We needed a place to store winter hay for the donkeys STAT! No denying we got caught with our britches down last winter. The local co-ops had run out of hay and tried to locate supplies within the surrounding states with NO luck. We ended up paying a premium for hay from big box stores… upwards of $15!! Let me tell you… lesson learned.
So THIS year I told Mr. Bluejeans that Sammi and I were gonna build a shelter. Happy to not be involved with yet another scheme of mine, Mr. Bluejeans chuckled at the plan I laid out but he saw the gleam in my eyes (I mean we are talking pallets here) and thought better of issuing a veto, so he left us to it.
Maybe he thought this odd sized thing was what we were going to build? For our weird sized horse? This is an actual photo from one of many arch style storage sheds I checked out. This particular one, that seems to hold a shrunken-running horse, was hovering around $400! You know my favorite phrase came out: I CAN MAKE THIS!
Well, Sammi and I got a SHOCK when Mr. Bluejeans gave us this amazing compliment after we finished:
“Really came out great”.
That’s huge! Even more noteworthy he mentioned using this build for a future cargloo!
This isn’t a difficult build and as you’ll see in the video, Sammi and I got the sidewalls (made with pallets… insert angelic music effect here) made in no time flat. With just a few “foraged” supplies like bungees we already had and my stock of free pallets, scrap 2×4’s, some pipe insulation and inexpensive noodles we were able to bring the Haygloo to life in a weekend!
I’ve documented the build in photos and video as well.
Let’s start with a list of items we used for the Haygloo:
- 1/4” x 4” carriage bolts
- 1/4” washers
- 1/4” nuts
- 3 cattle panels
- 11 pallets: 4 on each side. 3 at the back. You can also just used 3 on each side and 2 cattle panels
- 16′ x 30′ tarp
- pipe insulation or 8 pool noodles
- scrap 2×4’s
- 22 each T-posts
- T-post driver
- 6 each nail stakes
- zip ties
- fence wire to cut and secure cattle panel (whatever thick wire you have is fine)
- assortment of bungees
For stacking the hay:
- 20 each cement deck blocks
- 4 pallets
Drill 1/4” holes into sides of pallets. We used 3 bolts per pallet. We created both sides and the back separately then raised them into place and attached the 2 corners with carriage bolts as well.
Pound 2 T-posts per pallet through the middle of the pallet. Do on each one. You don’t want the pallets to move.
Using your 2×4 measure the width of your cattle panel and cut a 2×4 to that size. You will be zip tying the cattle panel to this board. Also drill 5 each 1/4” holes into the widest part of the wood for your carriage bolts. The bolts will fasten 2×4 piece to the top of the pallet side walls.
Then attach the board with cattle panel to the top of the pallet side. If there are two of you it’s easier but if there’s only one of you, once you attach the first side, when you go over to the other side, you should have no problem “arching” the cattle panel/board piece. Now, with your cattle panel zip tied – lift and arch it up to the top of the opposite side of the shed. Put your bolts in and pop on the washers and nuts.
You should have your first arch up. Do the same for the all the panels.
Stand back and admire your work. Ok, enough of that, get back to it…
Cut your pipe insulation or pool noodles to slip over each end arch of the panels and zip tie. This is an area where the tarp will move and you want to prevent it slicing through your tarp. If you are using pool noodles, you will need to slice it down the middle lengthwise so it can slip over the metal. Pipe insulation is already sliced. Don’t tighten down the tarp yet.
Cut some fencing wire into around 8″ lengths. I used these to tighten each cattle panel to the one next to it. Attach and tighten with some pliers. I used lineman pliers, they have a wider grip and I just love them. Cut extra lengths of wire to attach the floppy front of the tarp to the panel as well, pulling it up, covering the noodles and making it look neater, Voila! No more sagging arch, they hold each other up!
Throwing the tarp over is MUCH easier with another person so find a way to bribe someone to help. Maybe make them this Instant Pot recipe. Then keep them around to help fill the shed. That might require some beer…
Note: You can put the tarp on before you wire the panels (but after you put on the pool noodles). We put ours up first (as you see in the photos) for two reasons: 1) it was horribly hot and 2) I didn’t think about putting on the noodles as protection until after we got the tarp on and we realized that the constant motion would soon rip the tarp. Nothing like flying by the seat of your pants…
We live in an area that can have severe winds so we opted to use 12” nail stakes (1” diameter metal rods with holes in them) to drive into the ground then we attached our bungees to the stakes. Sort of like staking a tent but with real robust tent stakes. We used the grommet on the tent to attach one of the bungee hooks to then attached the other end to the stake. We’ve had some good winds since it’s been up and the Haygloo hasn’t budged!
We decided to use concrete deck blocks to keep the hay off the ground, giving it some air circulation. So each for pallet we used to hold the hay, we stacked had 5 concrete deck deck blocks below it for strength. We used 4 pallets in the shed we built.
At the last minute I decided I wanted to put some tin we had laying around to good use. I like the finished look of the tin at the bottom. I didn’t build it all the way up because I want as much airflow within the shed as possible.
Now we are ready for winter and all it’s blustering! I’ve got a few more designs up my sleeve and can’t wait for Mr. Bluejeans to give me that chuckle… now all I have to say is Haygloo??!
If you need more help with this design feel free to ask in comments below and I’ll do all I can to help you through. Be sure to watch the video as well, it helps put the steps in context.
Now go build something!
You did great on this. Economical too!
What size are the cattle panels? And how many bales are you able to fit? Thank you.
Great questions! For this project we used 12′ cattle panels but if you want to stack higher you could use 16′. If we didn’t have a table to set the hay on (we cut the twine & keep the open bale on that table as the one we pull from) then you could get about 90 bales in. In our case, we have the table and several metal trashcans holding livestock feed.
If you use the 16’cattle panels, you could stack higher and get more in. I’d suggest using two 4×4 posts as well. One at the back and one at the front that are placed in the center, vertically for roof support. If you get any kind of snowfall, this support will be necessary. Thanks for reading and commenting and good luck with your haygloo!
What’s the length and breadth of the final hay shed?
Our haygloo is approximately 16’long (4 standard pallets) x 13′ wide (3 pallets). You can make your shed as long as you like! Pallets come in different sizes tho so try to collect all the same size. Makes the build easier. Also your hog or cattle panels (used for the hoop over top) can be bought in different lengths so you can have a taller shed if you need it. We learned that our area can get a heavy snow (had no idea at the time of the build) and we have since added two 4×4 upright posts to give extra support to the structure. One at the front and one towards the back. Thank you for your question!
Thanks for the awesome idea! We’re in the process of making our haygloo now and scored a used billboard for the top.