The heavy-duty plastic "Hay Hut" bale feeder fits easily around the biggest round bales, keeping out of weather to reduce waste and labor. Company owner and Hay Hut designer Denis Thornton says the units can pay for themselves in only 6 to 7 months.
"One breeding farm has reduced its hay consumption from 150 rolls to 110 a year," says Thornton. "That equates to a savings of thousands in hay, not to mention reduced labor."
Thornton and his wife Jean appreciate any reduction in hay cost and labor when it comes to the large Palomino Warmbloods they raise on their Florida farm. The Hay Hut design reflects their real "horse-world" experience. The 8 large (14 by 34-in.) openings, two on each side, provide horses easy access to hay while offering a reassuringly clear view of the area. There are no bars or hoops for horses to negotiate or get caught in, and the rolled edges prevent mane breakage. The multiple access points also prevent an 'alpha' animal from dominating the hay supply.
The Thorntons also designed the Hay Hut to be people friendly. Once assembled, the 230-lb. unit can be pushed over on its side, a bale set in place, and the hut pushed back with ease.
"The 84-in. headroom lets you set a bale on top of a wood pallet with room to spare," says Thornton.
He noted that the weeds don't have to be burned completely.
At 72 in. wide and 84 in. deep, the unit works equally well with two large square bales or more than 16 conventional squares.
"Just stack them and remove the strings once the Hay Hut is in place," says Thornton.
Available in forest green, white and black, Hay Huts are made to last. Rotational molding gives them integral strength, particularly in the corners and seams. While generally wind resistant, especially when containing hay, they are designed with a broad lower lip that can be ground anchored if needed The polyethylene was selected for its ability to withstand weather in all climates.