Tarpaulins As Animal Feed Covers

Not having a barn or shed to store hay and feed keeps people from realizing their dream of owning a horse or a few head of livestock. Having handy storage saves many trips back and forth to the feed store. Heavy duty tarpaulins and cattle panels provide an easy do-it-yourself answer to this storage dilemma.

The directions that follow will build a waterproof hoop to store hay or feed in. The items needed for this project are a wooden pallet, a heavy duty tarp, a cattle panel, 4 T-posts or 4 lengths of rebar.

Find a suitable place to store your animal feed where it is easily accessible. The pallet is the “floor” of this structure and keeps the hay or feed off the ground to prevent rotting or contamination. Lay the pallet down in the place you’ve chosen. Pound one T-post in about three inches from each corner. These posts will provide stability to the cattle panel and keep it in place.

Stand the cattle panel on end between the T-posts and pallet on one side. You want to position the panel so the narrowest end is the end resting on the ground, sandwiched between post and pallet. Grab the opposite end and bend the panel over the pallet and shove it in between the T-posts and pallet on the other side. If you’ve done this right, this should now form an arch over the pallet.

The tarp you choose should be long enough to span this arch from side to side. It should be wide enough to completely cover both ends with a couple of feet laying on the ground. Thread twine or wire through the tarp’s grommets and tie securely to the panel. Do this for every grommet on both sides. This will keep the wind from blowing the cover off. The other ends will have to be weighted down to keep from blowing up.

This provides waterproof storage and if kept out of the sun, will last for several years. Using a UV resistant tarp will also increase the longevity. Check periodically and replace any broken or rotten ties. Be certain the tarp on each end is well weighted down. This is important, because with gusty winds the tarp becomes a big sail and blows away. The hoop can be added onto, and is limited only by your imagination.