Grain & Hay

Feeding & Storage

Barn Hacks
Open-Top Round Bale Feeder - Extend Hay Life

We just recently got the Tarter Equine Pro Feeder with Hay Saver (Horse Bale Feeder) from R&D Cross with the goal of extending the life of our round bales through less wasted hay. Especially with going into winter where there is less grass to consume, the horses usually consume a given round bale a day or more earlier with the change in their grazing routine. Having some protection for the round bale that at least ensures that they do not stomp all of the dropped hay into the ground (which Mocha loves to do as she now has a lovely bed of hay she likes to sleep on in that area) should help with this dilemma. However, this section will require updating after a bit of time in an official review. We also were only looking for open-top bale feeders so that no horse can get their head caught while eating if a more dominant horse comes by.

Grain Scale - Effective Equine Nutrition

Feeding based on weight and not by scoop measurements is a critical factor in horse care that is often overlooked due to a lack of effort. This is not any kind of an attack towards people who are feeding by scoop measurements (I used to do the same based on the grain amount recommendations for different horse types). Having switched to ADM Horse Grain and taking more care to measure out grain consumption by body weight, I have noticed a drastic improvement in the quality of my horses' energy and moods. And finding a scale is not at all difficult, as I purchased two relatively cheap food scales off of Amazon in which I keep one in the barn and one at home. The scales have been working perfectly without a battery replacement for over a year so far and allow for proper zeroing-out of the feed scoop so that I may accurately measure the weight of the actual grain amount. After doing multiple conversions to get from pounds to ounces, my feeding system has never been more consistent nor effective!

Metal Trash Cans - Grain Storage

While on the topic of grain, metal trash cans are my personal recommendation for grain storage. Not only do they stay nice and clean with every use, but they also provide a strong barrier that critters cannot get into. And when the occasional critter does come and manages to figure out how to pop off one of the lids, I either put a cinderblock on top or use a bungee cord to secure the lid to the side handles. As for distinguishing which can is which, I prefer the larger cans for my base grain and the smaller cans for my supplemental grain. On top of can size, I also use duck tape with sharpie to clearly identify to additional handlers which grain is which to prevent confusion and mixups.

Cheap Plastic Shed - Grain Delivery System

As for restocking grain, my local feed store delivers grain due to conflicting hours and unloads all contents into my pop-up, plastic shed that I purchased just for this reason. Instead of having the delivery people deal with bringing the grain to the barn and risk the horses getting out (the barn is in the pasture), this shed stands outside the gate and has been a fantastic investment that is simple, straight-forward, and protective of my delivery until I arrive and restock my feed cans.

Heavy-Duty Pop-Up Outdoor Carport Storage Shelter with Installed House Vents - Small Storage System for Round Bales

Getting a round bale every week for the herd can get a little taxing on my supplier delivering the rounds. Having been looking into a solution for proper storage for a while now and reading tons of reviews, I finally made a decision to try out one of the pop-up carport sheds. I purchased a 7x12 ft one for approximately $200, as well as purchased a pair of basic house vents to be secured with Gorilla Glue to prevent condensation. Assembling the shed would've been much easier with a second hand but was doable by myself and a mounting block (the cover was the hardest part). After the shed was assembled, I made sure to carefully measure and cut out a section for the vents in the front and back of the shed (making sure to start with too-small a hole and slowly widening it as necessary). Once I was satisfied with the vent sitting comfortably inside the hole (it had the popped-out back portion of the vent that it could rest on - was not completely flat), then I applied Gorilla Glue around all inside edges of the vent before popping it back into the hole. Using a PVC pipe to lean against the vent and apply pressure for stabilizing, I applied more Gorilla Glue along the edges of the vent both on the front and back and left it for several hours under pressure. So far, so good! I am satisfied with my round bale storage system to protect against the weather elements (not forgetting the wood pallets to keep off the ground). I also added a slight ramp to my front pallet to make storaging onto the pallet much easier as it is being done by hand.

Horse Treat Containers - Used Food & Supplement Containers

I have so many used food and supplement containers, whether that's from empty protein powder jugs or empty pretzel containers or even empty horse supplement containers. Many of them are solid pieces and where I can, I try to use them for bulk storage. This works perfectly for storing horse treats, with a separate container kept in each of the horses' tack trunks. I even store pasta and rice in empty containers at home.

Summertime Treats - Frozen Apples & Carrots

A fantastic treat to provide horses in the summer heat is a horse popsicle, with freezing a bowl filled with water, apple slices, and carrots. As the ice treat melts, both from the heat and from the horses licking them (also getting more water into them in hydration), the delicious treats slowly become available. The horses love these and will stand there for a while trying to wear the ice block down. Definitely recommend!