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Metal Hay Feeders: The 2022 Guide

With all the different horse feeding options in the market, it’s difficult to decide on which product will best work on your farm for your livestock. There are horse hay nets, ground-feeding (and the controversy of whether this is a form of hay waste), slow feeding, hay racks, and more. The question is which method will work best for your horse?

Among the different feeding methods, there are also different materials used for the feeders such as metal, plastic, etc. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about metal hay feeders for horses, including some horse-feeder-related questions. We’ll also discuss several different types of metal hay feeders, including slow feeders, bale rings, and more. Let’s start with a couple of questions.

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How Tall Should A Horse Feeder Be?

This depends on what you mean by a horse feeder. Horse hay feeders range from a hay net or hay rack to bale rings or slow feeders.

When discussing hay nets, 4 ½’-5’ should be the range for how high to place a hay net. You don’t want the net too high or too low. If the hay net is too low, there is always the risk of your horse getting its leg caught in the hay net. This is where it can become extremely dangerous for your horse, hence the raised hay net.

However, on the other hand, it’s probably not the best idea to have the hay net drastically higher than 4 ½’-5’ because this can change your horse’s eating posture. Although this may not be very unhealthy for your horse, it is at minimum, an unnatural eating posture for your horse to be straining its head to eat grain.

When talking about how high to place a hay rack, it would probably fall under the same height category as a hay net.

Using a metal horse feeder or ground feeding is probably the best solution for your horse’s posture because horses naturally graze with their heads lowered. Having their heads lowered also helps protect your horses from respiratory illnesses.

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Photo Credit: William Wendling on Unsplash

How Do You Make A Horse Feeder?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of horse feeder you want to create. A horse feeder can be as simple as having cutouts in a trash can and placing hay inside the trash can.

One way to make a simple, durable horse feeder is to create a wooden corner feeder. Pet Keen says that this can be done by using the corner of your horse stall. All you need to do is measure some 2x4s, which you will then screw into the walls to form a corner triangle. Then fill up that corner box with hay.

Another way to build a horse feeder, that Pet Keen suggests, is to just create a box out of scrap pieces of wood and fill it up with hay. All you would need is a couple of hours and some basic tools; soon, you’d have your own homemade wooden horse feeder.

A more durable DIY horse feeder is to construct a metal horse feeder. Of course, this would take time and require welding experience but, if you’re a guru for welding, this is a way to create a durable and quality horse feeder. If you have some basic welding experience, building a metal horse feeder probably wouldn’t be too difficult; however, if you do not have welding experience and still want to DIY a horse feeder made out of metal, check out this video to learn more!

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How Much Does A Metal Horse Feeder Cost?

A metal horse feeder can vary in cost due to size, style, shipping, and other factors. However, we’ll give a couple of price estimates for some of Farmco’s metal hay feeders for horses, which will hopefully give you an idea for how much to pay for a metal horse feeder. Our metal horse feeders starting costs start roughly between $1,000-$5,000. Here’s a quick table of some of our metal hay feeders for horses and their approximate starting costs.

StylePrice
Small Animal Feeder$900
12-Horse Covered Hay Feeder$4,000
Slow-Feed Covered Hay Feeder$4,600

If you would like to browse more of our metal horse feeders and their prices, feel free to view our Horse Feeders page.

Different Metal Hay Feeder Styles

There are plenty of different types of metal hay feeders including bale rings, slow feeders, and more. Here are a couple of different types of horse feeders that are made from metal.

Square Bale Feeder

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The square bale feeder is an affordable feeder style that allows you to efficiently feed your horse’s square bales of hay. We offer square bale feeders that also come with a bunk-style grain pan underneath. This not only allows for grain to be placed underneath the square bales of hay, but the grain pan also catches any hay that may have fallen from the metal hay rack above. This results in less wasted hay, which saves you money.

Bale Ring

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The bale ring may well be the most common horse bale feeder design in existence. It’s difficult to think of a simpler round bale feeder for horses in the pasture. This is a classic horse feeder design that will allow for several of your horses to eat simultaneously.

12-Horse Covered Hay Feeders

As their name implies, covered metal hay feeders provide additional overhead cover so that the hay does not get wet and hay waste is kept at a minimum. Keeping large bales of hay dry is essential. If a large bale gets wet, there’s the potential for dangerous mold growth. As a horse lover, that’s not a health risk that you want to take with your horses.

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For example, we offer a 12-Horse Covered Metal Hay feeder. With hay protection in mind, we build our covered metal horse feeders with a 29-gauge galvanized steel roof that includes overhangs to keep everything nice and dry.

“Slow-Feed” Covered Hay Feeder

Slow feeding is the healthiest way to feed hay to your horses. By recreating natural grazing habits, slow feeding provides a steady stream of fibrous nutrition, critical for maintaining the health of equine digestive tracts. Plus, the right metal slow hay feeder for horses can reduce feed costs drastically by cutting hay waste to almost zero.

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Farmco provides metal slow hay feeders for horses that can handle groups of up to 8-10 horses. These slow hay feeders allow the feeding of entire large round and large square bales, drastically reducing labor. Our slow hay feeders utilize a creative net panel design to make the transition from loading to feeding as simple as possible – once the bale is loaded, the panels lay down against it so your horses can begin their meal. These net panels are designed to reduce hay consumption and promote horse health. If you’re interested, you can read more about horse slow feeders in this article.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more, you can check out our horse feeder page to see our many different sizes and styles of metal hay feeders!

In Conclusion

We understand that as a farmer, you want a good return on your investment. A metal hay feeder for your horse does just that. Whether you purchase an economical square bale feeder or a covered metal hay feeder, you’re sure to receive a great return on your investment. If you have any questions or concerns, just contact us! We’d be happy to answer any of your questions! As a side note, we also have a great article on bunk feeders for cattle. We also have a dealer network all across the United States; so, if you find yourself near a Farmco dealer, feel free to stop by!