DIY hay feeder or hay shelter

This DIY hay feeder for round bales has helped prevent hay waste and worked as a hay shelter for hay bags. As my donkey herd grew, and I added mammoth donkeys, I needed to feed round bales. It’s just too expensive to feed square all the time to the big guys. 

So my husband came up with an awesome DIY hay feeder that drastically reduced waste and kept the hay nice and dry! This is important for the round bales in areas where there aren’t many donkeys. The mammoths and horse eat a round bale quickly, but my 3 standard jennets don’t eat as quickly. This keeps hay from getting moldy.

DIY Hay feeder

It cost us less than $65 each to make these. Keeps the hay dry. It’s sturdy!

It keeps them from pulling so much hay on the ground and pooping on it. Now the barn stays cleaner with the bales not being inside plus there’s more room for everyone if someones being a bit grumpy and trying to hoard the hay!

The hog panel cut into and placed at the bottom front keeps the hay back nicely, no one steps in and they can just lean in and eat. But we can remove this if we want to use the hay feeder as a hay shelter for bagged hay.

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How to make your own DIY Hay Feeder

The materials used: 

  • cattle panel over the top,
  • 4 T-posts to steady the sides,
  • a tarp over the top, I highly recommend using a UV resistant tarp!! Like this one: UV Resistant Tarp
  • pallets to sit the hay on and help keep it from getting wet and moldy, (can be found free or cheap on CL)
  • a modified hog panel tied across the front to hold the pulled out hay in.

This is really cut down on my chore time without having to constantly shovel up wasted poop hay! As well as save us money!

These DIY hay feeders have worked really well for Donkeys, sheep, llamas, and horses. It works ok for some goats, but with goats being such jerks, for the most part, they jumped over the hog panel, climbed over the hay, pooping and peeing on it as they did. So the biggest hay wasters of all time figured out how to ruin this too! It’s no wonder I no longer have goats! 🤣

DIY hay feeder for round bales and bagged hay

Video of how I use the DIY Hay Feeder as a Hay Shelter for Hay Bags

If you have your donkeys on a track system or in paddock habitat these are great to provide shelter from the rain. Sometimes we get days and days of rain. I like to offer my donkeys the option of eating in a sheltered area if they want. These are perfect and can be set up anywhere. They are also good to house pink salt blocks I use for my donkeys (which they LOVE) 

To learn more about setting up track systems or healthy habit for donkeys I highly recommend this book: Paddock Paradise

Wrote for horses, it applies to donkeys too! I don’t run a track system (impossible for my land) but I used it to get ideas on setting up my own area for the donkeys that tend to get a little chunky in the winter. You can see that video here: Setting Up a Donkey Habitat

Other Donkey Care and Feeding Articles You Might Like

Interested in setting up slow feeder bags? Read the reviews and watch the video here for the best ones I have found: Hay Bags {The best and the worst!} 

I have an Ultimate Resource List of helpful donkey links. Books, videos, supplements, and articles that have all helped me with my donkeys over the last 9 years. Sign up for my email list to get access! Plus get on my Donkey Lovers List for MORE donkey care and training information!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our DIY Hay feeders! I hope they can help you stop hay waste and save money on hay like they have for us!

The more money I save the more donkeys I can keep!