You wanna know what’s better than a homemade hay feeder?
A homemade hay feeder made COMPLETELY from re-purposed, free, materials!
Yep, that’s right. We used an old baby’s crib to make a homemade hay feeder.
Here on our farm lives a guy who’s passionate about re-purposing everything. And yes, he drives me crazy.
But there are times I’m really grateful for his ingenuity and desire to use what we have to make what we need.
Goats, Sheep, Llamas, Alpacas, Horses, & Cows
When you have an animal that eats primarily grasses, a hay feeder is a must. Unfortunately, most hay feeders will cost you anywhere from $50-$100. That’s why we went with a homemade hay feeder.
We’ve found that this style of DIY hay feeder has wide enough spaces between the slats to work for any animal whether it’s a goat, sheep, llama, alpaca, horse, or cow.
So how exactly do you convert a crib into a DIY Hay Feeder?
Here’s what Kevin (master builder here on our farm) says:
Since all cribs are so drastically different in their designs, there is not a real “How to do it” per say. Basically you first want to make the base fixed and permanent. Most cribs have the bottom raise and lower. We want to stop that. Use some 2 inch screws, and screw into the base (or the rails that hold the base) to make it fixed.
The other thing that you need to do is to put the sides at an angle as you see in the picture. Unscrew them or unbolt them from their original places. Use 2 inch screws to screw them at an angle to the frame of the crib. Basically, you want both sides at an angle so they can eat the hay. If you’ve got the base fixed tight, they can eat the hay that drops on there. After that, you should be set and ready to use your homemade hay feeder.
Sustainable & Purposeful
A huge part of how we live is to reduce our carbon footprint, but more importantly, keep things budget-friendly here on the farm. Whether it’s a crib or not, try your best to think creatively when it comes to new farm projects. You’ll be surprised at what you can utilize to make useful.
Just found your blog and I like it!!
I am caretaker/shepherdess to about 40 sheep that belong to a friend. Her and I had talked about using cribs to make hay feeders as these little darlings are such wasters if fed on the ground! We picked up 2 cribs and my hubby and I made them into feeders, I highly suggest Ikea cribs as it only takes a few minutes to convert!
We also picked up an old futon frame and converted that to a feeder (no bottom, maybe next year) for the rams. So far so good. I’ll keep fiddling with them until they can withstand their abuse! lol
Thank you so much for the blog. Keep up the good work!
Samantha, Alberta Canada
Kati Urbanek says
I just wanted to say I love your blog. I think we must be kindred spirits, because I too love my simple life full of wholesome food and cute animals 🙂 I love this idea! I might just have to do that, but I’m trying to decide between chaffhaye and alfalfa for the winter (we just pasture over the summer, much to my girls’ chagrin). We are up in Wyoming and I have access to lots of good, fairly cheap alfalfa, because this is horse country ’round here. But my girls are so wasteful, I’ve been thinking of switching to chaffhaye. I saw on another post that you love it. Pros? Cons? And I’m guessing that since it’s chopped up this kind of feeder wouldn’t work, so what do you use for you chaffhaye feeder as well? Thanks in advance 🙂
(farm expert) Bobbi Luttjohann says
Sounds like you live in some amazing country!
Chaffhaye is some good stuff. On their website you can see the pros: https://chaffhaye.com/
And what they claim is true about their product. The only real con I can see is that if you have access to super low priced alfalfa, that’s good quality, then the Chaffhaye may be a lot more expensive. However, if the alfalfa is wasted and the Chaffhaye isn’t, then maybe the cost is lower. So compare costs, see if it is worth it and go with what works for you. To feed Chaffhaye you can just put it in a feed bowl, trough, clip-on fence feeder, or whatever you have. Just don’t feed straight on the ground and you will be fine. I hope this helps! Thanks for reading and posting! Happy Goating! -Bobbi
Hi Danelle.. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, since I got my own dairy goat actually! My husband and I made our own little farm on one acre as well.
I wanted to ask you a few questions and was searching your site to find a link to email you, and can’t seem to locate one. Any chance you could give me an email address to shoot a few questions to? I’m sure you get a ton of emails but I’d really appreciate it. Thanks so much
DaNelle Wolford says
Sure! [email protected]
Did they break it yet? It looks great but hard to believe my goats wouldnt crush it. How is it holding up?
DaNelle Wolford says
I recently visited with a nearby goat breeder who did something very similar with an old metal futon. It hinged in the middle to either fold into a couch or lay flat like a bed. He has just built ends out of cattle panel. I’ve got my eye out for one around here.
Renee Malchert says
What a simple and great idea! I love it! Perfect timing, too. I need to build another feeder (multiplying goats!) and will look around for a cheap/free crib right away. Thank you!
I have to laugh… I repurposed an old bunk bed to make a hay feeder!