How To Make A Wooden Hay Feeder For Horses?

A wooden hay feeder for horses is a practical and cost-effective solution to keep your equine companions well-fed and happy. By crafting a hay feeder from wood, you can ensure that your horses have easy access to their feed while minimizing waste and mess. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of building a sturdy and durable wooden hay feeder that will not only save you time and money but also contribute to the overall well-being of your horses. Let’s get started on this DIY project!

how to make a wooden hay feeder for horses

Step-by-step guide to building a wooden hay feeder for horses

Building a wooden hay feeder for horses can be a practical and cost-effective solution for ensuring that your equine friends have access to clean and fresh hay. In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process to construct a sturdy and functional hay feeder.

Materials you will need:

  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Plywood
  • Wood screws
  • Hinges
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety goggles
  • Paint or sealant (optional)

Step 1: Measure and cut the lumber

Start by measuring the desired size of your hay feeder. Keep in mind the number of horses you plan to feed and the amount of hay they consume. Once you have determined the dimensions, use a saw to cut the pressure-treated lumber pieces accordingly. You will need four vertical posts for the corners and several horizontal pieces to create the frame and dividers.

Step 2: Assemble the frame

Take the four vertical posts and arrange them in a rectangular shape, ensuring that the edges align properly. Use wood screws to secure the corners and create a sturdy frame. Next, attach the horizontal pieces to create dividers within the frame. This will prevent the hay from falling out from all sides.

Step 3: Add the plywood base

Measure the dimensions of the bottom of the frame and cut a piece of plywood to fit. Attach the plywood base using wood screws, making sure it is securely fastened to the frame. This will provide stability and prevent the hay from falling through the bottom.

Step 4: Install the roof

If you want to protect the hay from rain or excessive sunlight, you can add a roof to your feeder. Cut a piece of plywood to match the dimensions of the top of the frame. Attach the hinges to one side of the plywood and affix it to the top of the frame. This will allow you to open and close the roof for easy access to refill the hay.

Step 5: Optional finishing touches

If desired, you can paint or seal the wooden hay feeder to protect it from weather elements and give it a polished look. Make sure to use non-toxic paint or sealant to ensure the safety of your horses. Allow the paint or sealant to dry completely before introducing the feeder to your horse’s environment.

Step 6: Test and secure the feeder

Before placing hay in the feeder, give it a thorough inspection to ensure that all screws are tightly secured and there are no sharp edges or splinters. Once you are satisfied with the construction, securely place the feeder in a suitable location where horses can access it easily. Avoid positioning it near fences or other structures that may pose a hazard.


By following this step-by-step guide, you can construct a wooden hay feeder for your horses, providing them with a convenient and clean source of hay. Remember to prioritize safety and durability when choosing materials and assembling the feeder. Regularly inspect and maintain the feeder to ensure its longevity and the well-being of your horses.

Tips for Ensuring the Safety and Durability of Your Homemade Hay Feeder

Homemade hay feeders are a cost-effective solution for providing hay to your animals. However, it’s important to ensure that your feeder is safe and durable to prevent any accidents or damage. Here are some tips to help you create a sturdy and secure hay feeder:

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1. Choose the Right Materials

When building your homemade hay feeder, opt for materials that are strong, durable, and non-toxic. Avoid using materials that may splinter or break easily, such as untreated wood or plastic. Instead, consider using galvanized steel or pressure-treated lumber, which are more resistant to wear and tear.

2. Install Proper Bracing

To ensure the stability of your hay feeder, it’s important to install proper bracing. Use diagonal supports or cross braces to reinforce the structure and prevent it from tipping over. This will not only protect your animals from potential injuries but also extend the lifespan of your feeder.

3. Secure All Joints and Connections

Make sure that all joints and connections in your hay feeder are securely fastened. Use screws, bolts, or nails that are appropriate for the materials you are working with. Regularly check the feeder for any loose or damaged parts and immediately repair or replace them to maintain its integrity.

4. Consider Adding a Roof or Cover

If your animals will be using the hay feeder outdoors, consider adding a roof or cover to protect the hay from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. This will prevent the hay from getting wet or moldy, ensuring that your animals have a constant supply of fresh and nutritious feed.

