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13 DIY Horse Hay Feeders You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

Oliver Jones

There are many reasons that you might need a new horse hay feeder. Whether you have recently started renovations where they generally get fed, you bought a new horse, or your old hay feeder was ruined, getting a new one as soon as possible is necessary. Instead of springing for a brand-new option right away, consider a DIY solution.

There are many options for DIY horse hay feeders. Often, it comes down to finding something that you can recycle or upcycle to suit your purposes. Or, you can get crafty with wood and metal designs.

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DIY Horse Hay Feeders

1.   Recycled Plastic Trash Can

One of the easiest ways to set up a hay feeder is from an old trash can. You can pick any corner to fasten the hay feeder, but keep it up high enough for horses to access. Cut three round holes large enough for hay to be pulled from, but not too large that the hay will spill out. You can put as much hay in as you would like. The horses will always be feeding on the bottom instead of having to reach into the can.


2.   Net Full of Hay

If you want to use a material that is easy to make into a quick-fix hay feeder, use part of a net and PVC pipe to rig up a net hay feeder. Assemble the PVC pipe in a rectangular form. Use zip ties to fasten the net around the PVC pipe. Use two bungee cords and hooks fastened to the barn side to hang the net and PVC pipe; make sure you can add the hay.


3.   Upcycled Playhouse

A retired children’s playhouse might not seem like a standard place to keep your horse’s hay, but it makes a surprisingly useful feeder. Instead of having to cut any holes in it or do the work of hanging it up, simply open up the windows around the outside. Tie the door shut so the horses and other animals won’t get in. When the house is filled with hay, the horses can quickly reach their heads in and eat their food.


4.   Hay Box

Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best way to go. Making a wooden box with treated wood to keep the rainwater out is an excellent way to make a highly portable feeder. You can keep the top open, but this will often let it too much moisture and spoil the hay. Instead, create a frame over the top and set a grate on it with large enough holes for the horses.


5.   Hay in the Corner

Another easy option for a DIY horse hay feeder is to use a corner of a barn that you already have. Instead of building up two or three sides, use the barn walls to form two sides of a triangle. Build up one wall high enough for the horses to comfortably lean over and fill it with hay. If you don’t want to fill it all the way up from the ground, put another board horizontally halfway up.


6.   Side Board Pallet Feeder

Pallets are one of the most useful materials when it comes to farm DIY projects. When used for a hay feeder, you can form pallets into a typical feeder’s shape, but it’s made of wood instead of metal. You can hang it from the side of their stall and fill it with hay. The boards’ width and the gaps between them make it convenient for the horses to eat.


7.   Box of Pallet Feeder

Another pallet option is to form a box feeder. Use four pallets and attach them to form a box. It is easiest to keep the top open for the horses to lean down and eat with ease. You can also leave gaps in the pallet for them to pull the hay through. If you opt for this method, raise the box feeder above the ground so they can still access the hay.


8.   Cradled Hay Feeder

Another way to use pallets if you want a fancier solution as your DIY hay feeder is to make a cradled pallet feeder. This requires four feeders, but instead of making a box or deconstructing them for a typical feeder, make a “V” cradle in the center. Attach another one on either side to give the “V” stability so the horses can eat the hay left in the middle.


9.   Hanging Net Feeder

An idea that primarily involves a hanging net allows you to form a slow feeder. Use a large net, and strap it around the edges of a wooden square. Allow the net to hand down from approximately a 45-degree angle.


10. Built Hay Feeder

A built hay feeder in a more traditional sense is an option for your DIY project. You can stand it up high and use wooden boards and a metal grid to put it into place. Choose a field or a barn, wherever you conveniently feed your horse.


11. Hung Barrel Feeder

Use a barrel for this horse feeder. Cut out part of it to make it easy for the horse’s head into the barrel. Hang the barrel from the side of the barn or gates around their paddock. Angle the opening so it is easy for the horse to get in without also letting in too much water.


12. Repurposed Crib Feeder

Looking for something to do with an old crib that no longer serves its purpose? Convert it into a hay feeder for your horses. All you need to do for this option is to angle the crib’s walls inside to a “V.” You can also coat the outside of a wooden crib with a waterproofing treatment to allow it to last longer in inclement weather outdoors.


13. Slow Hay Bucket Feeder

This barrel option is to cut holes in the bottom and keep the top open. You can opt to hang the barrel or keep the lid open during calm weather to keep moisture out.

Related Read: Feeding Horses: How Much, and How Often? [Feeding Chart & Guide]

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Featured Image: rihaij, Pixabay

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.