Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hay Feeder

Since we did hay this summer with the neighbours, we will be using a lot more square bales. We used to buy big round bales, and we probably will still get a few this year, that we'd just push out into the pasture around the barn. The critters love to eat the centre out of the bales, then spread the rest around and lay on it. We used a lot more hay than necessary, because they wouldn't eat it afterward. So the boys and I set out to build a hay feeder. Something to hold the hay, let everybody eat, but not lie in it, poop on it, and waste it.

We picked a spot just far enough away from the barn to make sure all the animals could walk around safely and laid out the logs- leftovers from a couple of other construction projects.

#2 has become quite the expert at notching logs. If/when we run out of oil, I am going to miss my chainsaw most.

Once the logs were in, we laid them on top of each other and nailed them together with spikes. Then we notched and added a second row.

It's hard to see in the pic, but the ends have a three log high opening, to allow the goats to stick their heads in to grab feed. It had to be a good sized hole, because Nanner and Oscar both have impressive horns. Hopefully it's not so big that Mama (dehorned when we bought her) can climb inside. Then there are another two rows all the way around. I should have taken another pic when we tested it, with the critters munching away. It looks like it is going to work out well. My only fear is that they might fight- the horses tend to chase everyone else off so they can have a hay pile to themselves. I think it's big enough that they'll stay on their own side, but time will tell.  We may need to build a second one.  It is big enough that we could drop a round bale inside it, if we ever get one of those forks for the tractor.

For now, since we haven't had any snow that has stuck yet, we're still dropping square bales out around the pasture. Spreading fertilizer where needed (poop), without adding to the muddy, sloshy mess around the barn area.


  1. It looks like the day may come when the oldest will be relieving you of many chores. You can run the chainsaw off steam. I saw one in my internet ramblings. What do the Amish do? Probably, they just use muscle power,ugh.

  2. oooh - looks nice, my friend. and ya - PracticalP is on to something - oldest is soon gonna be able to take over most of your chores. and then you can relax on the sofa, eat bon-bons and watch soap operas - how crazy is that - bahahahahah!\

    your friend,

  3. nice notching - i'll be using that technique for our raised beds next year!

    great job!!

  4. Thanks, all. Hmmm. I guess I brag about #2 a fair bit, eh? The oldest is #1. He's the muscle, not the brains. Not that he's not bright, he's just not as independent, free thinking, 'let's try out this wild idea' kind of guy. He follows instructions, does the heavy lifting, pounds in nails. It just doesn't make for the same type of interesting pictures. They're both amazing young men, and yes, they will eventually take over around here. Heck, this is the first year I've had to do actual chores, other than when they were at camp, in about 5 years. With both of them in highschool now, I have to do a lot more of the day to day stuff that they took over years ago. The littles are coming along though, they'll be ready to take over soon, lol.

    Jam- if you want a tighter fit for your raised beds, do a cut about a half inch deep down the length of your logs. Good luck!