5. Provide Proper Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is essential to prevent the buildup of moisture and the growth of mold or bacteria in the hay. Leave enough space between the slats or openings in the feeder to allow for air circulation. This will help maintain the quality of the hay and reduce the risk of respiratory issues in your animals.

6. Regularly Clean and Maintain

To keep your homemade hay feeder in optimal condition, it’s important to clean and maintain it regularly. Remove any leftover hay or debris, and disinfect the feeder periodically to prevent the spread of diseases. Inspect the feeder for any signs of wear or damage and address them promptly to ensure its longevity.

7. Monitor Animal Behavior

Observe your animals while they are using the hay feeder to ensure that it is safe and suitable for their needs. Watch for any signs of discomfort, aggression, or accidents that may indicate a problem with the feeder. Make necessary adjustments or modifications based on their behavior to ensure their safety and well-being.

By following these tips, you can create a homemade hay feeder that is both safe and durable. Remember to prioritize the well-being of your animals and regularly assess the condition of the feeder to ensure its effectiveness. With proper maintenance and attention, your homemade hay feeder will serve its purpose for years to come.

Alternative Designs for Wooden Hay Feeders

Wooden hay feeders are an essential component of any livestock or horse stable setup. They provide a controlled and efficient way to feed hay to animals, reducing waste and promoting a healthy feeding routine. While traditional hay feeders serve their purpose well, there are several alternative designs that offer different benefits and functionalities. In this section, we will explore some of these alternative designs and their advantages.

1. Slow Feed Hay Feeders

Slow feed hay feeders are specifically designed to regulate the rate at which animals consume hay, mimicking the natural grazing behavior. These feeders typically have smaller openings or mesh grids that force the animals to take smaller bites and slow down their feeding pace. This design helps to prevent hay waste, reduce the risk of digestive issues, and promote a more natural feeding rhythm.

Additionally, slow feed hay feeders are beneficial for horses or livestock on restricted diets or prone to overeating. By slowing down the hay consumption, these feeders can aid in weight management and prevent obesity-related health problems.

2. Elevated Hay Feeders

Elevated hay feeders are designed to keep the hay off the ground, preventing contamination and reducing the risk of ingestion of dirt, debris, or parasites. These feeders typically have a raised platform or a grid system that allows the hay to be placed at a convenient height for animals to access easily.

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This design not only helps to maintain the cleanliness of the hay but also promotes better posture and digestion for the animals. By raising the hay to a more natural feeding level, elevated hay feeders can reduce the strain on the animal’s neck and back, preventing any discomfort or potential injuries.

3. Portable Hay Feeders

For those who require flexibility and mobility, portable hay feeders are an excellent alternative. These feeders are designed to be easily moved from one location to another, allowing for efficient feeding in different areas of the stable or pasture.

Portable hay feeders often feature wheels or handles for easy transportation. They are particularly useful for rotational grazing systems or when animals need to be temporarily confined to specific areas. Additionally, the portability of these feeders makes cleaning and maintenance much more manageable.

4. Multi-Compartment Hay Feeders

Multi-compartment hay feeders are an innovative design that allows for the separation of different types of hay or the portioning of hay for multiple animals. These feeders typically have dividers or compartments that enable the simultaneous feeding of animals while preventing hay wastage and competition for resources.

This design is particularly useful when feeding animals with different dietary needs, such as horses with specific dietary restrictions or livestock with varying nutritional requirements. Multi-compartment hay feeders promote efficient feeding and ensure that each animal receives the appropriate amount and type of hay.

5. Covered Hay Feeders

When it comes to protecting hay from the elements and reducing spoilage, covered hay feeders are a valuable alternative. These feeders feature a roof or cover that shields the hay from rain, snow, or excessive sunlight, prolonging its freshness and nutritional value.

Covered hay feeders are especially beneficial in areas with unpredictable weather conditions or when storing hay outdoors. By keeping the hay dry and protected, these feeders minimize waste and ensure that animals have access to good-quality hay at all times.

These are just a few alternative designs for wooden hay feeders that offer specific benefits and functionalities. Depending on your specific needs and the requirements of your animals, choosing the right design can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of hay feeding.

