Hay Baler Tutorial

Readers’ tips on building a hay baler, adding a scoop to your lawn mower, protecting your garden from nosy critters, and more.

| June/July 2019

hay-baler-homemade
 Jesse made this industrious hay baler that you can build yourself to make cheap, environmentally friendly bales.
Photo by Rhoda Ann Ramer

Low-Capital Hay Baler

 Every homesteader’s goal is to be as self-sustaining as possible. In trying to reach that goal, many of us raise animals. It’s difficult to keep many animals without hay, and conventional thinking tries to convince us that big trac­tors and expensive equipment are necessary to make hay bales. But that’s simply not the case. If you’ve got a scythe and some wood, and don’t mind a little work, you can make your own hay bales!

I’ve grown, mown, and dried my own hay. I first used a fork to load it onto a trailer and then stack it in our barn. But loose hay takes up a lot of room, besides being hard to handle (not to mention a great mouse hideaway). So, I made a baler. Here’s how you can make one too.

You’ll need either four 2x2s, or two 2x4s ripped in half. Two of the 2x2s should be 3 feet long, and two should be 4 feet long. Next, you’ll need two 48-by-18-inch pieces of plywood for the sides, one 24-by-48- inch piece of plywood for the back, and one 24-by-36-inch piece of plywood for the front.



After you’ve cut the pieces, assemble the baler. I used screws to assemble mine, but I suppose nails would work also. The 2x2s go inside the corners to add stability. The assembly process can be tricky, so a helper would be a great plus.

hay-baler-interior
Photo by Rhoda Ann Ramer





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