Weld a Wall-Mount Hay Feeder

Learn how to create a simple feeder that’ll be as useful to you as it is to your livestock with this step by step welding guide.


Welding can conjure up some dramatic imagery, such as workers clad in leather and dark face shields, producing a shower of sparks from red-hot metal. To those not immersed in the industry, dealing with flames and electric arcs that produce temperatures hot enough to melt steel may seem daunting and hazardous, something best left to the skilled professionals. But welding has become a useful, do-it-yourself task for homeowners, farmers, ranchers, and anyone else with a need to join metal. Knowing how to weld opens up unlimited opportunities for your own repairs and custom fabrication.

Welding comprises a number of different processes for fusing metals. For the home welder, oxyacetylene welding, shielded metal arc welding (also called stick welding), and wire-feed welding processes (metal inert gas welding and flux-core wire welding) are the most popular.

Tools & Materials

  • 1 piece of 1/2-by-44-inch rebar, for feeder top bar
  • 6 pieces of 1/2-by-24-inch rebar, for vertical spindles (all but center spindle)
  • 1 piece of 1/2-by-22-inch rebar, for center vertical spindle
  • 1 piece of 3/16-by-1-by-32-inch angle iron, for top mounting plate
  • 1 piece of 3/16-by-1-by-12-inch angle iron, for bottom mounting plate
  • Chop saw with a metal blade
  • Oxyacetylene torch (Note: If you don’t have an oxyacetylene torch, you can use a wire-feed or a shielded metal arc welder for this project. For the cuts, you can use a plasma cutter instead of the torch.)
  • Vise or truck hitch to bend rebar 

This project uses an oxyacetylene welder. An oxyacetylene torch is inexpensive and portable, and its versatility offers a number of important uses, including cutting, hot bending and forming, forging, brazing, and braze welding. Unlike other welding processes, oxyacetylene welding doesn’t require electrical power. It offers a precisely controlled, high-temperature flame that melts the edges of the base metals to be joined into a common pool. Sometimes additional filler metal is added to the molten pool from a welding rod. When this common pool cools and the metal solidifies, the joined metals are fused together and the weld is complete.

One of the joys of welding is that you’ll discover the ability to make a wide array of farm contraptions to suit your needs. In this case, we built a scaled-down version of a horse hay feeder that’s better suited to goats. We made the openings small enough that the goats wouldn’t get stuck in the bars, but large enough to hold two days of feed. This design can be easily adapted for your particular livestock. But, first, we’ll discuss personal safety while welding.

Basic Welding Safety

Like many chores on the farm or ranch, welding can quickly become dangerous if basic safety precautions are ignored. Be aware of your surroundings, and note where sparks fly and where molten slag lands. Take the time to make your workspace safe. Many shops and barns have burned as a result of embers igniting floorboards or hay. Make sure the welding area is well ventilated to draw away fumes.

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