|Can my horse get its head or foot stuck?||
During many years of Hay-Hutch use with our own horses, we have had no problem to date. The apertures are designed to make it difficult for a horse to get its leg through. The plastic construction has some "give" so that what goes in should come out. It is essential to use the Hay-Hutch as a feeder and maintain it properly. If bolts are allowed to come loose or if the Hay-Hutch is left empty for long periods in the field as a "toy", problems may occur.
|Can my horse reach inside to get all of the hay out?||
Yes. There are three feed apertures in the Small and Medium Hay-Hutches and six in the Large ones. Provided stock have access to all of the apertures, they can get at the fodder.
In our experience, Small and Medium Hay-Hutches placed in the corner of a stable still provide no significant problem for reaching all of the contents
|Can you offer discount for multiple orders?||
Sadly not for two reasons which we hope you will understand:
a) Hay-Hutches are individually made by a very labour intensive method to get the shape and strength. See the section "Why do they cost what they cost?" For this reason three take three times as long to make as one and there is not really any scale saving.
b) We only charge one delivery fee. The couriers, however, charge us for each one. So if a customer orders three Hay-Hutches, they will pay for one to be delivered. The delivery fee for the other two must come from our margin.
We hope you understand. we actually would love to offer the incentive of discount but it simply is not there to offer.
|Do you wholesale?||
Hay-Hutches are made by a very labour intensive, high skill manufacturing process in the UK and consequently cost a lot to make. If we wholesaled them, the price would have to be significantly higher to allow for the retailers margin. Consequently, we do not wholesale Hay-Hutches. We would rather get them directly to our customers at as keen a price as possible.
|How much hay can you get in?||
Capacities are approximate and are based on reasonably dense filling. If the Hay-Hutch is stuffed too tightly, you may distort the rim and make it difficult to fit the lid.
Small bale = Two and a half
Low density fodder = 96lb / 44kg
High density fodder = 120lb / 54kg
Small bale = One bale
Low density fodder = 40lb / 20kg
High density fodder = 53lb / 24kg
Small bale = Two thirds bale
Low density fodder = 31lb / 14kg
High density fodder = 37lb / 16.5kg
Small bale = Quarter of a bale
Low density fodder = 16lb / 7.25kg
High density fodder = 18lb / 8kg
Glossary. Small bale is a small traditional bale. Low density fodder is loose haylage or hay from a small traditional bale or an unwrapped round bale. High density fodder is compact haylage or hay from a "quadrant" big bale.
|My horse can be playful. Can he get the lid off?||
We provide a Lock Bolt with each Hay-Hutch to lock the lid, if stock succeed in developing a lid removing technique.
|So is there no wastage at all?||
Well that would be nice, wouldn't it!
In order to allow good, safe access to the fodder, it is not possible to make any container totally weather-proof, nor is it possible to prevent some spillage. Using a Hay-Hutch, however, is a vast improvement, in our experience, on any of the alternatives since they add the benefits of saving time as well as minimising feed wastage.
Spillage often looks worse than it is. A handful of hay fluffed up can look horrendous. 'Tidy' horses may spill a few handfuls a day. More mischievous horses may pull hay out in larger quantities but, according to your feed regime, should still clear up.
The picture shows our overwintering field in early spring. There is not enough spillage to require any tidying up!
|Toppling. My horse tips the Hay Hutch over. Can anything be done?||
Although Hay Hutches are designed to be stable in most conditions, some horses get artful about tipping them over.
The quickest and easiest way to dramatically increase stability is to put a paving stone or a sandbag into the base of your Hay Hutch. This should do the trick.
If you have an extreme tipping expert, we do have a further extreme solution. Fix the Hay Hutch to a stable mat.
Buy a stable mat from your tack shop. Go to a hardware supplier and buy four M6 20mm "Gutter" or "Roofing" bolts and nuts. Also buy eight flat washers, as wide as are available.
Remove the Hay Hutch lid. Turn it upside down. Place the mat squarely on top of it.
Drill four holes in a square formation through the mat and the Hay Hutch base. As you drill each hole, insert the bolt with a flat washer and then apply another flat washer and then the nut.
Turn the mat and Hay Hutch back the right way up and you have the best solution for a particularly dextrous horse.
