DIY Round Bale Feeder for Horses: A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own

Diy round bale feeder for horses diy – Welcome to the world of DIY round bale feeders for horses! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a journey to build a sturdy and cost-effective feeder that will keep your equine friends well-fed. From gathering materials to troubleshooting common issues, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a feeder that meets your specific needs.

Materials: Diy Round Bale Feeder For Horses Diy

To construct a sturdy and practical round bale feeder for your horses, you will need the following materials:

  • Four 6-foot-long, 2-inch-diameter steel pipes
  • One 8-foot-long, 2-inch-diameter steel pipe
  • Two 12-inch-long, 2-inch-diameter steel pipes
  • Six 3-inch-long, 1/2-inch-diameter bolts
  • Six 1/2-inch washers
  • Six 1/2-inch nuts
  • One 18-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick steel plate
  • One 12-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick steel plate
  • One 6-foot-long, 1/2-inch-diameter chain
  • One 1/2-inch clevis
  • One 1/2-inch bolt
  • One 1/2-inch washer
  • One 1/2-inch nut


To construct a DIY round bale feeder for horses, you’ll need a few essential tools. These tools will help you cut, shape, and assemble the feeder efficiently and safely.

Here’s a list of the tools you’ll need:

Power Tools

  • Circular saw or reciprocating saw: For cutting the metal panels and wooden supports.
  • Drill: For drilling holes for bolts and screws.
  • Impact driver (optional): For driving screws quickly and easily.

Hand Tools

  • Measuring tape: For measuring and marking cuts.
  • Level: For ensuring the feeder is level and stable.
  • Hammer: For driving nails.
  • Wrench or socket set: For tightening bolts and nuts.

Safety Gear

  • Safety glasses: To protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Work gloves: To protect your hands from cuts and abrasions.
  • Ear protection: To reduce noise levels while using power tools.

Step-by-Step s

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Constructing a round bale feeder for your horses is a straightforward process that involves the following s:

Before starting, gather all the necessary materials and tools. Ensure you have a level workspace and sufficient space to work comfortably.

1. Preparing the Base

  1. Lay the four 2x4s parallel to each other, with the ends flush.
  2. Measure and mark the center point of each 2×4.
  3. Drill pilot holes at the marked center points.
  4. Secure the 2x4s together using 3-inch screws.

2. Assembling the Frame

  • Attach the 2x6s to the base, perpendicular to the 2x4s, using 3-inch screws.
  • Ensure the 2x6s are evenly spaced and parallel to each other.
  • Attach the 2x4s to the top of the 2x6s, parallel to the base, using 3-inch screws.
  • Secure the corners with angle brackets for added strength.

3. Installing the Center Post

  1. Cut the 4×4 post to the desired height of the feeder.
  2. Drill a pilot hole in the center of the base.
  3. Insert the 4×4 post into the pilot hole and secure it with 3-inch screws.
  4. Reinforce the post with additional screws or bolts if necessary.

4. Attaching the Bale Ring, Diy round bale feeder for horses diy

  • Cut the rebar into four equal lengths.
  • Bend each rebar into a U-shape.
  • Drill pilot holes in the center post at the desired height for the bale ring.
  • Insert the rebar into the pilot holes and secure them with washers and nuts.

5. Finishing Touches

  1. Sand any rough edges or splinters.
  2. Apply a coat of paint or stain to protect the wood from the elements.
  3. Allow the paint or stain to dry completely before using the feeder.

Design Variations

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The basic design of a round bale feeder is simple, but there are a few variations that can be made to suit your specific needs.

One of the most common variations is the size of the feeder. The size of the feeder will depend on the number of horses you have and the size of the bales you use. A feeder that is too small will not hold enough hay, and a feeder that is too large will be difficult to move.


Another variation is the shape of the feeder. The most common shape is a circle, but you can also find feeders that are square or rectangular. The shape of the feeder will depend on the space you have available and the number of horses you have.

Additional Features

There are a few additional features that you can add to your round bale feeder. These features can make the feeder more convenient to use and can help to prevent waste.

  • A hay saver net can be attached to the inside of the feeder to help prevent hay from falling out.
  • A roof can be added to the feeder to protect the hay from the weather.
  • Wheels can be added to the feeder to make it easier to move.

Customization Options

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Personalize your round bale feeder to match your style and needs. Consider the following options to make your feeder unique:

Express your creativity by painting the feeder in vibrant colors or intricate designs. You can also add your brand’s logo or name for a professional touch.

Unique Design Elements

  • Add decorative accents such as rope or metal bands around the feeder’s perimeter.
  • Incorporate unique shapes or cutouts into the feeder’s design to enhance its visual appeal.
  • Create a personalized nameplate or plaque to identify the feeder as yours.

