Insanely Small Scaled Tools for Easy Hay Idea?

Thinking ahead for spring and summer already…

They make this in an attachment for a weed wacker/pole saw type thing. So you can be standing up and walking…mini tiny tiny sickle mower??

I have this idea (it’s ok yes I know it is dumb and probably super time consuming and a waste of my said time besides getting the calorie burn in… but I love trying new ideas!!) …to overseed my tiny 50ish by 70ish pasture like I did last Jan/Feb, the grass took off mid march or april, and then grew to my waist! I would cut it around 6 to 8 inches though nothing insanely tall… but I want to attempt to cut it with that type of attachment.

‘Ted/ Fluff’ it with my 52inch grass sweeper, with the back bag thingy removed.

Think pequea fluffer super scaled down…
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Then rake n windrow it either by hand because I need the workout, or find a used or good deal on an acreage/estate rake…

And use the million random pieces of wood i have here to make a box baler,

or figure out a way to loosely bale it with the grass sweeper, with some sort of screw eyes on the back bag part and run baling twine thru it.

Go ahead, tell me it is crazy, and maybe a couple crazier people tell me your diy hay making experience!!! I will still buy hay of course, but even having some cut, dried, and roughly baled to use for soaking and feeding outside the stall like for drylot feeding, I think would be fun to do!!

If you have a neighbor with the necessary equipment, I’d probably pay them (either cash or share of the hay) to do it for you - it’s a lot of work even with machinery!
But my uncle had some plots that weren’t really accessible by tractors that he worked by hand or horse plow, and did haystack instead of bales. There is certainly an art to it, but might be worth looking into!


Hay bales are a fairly recent invention as these things go. The 19th century farm did haystacks which was why the hay loft was a great soft place to jump and play, or sleep, or have secret sex.

The dried hay in the field was pitchforked into a wagon then pitchforked into the hay loft then pitchforked down to the cows in the barn in winter. I expect it would come out in clumps related to how it lay in the field. So you don’t need to bail necessarily.


50’ x 70’ is equal to approximately 0.08 acres. The average cool-season grass hay yield in the U.S. (for a full-time hay field) is 2.4 tons/acre. So, best case scenario (horses aren’t turned out on that piece of land at all and you cut/bale it multiple times per growing season), you’re talking about 0.19 tons, or 384 pounds of hay. That’s roughly 7 typical (50-60 pound) square bales, or two weeks worth of hay for an average-sized horse.

Is the kind of effort and expense you’re talking about REALLY worth that? You definitely won’t find anyone willing to haul over equipment for the effort of producing a handful of bales.


I wonder if you could ted the hay with your sweeper without the bag, then go back and bag it? Then either store the hay loose or dump it from the bag into the box baler? I think the only point of windrows is to get the hay organized to be raked up, so you should be able to eliminate that step with your sweeper.

If you try this next summer, please let us know how it works out!

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Well my lil 600lb pony gets max 9 to 10 lbs per day of hay. Less than that in the summer when he is in a muzzle and out half the day on one of the other 2 pastures. So roughly 1.5 months of hay :). Last spring it grew just in that one little are so much that after I mowed it with the tractors belly mower into basically mulch, I had to sweep it up and put it into the compost pile, I could’ve cried. Then leave the field empty for a week while what was left of the clippings dried out. It was another one of my hmmm if I seed in late winter…then use this hay I do not like to cover the whole area and hold the seed down…what will happen? I’m bored and have some leftover annual rye seed…so I am going to try it!!!

The only expense might be the hedge trimmer thing, but I need one anyways to do other areas my mower cannot go in, and I hate weed wacker string, the restringing and it getting stuck kill me… and the estate rake, which if it does not work I can most likely return or resell easily around here. I have no life, so stuff like this keeps me busy and is kinda fun to experiment with to see if it works lol.

You are totally right that no one will bale my little acreage for me. When I buy hay, I either find mixed grass that always has crap in it, or a nice timothy orchard mix that is probably too rich for pony man and I am soaking and praying he still does not get too much sugar. The idea of having some mixed grass hay that I KNOW what is in it, which this yr would be mainly fescue and a tiny amount of timothy and orchard, with no weeds or junk in the hay, plus soaking it to remove the remaining sugars makes my control freak virgo ocd mind happy.

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No one would bale this tiny area. Even if I did my whole yard, which dh would go insane not being able to mow it lol… I want one of those tiny round balers but that is just NOT in my budget right now. Booooooo

Ewwwwww hay rash down there!!! The dust…the irritants…omg no orgasm is worth that to me lmao!!! I needed the laugh from that visual this morning though so ty!!! I really have nowhere to securely store loose hay. Even tying it up in loose ‘bales’ would work easier for me. I weigh his hay so flakes get pulled apart alllll the time anyways to get the correct weight on the fish scale. I may skip the box baler and see how it goes with rough tying it up!!!

Maybe? I also wondered if I could find a way to redo my tow behind dethatcher so the tines part is on an angle kinda like a wheel rake…hmm fun stuff to google later on today!!!

