Thursday, February 16, 2012

FARM TIP: Easy, Inexpensive Hay Rack

Today, I quickly made two hay racks for my nanny goats that are in the kidding pens awaiting the big event.  There are several reasons to make your own hay racks to use in small animal enclosures.
  1. They are easy.
  2. Purchased hay racks are expensive.
  3. They save hay by minimizing waste.
  4. They are completely safe unlike hay nets. 
  5. It's a good way to use up extra welded wire you may have laying around.
We've made ours out of 1" X 1", 1" X 2", and even 2" X 4" welded wire.  What ever we have on hand.  The smaller the mesh, the less hay falls out of the back side of the rack.  This rack is made of 1" X 2" wire.

1. Cut a piece of wire to the desired size. There is no perfect size, but make it at least as big as a flake of hay.  I randomly made this one 33 sections across by 14 sections high which turns out to be about 33" X 28".   

2. Cut out notches on the bottom two corners.  My notches are 6 sections by 3 sections or about 6" X 6" squares.  

This is my finished cut piece of wire for the hay rack. (Not laying flat.)

 3. Leave the verticals attached to your piece and then fold them down with a pliers to prevent sharp edges on the top of hay rack.  Trust me on this......would you like to see my arms?

 4. Attach the narrow, bottom section of your wire piece to the panel or gate first.  Then fold over the sides and attach them, being sure to pop out the wire to make a pocket.  I used zip ties to make this rack because I was alone and in a hurry.  I will go back later and use hog rings or some wire to secure it permanently.

Click this picture to enlarge and see the detail of the corner.

That's it! Easy peasy! Just fill it with hay.  The goat or sheep can just pull the hay through from the inside of his pen.

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