Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Magical 'Hay Tree'

The Magical ‘Hay Tree’

We’ve recently purchased our hay for the winter months ahead.  This particular batch of second cutting timothy hay is some of the best hay I have ever seen but it was also very expensive.  During the winter when the pasture grass is dead, we normally put hay in the hayracks and throw flakes in different locations for grazing.  Our horses have figured out how to drag it through the paddocks and they waste quite a bit.  This year in order not to waste this expensive hay we needed to come up with a better way to distribute the hay during the winter months and I'm happy to report that we found a solution.
My daughter had the brilliant idea to make a’ hay tree’.  I’ve included some pictures below so you can get a look at it. So far, it has been working out very well, there is minimal waste and the hoovers of the herd have to slow down their eating.  It also keeps them busy and they are less bored and less likely to decorate the paddock with the hay their discerning palettes reject. In addition, I don’t think it looks bad at all.                                




If you would like to erect your own, ‘Magical Hay Tree’ here is how we did it:
We purchased a 6x6 – 12 ft. pressure treated pole and two 1x8x8 pine boards and two 1x6x8 pine boards. The pole needs to be this length so no one will be able to run over it and skewer themselves.  Dig a 4 ft. hole and insert the pole, fill in the dirt around it and make sure it’s straight, (I’d use a level). Then put the pine boards on the pressure treated pole, we used crown molding and a cap to displace any water from rain or snow, so it won’t go in between the pine boards and the pressure treated pole.  Next, we stained it white with an acrylic stain. Any color stain will do but we used white to match our fences and make it highly visible to the horses.  Acrylic stain is also not poisonous in case anyone decides to chomp on it, one of the reasons we also covered the pressure treated wood with pine boards.  Next, we added 8 mounting plates with rings on each hay tree; we bought these from Big D’s. I’m sure many tack shops sell them also. We used galvanized screws so they woudn’t rust (brass screws are also good) and I think they are recommended for pressure treated wood.  Our hay nets are the small hole type, it takes a longer time to finish off the hay with these nets and it keeps the waste down. 
Until next time
Quote for Today
Ask not what your horse can do for you - Ask what you can do for your horse.

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