How to Make a Square Bale Feeder for Horses


Mimicking a horses natural eating position promotes sound digestion and vigorous health. Square bale feeders allow horses to maintain a natural downward head position while eating. Not only is a square bale feeder good for the horse, it is also easy on the pocketbook. The design of a square bale feeder keeps hay from falling to waste, which in turn saves on feeding cost. An added value to using square bale feeders is that horses will stay busy for hours, which helps alleviate the development of bad behavior. Making a square bale feeder is not an onerous or expensive task and is one that can be done without any prior carpentry skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheet of 3/4-inch plywood
  • Sawhorses
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Pencil
  • 2-by-4 inch treated lumber
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch nails
  • Finishing nails
  • Metal grate with 2-inch holes
  • Square hay bale
  • Place the sheet of plywood across two sawhorses to prepare for cutting. Cut two 40-by-18 inch pieces of the plywood. These are the long sides of the feeder. Cut two 22-by-18 inch pieces for the short sides of the feeder. Cut a bottom for the feeder measuring 40-by-22 inches. Label each piece, then set it aside for future use.

  • Cut four pieces of 2-by-4 inch treated lumber to use to create a base for the feeder. Cut two long sides measuring 40 inches long, and two short sides measuring 20 inches long.

  • Place the two longer 2-by-4 inch lumber parallel to each other. Arrange the shorter pieces in between the longer ones to form a rectangle. Nail the rectangle together at all four corners. This is the base for the hay feeder.

  • Place the sheet of plywood labeled bottom on top of the base. Nail the bottom to the base at 4 inch intervals around the piece of plywood.

  • Place one of the long sides against the base of the feeder, in line with the bottom piece. Attach the side to the feeder by nailing at an angle into the 2-by-4 lumber every 4 inches. Repeat with each side around. Nail the corners of the side pieces together using finishing nails.

  • Cut the metal grate to measure 38-by-20 inches. Place a square bale into the feeder. Place the grate on top of the bale. As the horse eats the hay, the grate will slide down, encouraging the horse to eat the hay slowly. Place the feeder in desired location.

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