Hay Hut Frustrations

I know a lot of people love their hay huts but I’m seriously considering selling mine. This is the second one I have had. The first one warped so badly in the sun it couldn’t cover a round bale - the company picked it up and gave me a good one - excellent customer service!

This one I’m noticing that my horses lean on and its losing shape as well… they also pull the hay out and I’ve got a ring around the hay hut… and lastly, since I only have two horses eating it, the hay get low and then winds come and pick up the hay hut and take it flying across the field. It usually happens at the end, but then I’ve got a ton of waste anyway.

Has anyone had hay huts blow away? It’s becoming a pain to deal with and now I’m wondering if it really is a savings. It is a huge time savings for me…

Am I the only one with these issues? Is there something else I should consider?

We put the round bale on a square of wooden pallets, and then put the hay hut over it. The pallets at the base keep the hay hut from deforming in shape.

I do like mine, it’s been great for controlling waste, much better than our homemade roof over the hay ring arrangement.

My disappointment with it is that I thought it would make putting out hay a fairly easy one person job. It makes it easier, but it’s still a two person job.

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that’s a good idea. how many pallets?

and yes, it is a two person job although I’ve been struggling with it alone. I’m really tempted to figure out something else. I’d like to be able to put two or three hay bales out at a time if I switch to something though and I’m not sure I can do that effectively. If I put on the ground they waste it.

I would assume this means they take a bite and pull their head out of the hut to look around, instead of heating inside the hut.

I have no doubt that is what my mare would do if I had something so closed (I don’t have a hut, I have a home made hay feeder with a roof).

3 - 4. You have to play a little bit with the configuration. A couple of half pallets make it easier.

So do you cut the pallets to fit?

Yes. Two full pallets and then a third cut in half is what worked for us.

Thanks. I’ll have try it

You’re not alone. I didn’t like mine much either so it’s sitting unused now. It’s never blown away (!!) but I felt the build quality was not great for the price (many of the bolt holes didn’t line up). It rubbed one horse’s mane really badly. I’ve had two horses too nervous to stick their head in there to eat. One was a project I rushed to sell before winter set in. The current one is a keeper so I bought two of these instead:

They don’t keep the hay quite as dry but everyone eats peacefully.

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For pulling the hay out - do you have a net on / in it? I bought the net for the hay hut and like it a lot. They still pull a tiny bit out when a new bale gets put out but it really is negligible (I pick it up as the hay hut is on sand and I don’t want them eating off the sand). Mine does not blow around and we have some FIERCE winds being on top of a hill (I think we hit 30mph) and it hasn’t moved. I only have 2 eating out of it so it does get and stay low for a while but I think the sand helps hold it down some and they typically don’t eat 100% of the bale (which is fine) so there’s always something holding it down I guess? I also use a pallet inside but only use one. I like the idea of filing the inside with pallets though.

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That’s a nice hay pavilion! You bought those already assembled? As a kit? From where? Are they move able?

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I bought them local-ish, fully assembled, from here: https://sites.google.com/site/farfromtheusualco/home/hay-feeders. I would have liked to build them but work has sucked the past year and I couldn’t find time. The seller was great and she can customize the height, width, and roof color. She makes them for large squares and round bales too.

You wouldn’t want to move them often—they are very heavy! They have skids and tow rings, so the seller loaded them on our utility trailer with pallet forks and then we used the tractor and a tow chain to drag them down the ramp. Two of us could scoot/slide/lift them a little to get over the lip of the ramp and line them up.

The seller customizes the nets and has a very nice system for attaching them to the feeders. I’ve found them easy to fill and clean out.

Probably none of that helps you unless you live near me though!

I love the PVC AGI hay rings with a hay net top. It’s super easy for one person to move. I do put a pallet under the bale. There’s no roof, but I find if the horses finish a round bale in about a week, the hay doesn’t get mouldy in that time.

Thank you for the link.

I’m not in your geographical area, but I think we could reverse engineer those feeders. Not horse related, but we built a dog house / kennel on skids that was similar looking construction as these feeders.

I have a pallet fork attachment that goes on the 3 pt hitch of my tractor; be neat if that was sufficient to move them. I wouldn’t need to move them very often but to have the option to move if I’m reworking the dry lot surface would be ideal.

Is the sidewall of the roof about 8’ tall? Having the nets attach nicely into the feeder is ideal. I dunno that I would want to make custom nets but imagine I could use some whole bale nets and achieve close to the same functionality.

To prevent warping, and to sturdy up the bottom edges, which makes flipping the hut much easier, bolt 2x4s around the outside bottom.
To prevent the hut from blowing away, get a tractor tire that will fit in the bottom of the hut, and secure it with a long rope to either the metal loop that goes through the top, or to the 2x4.
This helps to keep the hut from blowing away, and also keeps the hay off of the ground.

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If you put 2x4’s on it how do you get a round bale in?

@altermetoday. Put the bale on the tire/ground, and flip the hut back over top…

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Hay Chix makes full bale hay nets which are really nice. Could you fill a few of those up and hang them out on the fence somehow?