To see a short video showing how it is done, click HERE.
|Water. How can I deal with the small amount of water that sometimes accumulates in the bottom of the Hay Hutch?||
In order to have the apertures at the optimum angle for livestock to access the hay, some rain may ingress or you may get condensation.
The easiest thing to do is to drill some holes in the bottom of the Hay Hutch to allow the water to drain. Four holes equally spaced should do the trick. This will not significantly affect the strength of the Hay Hutch. We do not despatch them with holes already drilled in the base because it would add to cost and is not necessary in all situations.
The plastic is very easy to drill but if you do not posess a drill, holes can be made by hammering a large nail through the base into soft material - e.g. soft wood - placed underneath.
|What about round bales?||
A standard round bale will not fit into the Large Hay-Hutch. We have thought of making a bigger Hay-Hutch for round bales, but it would be awkward, unwieldy and the horse would not be able to reach into the middle.
Speaking as farmers as well as horse owners, we offer a better solution: Don't buy round bales. Square bales are more compact, are better value and can often contain better hay.
Here is our technique - Use six pallets in two columns of three to make a platform (used pallets can be obtained from loads of places). Get a big bale delivered onto it. Cut the strings carefully and put slices into your wheelbarrow or truck. Tie the bale back up using one or two of the cut strings. Feed. . . and you're done! Nice and tidy. Nice and easy!
|What happens in high winds?||
The conical shape of the Small and Medium is specifically designed to offset the effects of the wind. If the Hay-Hutch blows over, it will tend to roll round in circles rather than roll away. If extreme wind is anticipated or your location is notoriously windy, simply put a sandbag or a large block in the bottom. This should do the trick.
|What if horses don't like to share?||
Depending on how much of a bully we are talking about, we have found that, providing the Hay-Hutch is kept topped up, the horses get to know that good, dry feed is always available. They therefore become more content and less inclined to feel the need to fight over it.
|What is your delivery time?||
UK: Delivery is normally within 3-10 working days.
Ireland: Delivery is normally within 3-10 working days.
Europe: Delivery is normally within 7 - 15 working days.
If you select the Extreme option (made from motorway crash barrier grade plastic), delivery may be up to 5 days later.
|Why do they cost what they cost?||
It is easy to regard plastic as synonymous with cheap and mass produced. The process to make Hay-Hutches is neither. Making a very large, smooth edged container strong enough to withstand a kick from a horse, light enough for almost anyone to be able to pick up or drag along, waterproof and made of material which will not rust or degrade is a highly specialised process.
The technique used is called 'rotational moulding', skilled, manually intensive, hot and arduous work. It is reserved for containers where strength and durabilty are critical - commercial fuel tanks, central heating oil tanks, nuclear waste containers, salt/grit bins and motoway crash barricades. Experts in the rotational moulding process are well represented in the UK and the family firm which makes the Hay-Hutches for us is near Birmingham.
The basic process is:
a) We have had commissioned a sectional hot-liquid proof mould for each Hay-Hutch size. These moulds cost thoursands of pounds to design and manufacture.
b) For each Hay-Hutch, a team assembles the mould and fills it with the correct quantity of powdered polyethylene - itself a precisely manufactured petroleum product.
c) The mould containing the polyethylene is fixed to a complex rotating "arm" that will pass into a huge oven to melt the polyethylene whilst, at the same time, rotating in all directions so that the molten polyethylene coats the entire inside of the mould.
d) When the polyethylene is judged to have coated the entire inside of the mould as evenly as possible, the rotating mould is taken out of the oven and allowed to cool. The polyethylene cools in its new solid Hay-Hutch shape on the inside of the mould. - Top right picture.
e) The mould is carefully dismantled and the proto Hay-Hutch is removed. - Second picture from top.
f) Whilst the new Hay-Hutch is still warm, the feed apertures are cut and the lid cut away from the body. - Third picture down.
g) Finally the lid is trimmed to ensure a good fit. - Bottom picture.
h) Overall, it takes approximately one hour to make each Hay-Hutch with more than half that time involving skilled manual labour. The energy required to heat the ovens and the cost of skilled manual labour add to cost but the result is a robust, light and safe container that could not be produced at this quality any other way.
Click below to see skills and effort required to make Hay-Hutches: