This 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!