DIY Round Hay Bale Feeders

For most of us, or maybe just some of us depending on your stable situation, colder weather means less grass and time to put out large round bales. Just recently I put out my first round bale of the winter season and have watched my horses eat away at it until all that is left is a big mess of wasted hay on the ground. Each year, I say I’m going to get a hay feeder and as usual winter gets here and I never did. The thing that always stopped me was the need for it going away as the grass started to grow and round bales weren’t needed anymore and then of course the cost of the manufactured hay feeders. Holy Moly are they expensive!

The hay feeder I like the best is the one advertised on Craig Cameron’s show called the HaySaver. The design is really great and features a roof to keep the hay covered, it sits up off the ground and has a bottom so the hay can’t fall through to the ground, the sides panels are wide so a horse’s head can’t get stuck in it and there are no sharp edges so no worries of the horses getting scratches or injuries.

hay bale feeder

(Image Source)

Pretty cool huh?! This nice round bale hay feeder will set you back $2995 plus shipping. Yikes! I definitely see how in the long run it saves you money because of no hay waste but still that’s a lot of money to spend on a hay feeder. Since I’m a cheapo, right away my brain went to work thinking of how I could DIY this and keep costs down. I have yet to come up with a solid design but my fireman has already said he would price up material if I can draw something similar to what I have in mind and if it is cheaper then he can make it.

So to get the idea started I took to Pinterest and searched for hay feeder ideas. There were so many great ones that I just had to share them all with you.

I’m going to take these pictures that I’ve found and try to come up with a design that I like best and something easy that we can build ourselves. If the cost does come out to be cheaper, then I might actually have a hay feeder this year! So exciting! Fingers crossed it will be like half the cost of the HaySaver. We’ll see though and once I do figure out if a DIY feeder similar to this can be built cheaper, I’ll update this post and let you know. 😉

So Tell Me..

Which of the round bale feeders shown above did you like the best?
Anyone ever made your own feeder? If so I’d love to see pictures of your DIY feeder!

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Weekend Cowgirl
    December 11, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I would love to have a covered feeder! We just use the round bale simple ones, but I have a smaller one to put hay in and have it in the pasture barn so when it is wet or ice they can have dry hay.
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  • Reply
    Donna
    December 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I use a Hay Hut feeder. It works so well that I bought a second one this year. I have 8 horses and have not had any issues with the Hay Hut. I put the round bale on a pallet, remove strings and flip the feeder over the top. I think I paid about $700 for the first one back in 2009. The new one was $800. Termites dont eat plastic and it wont rust away. I live in Louisiana and things just don’t last here. Great blog by the way! I’m looking at building a new barn so it’s great to see what has worked for others. I’m starting to consider cinder block construction or a metal building. Bright Blessings!

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      December 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Hi Donna! First off thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment for me!! I had never heard of the HayHut until you mentioned it but will definitely look into it. It might be a cheaper option for sure! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    March 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Hi ashley , i love your blog and all your pasture posts,as i am in the process of creating pasture space for my 3 horses at my home. i had a question about your pasture management, i was wondering how much pasture acreage you have and how you manage your pastures in summer and in winter? I have smaller acreage and am trying to figure out how to rotate and handle winter snow and mud but not keep them stalled excessively. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      NC Cowgirl
      March 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Hey Kristen! So I actually own 12 acres but only 7.5 is pastured in. My pasture is split into 2 pastures and so I use them based on season. My smaller pasture is 3 acres and the larger is 4.5. In summer I use the small pasture and let the big one rest and just grow. Then around Nov/Dec when the grass has stopped growing and the small pasture gets eaten down, I move them to the larger pasture. So far that rotation has worked perfect for me and this past winter believe it or not I only had to put out 2 round bales because I had enough grass to get them through winter. Every spring we also have southern states out to spray liquid nitrogen and grazon. Hope that helps answer your questions! Let me know if you have any others. 🙂

      xo, Ashley

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