. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Songster

    Apr 26, 2009
    Quote:Just remember to make sure the edges are covered. Lots of horses and other animals get injured on bathtubs that are used as water troughs, feeders, etc.
  5. ijon1

    ijon1 Songster

    Jan 26, 2009
    gaines, michigan
    I build one on a old trailer out of welded rebar. It was a v design narrow at the bottom with a tray to hold chaf. It works well and they can't tear it up. My horses were really rough on feeders that I bought.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The ground is really the best place to feed hay, if at all possible. It is healthier for the horses (they eat/swallow better, no dust/chaff getting in eyes, and -- the biggie -- no contraption for them to injure themselves on, which they WILL eventually as there is ABSOLUTELY NO SUCH THING as a 100% safe hayrack). Feed on 'clean' grassy or snowy ground or on clean bedding, moving the location around the pasture so nowhere gets too worn, and in the pasture make sure to have more piles of hay than horses, separated by at least 30' or so.

    There are a few situations in which I will agree you just can't hay them on the ground. Some horses will poo/pee on most of the hay in their stalls if it's on the floor (although often this is alerting you to a problem with hay quality, stall size, stall neighbors, or that the hay should be put in a different *part* of the stall). If the horse is turned out in a muddy or sandy paddock, the ideal thing IMHO is to create a matted windbreak-protected area (possibly in a shed) to feed the hay, but if this is not feasible or if the horse insists on dragging the hay out into the mud or onto the sand (and some horses do), then you may decide the benefits of a hayrack outweigh the risks.

    For a stall, my preference is one of the following two options: a) hang a plastic 55-gal drum with the top 1/3 cut off on the wall in a corner, and use a hole saw to drill some 1-2" holes on the bottom and also here and there on the lower one foot of the sides. Melt or file down the edges where you cut the drum, and mount it *safely* and sturdily, and it is hard for a horse to hurt himself on this (although horses with stifle problems that like to 'sit' on things in the stall may damage the *drum*). Or b) box off a corner of the stall (assuming the stall is not already kinda too small) using 3/4" plywood (nothing thinner) with a frame of lumber behind it, so you have a triangular bin to put hay in; cover the two acute corners of the top opening with plywood gussets so a horse can't easily get a foot wedged in there; and clean the hay dust out of there *regularly and well*.

    If you want an actual multi-horse pasture hayrack (which is usually a bad idea unless you truly have NO way of haying them otherwise), frankly I would recommmend buying one of the better commercial roundbale feeders designed expressely for horses (most can have other forms of hay fed in them too, not just round bales), or build something using VERY SERIOUS LUMBER and pegged mortise-and-tenon joints for all the major attachments, no 2x4s nor 2x6s nor rebar and as few screws (no nails) as humanly possible. People tend to underestimate the weight and strength of horses, when they lean on something, when they go to rub their heads or rumps on something to relieve an itch, when they bump into something trying to dodge another horse, or when they get a head or foot caught (which is real hard to avoid having it *ever* happen) and struggle to get free. An awful lot of homemade contraptions tend to disassemble readily into Lots Of Sharp Pieces, and I have seen too many bad injuries from hayracks over the years, that were *completely avoidable* by a little foresight [​IMG]

    As far as grain feeders for a stall, quite honestly I think you are better off buying something. Wooden feeders are hard to make sturdy enough (esp. with the lumber available today!) and are *really* hard to get truly clean. Get a sturdily made plastic feeder with a no-spill lip, and you're good to go [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Horses are designed to graze and eat with their heads down. Unless you are using bedding that should not be ingested I would not use a hay container. Anything you put in the stall is also a hazard. My stalls have nothing attached to them. We did the whole hanging hay and grain feeders once. It's a pain to lift hay up, I got tired of being showered with pieces, and the horses would bang into them causing shoulder lameness. In our new stable I refused to put in any hay feeders. We use rubber pans for feed and set the hay on the ground next to it. We've been doing that for 15 years now and had less incidences of colic (actually we've had none), less injuries in the stalls, and no coating ourselves in hay every day. We use pine pellet bedding so no harm if they do eat some of it. I do the same thing outside. When we run out of round bales or can't get a new one in the building when needed I drag out square bales and just throw the slices around on the ground for them to eat. We only put the round bales in bale rings because the horses would otherwise pull it apart and waste more than half.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009

  8. brandibaby23

    brandibaby23 Songster

    Oct 13, 2009
    New Paris, Pa 15554
    Thanks for everyone's[​IMG] reply.
  9. txredneckmedic

    txredneckmedic Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    just toss the hay on the ground...they will eat it.
  10. NahaniWolf

    NahaniWolf In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    a big tire with ply-wood in the bottom would work for hay and grain

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by