Building a hay feeder that is safe and functional for your animals is an easy and inexpensive job. Hay can be easily placed on the ground for your animals to eat from. However the danger exists of feces in the hay and the hay being trampled upon leaving dirt behind. A solidly built hay feeder will keep the hay suspended off the ground and keep it from falling to the ground. Follow these steps for building a hay feeder on your own.
Step 1 - Measure
After you have determined where you want to place the hay feeder, measuring your plywood and pieces of lumber is necessary to get the wood ready for assembly of your project. A standard size bale of hay will fit perfectly in a hay feeder that is built to the dimensions of 40 inches by 22 inches by 18 inches. This size feeder also effectively keeps the hay from falling to the ground.
Step 2 - Cut Wood
With your gloves and safety goggles on, cut the plywood to the dimensions of 40 inches long and 22 inches wide which will make the base for your hay feeder. After cutting the plywood, cut the 2 by 4 pieces of wood into 18-inch pieces.
Step 3 - Assembly
Attach the 2 by 4 pieces of wood in each of the corners of the plywood and secure them with your hammer and nails. To form a rectangle, attach more 2 by 4 inch pieces of wood for the top of the hay feeder so as to adjoin the corners. These boards can be arranged horizontally or vertically depending which you find more beneficial. Use the 1 by 2 inch pieces of wood for slats on the base of your feeder and for the boards atop your feeder.
Step 4 - Attaching Feeder to Barn Wall
If your barn or stable is small and you utilize much of the floor space, attaching your hay feeder to the wall will be ideal in order to save space. Keep in mind that animals such as horses graze with their head constantly down. Attaching the feeder at a lower altitude will be more natural for the horse and prevent any digestive issues.
Step 5 - Attaching Legs to The Feeder
If you have a barn or stable that is large enough to place your feeder on the floor, adding legs to the feeder is also beneficial. The height of your feeder will depend upon the height of the animal you are feeding. If it is a horse, keep in mind the instructions in Step 4. Use more 2 by 4 inch wood pieces to form the legs of your feeder.
Step 6 - Suspending Feeder From Ceiling
To prevent your animals from over turning the feeder, you may also elect using a couple of strong ropes or chains to hang the feeder from the ceiling of your barn or stable.