I realized this morning that I haven't written in a while, because lets be honest, life is crazy and it got away from me. Two weeks ago, Holden, the minis and Bram the husky got all moved into their new home. There's still work to be done so its more like a construction zone than a legitimate home yet, but nevertheless we moved in!
One thing I have learned from home renovations and projects is nothing ever gets done on the timeline you want it to. I was fully expecting to have our house done (paint, flooring, plumbing, counter tops, appliances and all) by the time we moved in. Now I just laugh at the fact that we're doing dishes in our bathtub, have temporary plywood as counter tops, no flooring in our mudroom and entry way and the walls in just about every room are all patched and ready to be painted. And you wouldn't believe this, but renovations (especially full home renovations) take a lot of money. *so much sarcasm there*. Anyway, the DIYer in me found every which way to save money and do things myself. This included building our kitchen island, a majority of our light fixtures and farm tools for our minis. But one of my most cost effective projects to date would be our mini hay feeder! To put it into perspective if you've never shopped for hay feeders before, can run anywhere between $150-1000, depending on the size you'd need it for. I wasn't finding anything I liked, or low enough to the ground for that matter or heavy duty, that would work for our minis. Goat feeders were too small and too light, horse feeders were too tall, hog trough feeders weren't going to work for hay and they were too long. I started looking at options to have a custom feeder made, which again was going to run around $500 and I didn't like that either. Lo and behold I found a crazy idea that might just work. A hay feeder made out of an old futon frame.
I found a futon frame for $25 on the Facebook Marketplace, purchased four 5.5" U-bolts and gathered some scrap wood from our shed. Basically all that we had to do was take off the futon slats and remove the springs that folded the once futon down into a bed so the slats sat in a more vertical V on the frame. Next we cut the plywood base that sat on the inner lip of the futon frame and added more scrap pieces for the sides and screwed the wooden frame and base together so it acts as a hay catch so no hay is wasted. After that we placed the futon slats back into place and used the U-bolts to hold it in the V position. Then we flipped it over and added two 2x4's on the bottom for added support so we could set their mineral/salt block in the feeder as well. Last but not least, we drilled a couple holes in the bottom of the frame for any moisture to drain. It turned out to be more heavy duty than I expected it to be and it works perfect for the minis! For our next farm DIY project, we're looking to build a chicken coop out of an old wooden play set in our backyard. What were some of your DIY projects? I'd love to see them for some inspiration!