DIY Hay Feeder

colorado river toadThis DIY hay feeder project actually began last summer as a toad proofing project. Yes, toad proofing is a real thing. We have enormous Colorado River Toads here – and when I say enormous, I mean toads the size of a dinner plate that could swallow a kitten whole. Although I don’t mind the toads, and in fact, would normally welcome these insect-eating critters, they happen to be highly toxic to dogs. So toxic, a dog can die just from licking one of these puppies.

It turns out toads are fabulous toys according to George, so after a very close call involving a baby toad and our bouncing great dane, I needed to find a way to toad proof the backyard. Enter hardware cloth. Our backyard is wrapped up nice and tight from the ground to 24 inches, and so far so good. The toads can live happily in the front yard and pasture, and the dog is safe in the backyard.

I stuffed some hay between the hardware cloth toad-proofing and the pasture fence one day when I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to fuss with the hay net. As it turns out, hardware cloth works really well wired up along a fence to hold your hay up off the ground, keeping it nice and clean, and spread out so there’s plenty of room for everyone to eat.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can make your own DIY hay feeder using supplies you probably already have around the house. If you need to purchase the hardware cloth and wire, I picked up a small roll of 24″ hardware cloth and wire for under $15 total. You can also tie it up with zip ties. This 3ft wide hay feeder took about 10 minutes to make!

diy hay feeder | horseshoe farm
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Pickles Loves Her Chicks

I’ve hatched chicks before, sometimes in the incubator, sometimes under a broody mama hen. Since baby chickens hatch pretty self sufficient (they pop out fully feathered, can get around pretty well within a few hours of hatching, and can eat and drink on their own as long as you show them where the food and water is) I usually raise them inside in a little playpen so I can give them lots of attention…or, uhm…so I can watch them and snuggle them and take lots of pictures of them and give them tons of treats. We call it ChickTV.

This is the first time I’ve let a mother hen raise chicks, and I’ve been surprised by what an excellent job hens do taking care of their babies. I didn’t think mother hens had much to do besides keeping their babies warm, but Pickles has proven me wrong. She does keep them warm, but she’s also great at reminding them to drink, showing them how to look for food and catch bugs, and does a great job cracking sunflower seeds and other large pieces of food into tiny pieces they can eat. She pecks at the food until it’s crushed, picks up a tiny bit in her beak, then calls her babies over with a cute little cluck. They all come running and she drops the little pieces of food into their mouths. She’s careful about making sure each one gets enough to eat before she eats anything herself.

It’s the year of Downton Abbey-themed names here, so these three newbies are Mary, Edith and Sybil. They’re probably all roosters. : )

Pickles Feeding Her Baby Chicks


Adoptable Mini-Nubian Goats

These two mini-nubian goats are from Buttercup & Betsy’s first kidding. They’re approx. 2yrs old, very well cared for, loved, and in great shape. Their family is having some difficulties, and they are no longer able to care for them, so we’re helping them find a new home. Khaki is a doe, Truffles is a wether. They are mini-nubians (3/4 nubian, 1/4 nigerian dwarf) so they’re mid-sized. [Read more…]


Baby Goat Update

The baby goats are 6 and 8 weeks old now, and they’re getting so big! I’m trying to squeeze in every moment of time with them I can – they’re just so adorable. We’ve been working on leash training and lots of socialization. [Read more…]


New Arrivals :)

We’re excited to have three new happy, healthy baby nubian goats! Buttercup and Betsy delivered their kids on March 1st and March 12. Their names are Downton Abbey themed : )

Here’s Branson:

branson | baby nubian goat


isobel | baby nubian goat


And Daisy:

daisy | baby nubian goat

Branson has been reserved and will be going to an excellent home where he’ll be a pet and trail companion. Daisy will be staying here at the farm, and Isobel is available to an approved home.



Gigolo | Nubian Buck | Horseshoe.Farm


Adoptable Goats

We’re helping the owner of these two goats find a good home for them. They are both friendly, loved and well cared for pets, but their owner can no longer keep them. [Read more…]