Hay Covers

Product Reviews
Buckwild Innovations Hay Ring Cover (I have the 9 Ring)

My beloved horses, for as spoiled as they are, would typically spoil at least two round bales annually during heavy rainfall as they would not eat it and let it go bad. Multiple brainstorming projects arose due to them wasting several round bales a year, including keeping a tarp over the top to building a roof structure to purchasing a hay hut. The tarp wasn't ideal as it sat directly on top of the bale (when it wasn't blown off by the wind to a side of the bale). Building a permanent structure to set up a roof also wasn't ideal with my current system of putting the round bale out with the tractor, requiring me to drive over the platform with the tractor. Plus rising lumber prices wasn't ideal either.

And while I was looking at Hay Huts, I wasn't crazy about them for their limited visibility to the horses who are eating. I was worried that a more dominant horse would show up in a blind spot and there would be injuries when the less dominant horse either blatantly wouldn't see them and potentially get bit or kicked, as well as most likely bang their head against the feeder opening while trying to jump away. Not to mention that if the round bale is laid on its side as I usually do, then only two of the four feeder windows would realistically be accessible. While they don't look like bad products, I didn't really want one if there were better options. I also really liked my hay ring, which a hay hut would make it obsolete.

I finally hit a breakthrough in my investigation when I found the Buckwild Innovation hay ring covers which looked perfect to suit my needs. Not only would I be able to continue using my hay ring, but the ring cover would also allow for more visibility to my horses while still protecting the round bale from significant amounts of rain or snow. On top of that, the ring cover has a thick rubber top that does move if a horse were to lift its head, meaning that as long as they miss the metal supports holding it up, they have a far less risk of banging their heads against the cover. And as a bonus point, the hay ring cover can stay on the hay ring once installed, meaning that I can flip the entire hay ring over on its side and roll it without needing to take off the cover. I was sold on the promises and I am pleased to say that I have been a very happy customer so far (I wish these were more available and marketed like the Hay Huts have been).

Also note financially that while the ring cover did cost a pretty penny of approximately $500 with shipping involved (and note that I have the 9 Ring versus the 6 Ring), even with my already-purchased hay ring (approximately $200-$250), the total is still cheaper than a single Hay Hut at approximately $1,000.

As for the installation, I definitely recommend having a second hand to help (although it is do-able by one person). From my experience, the most difficult part of the installation is the actual rubber roof, as I truly benefited from having a second pair of hands help me get it all of the way on and secured with the center bolt. You will also need a drill with a drill bit for bolting the cover to each of the support beams (although that part was not difficult at all). With my helper, it took me approximately 20-25 minutes to install as a first-time tool, reviewing all of the parts and figuring out how they worked together. If I had to install another one, it would go much quicker now that I understand how it installs.

Hay Hut

Due to supply-chain shortages not having enough rubber getting in to purchase a second hay ring cover (described above), I finally caved in and purchased a hay hut as I wanted to put two round bales in the field at a time. Having had time to properly evaluate how I like the hay hut compared to the ring cover, I am not decided on my product review for the hay huts. In general, they do the job they are supposed to do: protect hay from the elements. The round bales that I place the hay hut over to cover do stay dry and the horses seem to be able to get at the hay reasonably enough.

I was initially worried about the horses getting injured eating out of a hay hut due to the limited visibilty they have when their head is in one of the holes. So far, they have managed to eat responsibly and while there is an occasional close call, they seem to be fast enough to get out of each other's way. It is also important to highlight that there are now two round bales in the field, although the herd of four still tends to stick to one round bale eating as a group the majority of the time.

As for assembling the hay hut, it was not a pleasant task. Due to being two large pieces with hardware and the top handle in a separate bag, I managed to pick up the hay hut in my 2-horse slant load trailer (it fit perfectly). The individual pieces were relatively light enough to be dragged one at a time by myself without help, but the fully assembled hay hut is quite difficult to move around by myself (doable, but not pleasant). Upon assembling the hay hut, the two pieces of hard plastic had a warp to them [assumed from long-term storage] which turned out to be extremely difficult in getting the bolts latched on (longer bolts would have helped very much). I did finally manage to get the hay hut assembled by myself, although a few months in I have noticed that I've already lost a handful of bolts that have come undone. Because of this, I try to check the bolts each time the hay hut needs to be repositioned.

The handle at the top does help some with lifting the hay hut back up from being tipped over for rolling a new round bale over. The handle is just enough to grab and push with until I am able to get my hand around one or both of the eating windows on the side to pull up and push over the round bale. I have also been doing this by myself for the majority of cases, and have found that the round bale needs to be perfectly aligned with the hay hut and you may have to go full-hulk pushing the cover upwards if it still has a warp to the plastic like mine does that gets caught on the top of the round bale (warp towards the inside, because that's my luck). I potentially could use the tractor to help me lift the hay hut over, but I have not gotten to that point yet and I also don't want to damage the plastic as I see used ones listed with cracks online.

In comparison, I do prefer my hay ring cover (described above) over the hay hut handling-wise, but both do the job and extend the life of my hay through the elements.

Product Reviews

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Rider Aids
Bareback Tack
Bitless Bridles
Massage Pad
Hoof Boots
Neck Ropes
Tractor Rear Bale Spear
Hay Covers
Winter Blankets & Storage

More product reviews to come!