Safety Considerations

Prioritizing safety is crucial when working with tools and materials for this project. It ensures your well-being and prevents accidents during construction.

Before commencing, ensure you have adequate safety gear. This includes wearing protective eyewear, gloves, and sturdy shoes with non-slip soles. Additionally, always operate power tools cautiously, ensuring they are in good working condition and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Handling Materials

  • Round bales can be heavy and cumbersome to handle. Exercise caution when lifting or moving them, using proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury.
  • When working with metal components, be mindful of sharp edges and wear appropriate gloves to prevent cuts or punctures.
  • Dispose of scrap materials and debris promptly to maintain a clean and organized work area, reducing tripping hazards.

Power Tool Safety

  • Always ensure power tools are properly grounded to prevent electrical shock.
  • Inspect power cords regularly for damage, and never operate tools with frayed or damaged cords.
  • Keep work areas well-ventilated when using power tools that generate dust or fumes.
  • Never leave power tools unattended while they are running.

General Precautions

  • Work in a well-lit area with ample space to move around freely.
  • Avoid working alone, especially when handling heavy materials or operating power tools.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially when working in hot or humid conditions.

Cost Analysis

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Building a DIY round bale feeder for horses can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a commercial one. The overall cost will vary depending on the materials used and the size of the feeder. Here’s an estimated cost breakdown:


  • Round bales: The cost of round bales will vary depending on the location and the time of year. As an example, a 4×4 round bale can range from $30 to $60.
  • Pallets: You will need several pallets to create the base of the feeder. Pallets can often be obtained for free from local businesses.
  • Hardware: You will need bolts, nuts, and washers to secure the pallets together. The cost of hardware will vary depending on the type and quantity needed.
  • Roofing material: To protect the hay from the elements, you will need to cover the feeder with roofing material. The cost of roofing material will vary depending on the type and quantity needed.


If you are building the feeder yourself, the labor cost will be minimal. However, if you are hiring someone to build it for you, the labor cost will vary depending on the hourly rate of the contractor.

Saving Money

There are several ways to save money on the cost of building a DIY round bale feeder:

  • Use recycled materials: If possible, use recycled materials to build the feeder. This can help to reduce the cost of materials.
  • Shop around for materials: Compare prices from different suppliers before purchasing materials.
  • Build the feeder yourself: If you are able to build the feeder yourself, you can save on the cost of labor.

By following these tips, you can build a DIY round bale feeder for horses that is both cost-effective and durable.

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Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance and care are crucial to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your DIY round bale feeder. By following these simple tips, you can keep your feeder in top condition for years to come.

To clean the feeder, simply remove the remaining hay and debris regularly. Use a brush or broom to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated. If necessary, you can hose down the feeder and let it dry thoroughly before refilling it with hay.


Inspect your feeder regularly for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any loose bolts or screws, tighten them immediately. If any of the metal components become bent or damaged, repair them promptly to prevent further damage.

Prolonging Lifespan

To prolong the lifespan of your feeder, store it in a dry and protected area when not in use. Avoid exposing it to excessive moisture or direct sunlight, as this can weaken the materials over time. Regularly apply a protective coating, such as paint or sealant, to prevent rust and corrosion.


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Constructing and using a DIY round bale feeder may encounter some common issues. Understanding these potential problems and their solutions can help you ensure the feeder’s functionality and safety.

Identifying and resolving these issues promptly will not only extend the feeder’s lifespan but also prevent any inconvenience or potential hazards for your horses.

Materials and Construction Issues

  • Warped or bent frame:Ensure that the frame is assembled correctly and securely. Use a level to check for any unevenness and adjust accordingly. Consider reinforcing the frame with additional supports if necessary.
  • Loose or broken welds:Inspect the welds regularly and re-weld any loose or broken connections. This is especially important for the areas that bear the weight of the bale.
  • Insufficient drainage:Make sure the feeder has adequate drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating. Drill additional holes if necessary.

Usage and Maintenance Issues

  • Bale not rolling smoothly:Check if the feeder is level. Adjust the legs or place shims underneath to ensure the bale rolls effortlessly.
  • Horses not using the feeder:Place the feeder in a convenient location where horses can easily access it. Make sure there are no obstacles or distractions nearby.
  • Feed waste:Adjust the height of the feeder so that the horses can reach the hay without wasting it. You may also consider adding a hay net to minimize spillage.

FAQ Insights

How much does it cost to build a DIY round bale feeder?

The cost of building a DIY round bale feeder will vary depending on the materials you choose and the size of the feeder. However, you can expect to spend between $50 and $200.

What are the benefits of using a round bale feeder?

Round bale feeders offer several benefits, including reducing hay waste, preventing horses from eating too much hay at once, and keeping hay clean and dry.

How often should I clean my round bale feeder?

You should clean your round bale feeder at least once a week to remove any spilled hay or manure. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.