It is better for animals to eat hay from a hay feeder instead of the ground, not only to keep it clean but to reduce waste. Now that we have sheep and a cow, I either needed to buy hay feeders or make them myself. I like the idea of making things myself, not only to save money, but also for the sense of pride and accomplishment to use something every day that I made with my own two hands. So this post will show you how I made my own hay feeders out of wood pallets I got for free from work.
The first feeder I made was for the sheep and I used a standard pallet that I cut in half. I’ll show the completed sheep feeder at the end of this post. The cow feeder is the one I am describing here and I didn’t have another standard sized pallet so I used a smaller yet heavier duty one, but the concept is the same.
First I used my hammer to pound the bottom boards (that normally lay on the ground) off the pallet – this is the side that will face the wall.
Next, I removed two boards from the front – this is where Pearl will pull the hay out. (It doesn’t show it in the pictures, but I later removed the center support board to allow the hay to slide in easier from the top.)
I cut and mounted two 2x4s on the wall the same distance apart as the pallet is wide. I used large drywall screws for this but nails would work just as well.
I also cut two supports out of the boards I removed from the pallet. I cut them to length based on the amount of angle I wanted in the finished feeder.
Pearl laid down behind me to watch me work!
I next mounted the feeder between the supports. I started the screws in the supports first so as I held the feeder in place with one hand, I could finish screwing it in with the other. I also put a couple screws in through the bottom of the feeder to anchor it to the wall.
I held up a scrap piece of board for a side support and used a pen to mark where it met the feeder. I then cut and attached it for extra support and to help hold the hay in.
It looks like Pearl likes it!
Here is the hay feeder I made for the sheep. It is made the same way except I cut a full sized pallet in half first. The spacing of the slats were different, so I removed more of them and tilted the ones on the end to make four equal-sized feeding areas. They also pull hay from the sides.
They seem to be holding up well and doing their job as designed. On to the next task!