Pyramid haystack

Pyramid haystack

This weekend we were blessed with pretty great weather – downright summery at times – which was fantastically well timed. With a long weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving, we had a huge list of outdoor jobs needing attention before winter, and we made some wonderful progress, including mucking out the chicken coop and storing more hay, planting two trees, dismantling our old chicken run (as our chickens are happily free-roaming these days), and continuing some fencing and construction of a gate in one corner of our property.

Not included this weekend was the construction of a simple pyramid haystack, which my husband made at the end of the summer, and stacked with the help of our teenager. Looking for ways to store hay when you don’t have a barn calls for creativity, and my husband found an extremely simple plan for a pyramid-shaped haystack made from boards and a bit of rope on a scything website (of course):
Making a Hay Rack from Scythe Supply

This simple structure allows for quite a lot of hay to be stacked off the ground and kept under cover with a tarp that’s weighted down.

Stacking hay at summer's end

Stacking hay for chickens

Hayrack stacking by teenager

Reggie joined in for a while, and then watched the proceedings on a bed of hay.

Black lab on a stack of hay

My husband fashioned a hay fork out of a small tree trunk that he fitted with an old iron fork found in a barn a couple of years ago.

With homemade hay fork

Once the first load of hay went on, we fitted a huge (old) tarp over top and weighed down the edges with large laundry detergent bottles filled with water. This works quite nicely. We’ve since taken the cover off a couple of times to stack more hay, and it’s very full now. It looks a lot like the finished photo on the Scythe Supply site.

We’ve since found some interesting things under the hayrack, including:

1) the electric drill my husband used in constructing the hayrack (see very first photo at top to see it peeking out, about to go missing for a week or so)
2) the chickens themselves – the first time we went outside, calling for them, and watched them emerge, one by one, from under the stack was absolutely hilarious
3) eggs – since relaxing enough to allow the birds to be entirely free roaming, we find eggs in some of the craziest places, including a stash under the haystack

This was a very fast build and a very satisfying project.

9 thoughts on “Pyramid haystack

  1. Love your haystack. How very practical for your circumstances. So gald you found the drill before winter!
    When we visited the Acadian Village in New Brunswick a few years ago, I noticed some odd structures in some of the meadows near the river. When I asked (through one of my bilingual children), I learned that they were for stacking the marsh grass on – haystacks. They were platforms much like the one you built, only of sapling logs, with a single pole going up the middle, which I think was planted much like a fencepost might be. We were there in July, but apparently by late August these platforms with poles would be transformed into big mounds of dry marsh grass. I didn’t find pictures of them, but here’s the website to the village, just for interest’s sake.

    1. Thank you! Yes, it was a good thing the drill turned up before the weather claimed it for good. Thanks for sharing the Acadian Village link; what a great spot to visit. It reminds me a little of Cole Harbour Farm in Dartmouth, NS (which is on a smaller scale). I’d love to spend more time down east and you’ve really reminded me of that! The haystacks that you saw sound particularly cool, being made out of saplings – I love the sound of them.

  2. You and your husband could reenact American Gothic with that lovely hay fork and your classic shed in the background!
    You’re very lucky your chooks can safely roam. They must be loving the freedom. My poor son is devastated as he has twice faced chicken massacres at his school due to the marauding foxes (thanks to folks forgetting to lock them in at night).

    1. Yes, I think there are days when we could slide into that image quite easily! That’s so funny. I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s experience in tending chickens; that would be such an awful experience, and so much the worse for a young child. So far we’ve only heard tell of such attacks, and we’ve been warned of how particularly gruesome a raccoon attack can be; we just live in hope that our chickens stay safe and do our best to keep a safe eye on them. Reggie likes to walk amongst them when they are out and about, and I always hope that the presence of a big dog will help to see off any potential predators!

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