Benefits of Using a Wooden Hay Feeder for Your Horses

Horses are beautiful and majestic creatures that require proper care and attention. One important aspect of horse care is providing them with a suitable feeder for their hay. While there are various types of hay feeders available on the market, using a wooden hay feeder offers several benefits for your horses. In this section, we will explore the advantages of using a wooden hay feeder and how it can positively impact your horse’s well-being.

1. Durability and Longevity

Wooden hay feeders are known for their durability and longevity. They are typically made from high-quality hardwood, such as oak or pine, which can withstand the weight and movement of horses. Unlike plastic feeders, wooden hay feeders do not easily crack or break, ensuring that they will last for a long time. This means that you won’t have to constantly replace or repair the feeder, saving you both time and money in the long run.

2. Natural Material

Using a wooden hay feeder is a great choice for horse owners who prioritize natural and eco-friendly products. Wood is a renewable resource and does not contribute to plastic waste. By opting for a wooden hay feeder, you are choosing a natural material that blends seamlessly with the environment. It also provides a more aesthetically pleasing appearance compared to plastic or metal feeders, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your horse’s feeding area.

3. Reduced Hay Wastage

A well-designed wooden hay feeder can significantly reduce hay wastage. The feeder’s construction ensures that the horses have easy access to the hay while minimizing the amount of hay they trample or scatter on the ground. This means that your horses will consume more of the hay provided, resulting in less waste and overall cost savings for you. Additionally, a wooden hay feeder can also help prevent the hay from getting soiled or contaminated by dirt, manure, or urine.

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4. Chew-Proof and Safe

Horses have a natural inclination to chew, and some may exhibit destructive behavior when bored. Wooden hay feeders are typically designed to be chew-proof, minimizing the risk of horses damaging or ingesting parts of the feeder. Compared to metal or plastic feeders, wood is less likely to cause dental injuries or pose a choking hazard if accidentally chewed. This makes wooden hay feeders a safer option for your horses, reducing the chances of any harm or injury.

5. Easy Maintenance

Another advantage of using a wooden hay feeder is its ease of maintenance. Wood is relatively easy to clean and sanitize compared to other materials. Regular cleaning ensures that the feeder remains hygienic, reducing the risk of mold, bacteria, or parasites affecting your horse’s health. Furthermore, minor repairs or touch-ups can be easily done with basic woodworking skills and common tools, making it convenient for horse owners to keep the feeder in good condition.


Investing in a wooden hay feeder for your horses offers numerous benefits. From its durability and natural material to reduced hay wastage and increased safety, a wooden hay feeder is a practical and reliable choice for horse owners. Additionally, its easy maintenance and aesthetic appeal make it a worthwhile investment in the long run. By providing your horses with a high-quality wooden hay feeder, you are ensuring their well-being and maximizing their enjoyment during feeding time.


1. How do I make a wooden hay feeder for horses?

To make a wooden hay feeder for horses, you will need to gather materials such as lumber, screws, and a saw. Cut the lumber to the desired size and assemble it into a box shape. Attach a solid bottom and a hinged top for easy access to the hay. Install hooks or brackets to secure the feeder to a wall or fence.

2. What are the benefits of using a wooden hay feeder for horses?

A wooden hay feeder for horses helps to prevent hay wastage, keeps the hay off the ground, and reduces the risk of ingestion of dirt or sand. It also helps to promote a more natural feeding posture for horses and can reduce the likelihood of respiratory issues caused by dust.

3. How can I maintain a wooden hay feeder for horses?

To maintain a wooden hay feeder for horses, regularly clean out any leftover hay to prevent rotting and mold growth. Inspect the feeder for any signs of damage and repair or replace any broken or weakened parts. Applying a protective coating, such as paint or sealant, can also help to prolong the lifespan of the feeder.


In conclusion, learning how to make a wooden hay feeder for horses is a valuable skill for any horse owner or enthusiast. By building your own feeder, you not only save money but also ensure the well-being of your horses by providing them with a sturdy and safe feeding solution. Additionally, a homemade wooden hay feeder allows you to customize its size and design to suit your specific needs and the number of horses you own. Embracing DIY projects like this can foster a deeper connection with your horses and showcase your commitment to their care and comfort.

So, gather your tools, choose the right materials, and follow the step-by-step instructions to create a durable and functional wooden hay feeder. Your horses will thank you for it!