We have so many tools and gizmos and gadgets galore…you want thingamabobs…I got way over 20!! …But who cares…no big deal…I waannt more!!! Lol sorry Little mermaid reference, had to!

9 pounds of hay per day for a 600 pound pony is 1.5% of body weight. As a nutritionist, that is the bare minimum forage intake I am comfortable recommending, and I will only resort to that with extremely obese, actively or chronically laminitic animals. Most horses should eat 2-2.5% of body weight per day, which would be 12-15 pounds of hay per day for a 600 pound pony. Just an FYI.

That’s also assuming you have an accurate weight on both your pony and your hay. You very well might, but my experience has been that most people significantly underestimate what their horses weigh and overestimate the weight of the hay they are feeding. Not picking on you at all, this is just something I deal with on a nearly daily basis.


No that’s fine I appreciate it! I do weigh his hay in a Haynet, with a fish scale that I make sure is tared out properly before I use it every single time. I also figure in the weight of the hay net itself. During the summer he is out on the two other pastures and has to be in a muzzle he gets chunky as it is he probably weighs closer to 650 or so during the summer. He is getting mashes in the morning and evening right now to help with hydration hopefully by the summer that can go away though. Then he would just get a ration balancer with his supplements which is gut medicine pellets.

Eta: He also gets electrolytes, has a salt mineral block and a himalayan salt on a rope thing to lick on if he wants to. I try to give him every option for salt and he has water in his stall, drylot, and field to pick from for drinking options. He just thinks he can osmose water from the fog or rain half the time lol.

This pony cannot be worked other that limited ground work. Not trying to derail about my random idea but he is basically a lifetime pasture pet due to physical issues. If I fed him 2% in the winter he probably would not clean it up. As it is he still ignores his hay for the somewhat dormant fields right now, in the stall overnight he does not clean up 4lbs in the net or left loose over an 8 hr or so period. In the summer he would be cresty and his sheath would and has swelled from his weight which causes more issues with him due to his bodily limitations in life :/.

I say go for it! If it is a positive experience for you that is all that really matters.


HaHa you sound like me when I was a kid. One summer my family made a trip to Iowa to visit my grandparents. They had a farm and raised cows, pigs and alfalfa. I went out into the alfalfa fields with my scissors and cut off the tops of the alfalfa plants. Then I took it to my grandmother’s kitchen, spread the cuttings on a cookie sheet and baked the stuff on low heat. It was AWESOME hay. I got a whole paper bag full of the stuff after several trips out into the fields. My cousins thought I was a total idiot. When I got home my horses loved the handfuls of their special treat.

You could always grow the stuff and cut and feed it as a treat. Or maybe buy a machete?

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Would be an insane amount of work given what it would cost to just purchase it. But I totally get your inspiration. There are lots of things I make that I could buy more cheaply-- there’s the value in your satisfaction, and in being physically active to the point of exhaustion (it’s honestly a great feeling, I think. Maybe that’s why I run marathons).
All I’ll say though is that a hedge trimmer on a pole sounds really dangerous. It could easily kickback if you hit something obscured by tall grass. Please please wear tall sturdy workboots!

If you’re willing to take a bit of a flyer on buying direct from China, there’s a selection of mini balers in the 800-1500 price range. My dad bought an electric tractor off alibaba, and while it took a couple months for it to arrive by boat, the transaction went smoothly.

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Get a scythe, that’s what they’re intended for and once you get used to the feel of it it’s not terrible work, especially for an acre. Could just stack it or build a little bale compressor. Method/plans are all online. Homesteader types do this kind of thing. The ranches I’ve been on usually had an old scythe in the barn somewhere that they used to cut back weeds or grass in small areas.


The thing is, besides a $500 or so estate rake, which I may or may not buy since I have a groundskeeper II rake which would work well, and the ryobi pole hedge trimmer that is about $150, and I can use that for trimming the grass and weeds along my creek edge so I will be buying that either way, I am really only out under a grand.

I have tons of batteries and chargers. I have the grass sweeper and tow behind dethatcher that I could reweld it to go diagonal along the ground. I have the welder and weld hood, dh can get welding rods for free at work. We have the wood, screws, bolts, nails drills and saws at the house already. I even have grass seed in my building and fertilizer either in compost form or I have a bag of 19 19 19 from last yr I never used as well. I even have tons and tons of old baling twine I can reuse as well.

If I hit a step in post, I deserve the ouchy lol!!! Field is clear otherwise :).

I grow Teff in the summer just to try to add variety to my fields. My daughter and I grew strawberry plants last yr, and we couldn’t pick them fast enough. It was polar vortex what 2 weeks ago, it is now back in the 60s and 72 here yesterday…they are turning green again already!!

I want to do everything as cheap yet safe as possible and I love doing the honestead pick n grow thing. This summer I want to grow deck long planters of alfalfa as treats to go with the not good enough for ppl apples that grow in the little orchard we have! :grin: