Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Frugality at it's Finest

The title would more accurately read "Frugality at it's Ghettoest" it just didn't have quite the same ring to it.  Best part of this post is I actually have pictures.  Not only that, but there are even horses in some of them!  Unfortunately there are no pictures of horses with people on them but baby steps right?!

I first must apologize to those of you who entered my Higher Standards give away.  I did not forget about you, I was just surprised at how few people entered so I was planning to extend it out.  Then I got crazy busy with Thanksgiving and didn't get around to letting everyone know what was going on.  I will be extending the give away but need to create it's own post.  Just know I have not forgotten about you!

Now on to the ridiculousness that is my mind.  Have any of you ever taken a pile of money, lit a match and thrown it in and watched your money burn?  Yeah, me either but I imagine it feels much like purchasing a high quality, grass and alfalfa mix 1000lb round bale.  Then you watch as your horses within hours rip it apart.  Strewing pile after perfectly good, healthy pile of hay all around them.  Then proceed to see them not just refuse to eat the strewn hay but use it as their personal horse bathroom and bedding.  They roll and poop and pee and deem anything that touches the ground pretty much inedible.  One horse and two ponies can tear apart a massive 1000 lb round bale in about a week and a half.  Wasting, in my inexpert guesstimation, about 1/3 of the round bale.  That is about 333 lbs of hay that is pretty much composted back into the earth.  It hurts, it really really hurts to watch your money be wasted right before your eyes.  But when temperatures get at and below freezing I feel it is important to their health to have constant access to forage so though it is sad to see the waste I do it for my beloveds health.

You also run into the problem that once the bale has been pulled apart and much of it is exposed once it rains much more is even wasted because it gets soaked. 
Now there are round bale feeders that can keep horses from climbing in the bale which is a good option.  But they can still pull it apart then it get rained on and thus wasted.  Instead I came up with my own invention to conserve my hay.  I have done it for about a year now and it takes very little time and effort and no extra money because I had everything I use on hand.  It keeps them from tearing the bale apart and it makes it easy to cover when the weather man is calling for rain.  It is a cheap method but it probably is pretty ghetto.  So here it is the Amy Round Bale Preserver.

It takes two ratchet straps and two tarps and a couple minutes a day.  Cheap, ghetto but functional.  For the most part it makes the horses work a hole down the center.  At the end of the day I will even go collect any dry good hay that does happen do get strewn on the ground and take it to the barn to feed when the are in their stalls.  The waste is extremely minimal.  So there it is in all it's glory!  Then when they call for rain the horses go in their stalls and one more tarp goes over the top and I use two pieces of wood to weigh down the tarp and viola!  Water proof!

And for your enjoyment a photo dump of what happens when I try to go out to the pasture to get a picture of my lovely beasts actually utilizing my ghettorific invench!
Steady- Hey guys!  It's Mom!

Hank- We should go say hi!

Lily: That's a great idea!

Penny- SWEET!  I get the bale to myself!!!!

Where did the pony head go???  Entire head and neck lost to the hay monster!

Steady- Whacha got Mom?!

Meh that's a camera, did you drop the good stuff?

Uhhh there was nuthin' down there.

Here let me check it out.

mmmm...tastes like camera.  Not my favorite but I am not picky.

Lily back off she is mine.

Dirty, Sexy Butt...hmmm that comment might attract some undesirable traffic to my blog.

Steady- Lily I am not kidding, back off.

Ok, we friends.

Ha! He fell for it!

Now hurry give me all your foods!

Oh he is dashing...

so dashing...

and he is mine, all mine.


  1. That is pretty clever if I say so myself!! :)

  2. Not ghetto at all and pretty damn smart!!! Great use of $30 worth of tarps and rachets to save $400 worth or more of hay. I'm impressed. (I also have rachet straps holding my bed together, so my standards may not be so high.)

  3. So awesome. You are speaking my (also ghetto) language.

    "Extra" hay drug out of hay bags and callously strewn about, gets refilled into hay bags at least once.

    Because if it's good enough to eat out from under manure in the manure cart, it is good enough to eat...

    ...so there. ;D

    1. Hilarious! And so true . . .when I cleaned stalls, Shy loved the wheel barrrow poop hay.

  4. Good thinking! I might just steal that idea...

  5. Good idea with the round bale! The drafts at my barn rip those bales apart in under a week and also use it to pee, poop, and sleep on. Poor Shy is restricted from the round bale because she never got her head of out it and gained a bunch of weight.

  6. I do something similar...I don't use the tarps though, just wrap the thing in ratchet straps to keep them from destroying it. Mine eat it fast enough (and it stays cold enough) that I don't have to worry about the hay getting wet. Amazing how much hay you save when they can't shred it and pee all over it!

  7. Oh man, I have SO been there! In fact, the wastage is why I no longer feed round bales. Instead, we feed squares in small-mesh nets. 0 wastage, and it lasts way longer for our fatties.

    Love your ghetto solution, though! Whatever works!

  8. I've seen a couple other solutions, but they all looked expensive and time consuming. Love this!!

  9. I would be pretty pissed if my horsies did that and would also look for a frugal solution like you. I'll go enter your contest if I haven't already.

  10. Wow I didn't even recognize Steady at first! He's so dark!! I always forget how much his color changes. He is so gorgeous!

    I like your solution to saving hay, but how the heck do you get away with it??? Chrome and Zep would shred that tarp in one day! I guess I'm lucky because I just put a cow hay ring around my round bales. The horses are tall enough they can reach over it (unlike my pony growing up who reached under like cows do and rubbed all of her mane out), so they can't waste it. They eat every scrap too. Down to bare dirt. :) So I guess they are destructive (destroying tarps), but efficient (eating every scrap of hay). I can't complain!

    Oh I almost forgot to say, they eat it when it gets rained on too with no problem. :)


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