HARVEST BINS OR GRAPE BINS AS HORSE FEEDERS – what a GREAT IDEA for so many reasons! I had no idea!

I guess it depends upon where you feed and how you feed… but for me, these harvest bins or grape bins are AMAZING!

I’ve been feeding my horses utilizing retired/used/cracked grape bins and loving them!

The best part… you can purchase cracked or otherwise no longer useful bins from local harvesters (not just grapes, these are used for fruit and vegetables, too).  Growers are happy to make some money off of a large item like this that is sitting around – broken, and you get a perfectly great bin for feeding!

Let me explain!…

Used (cracked) harvest or grape bins work great as feeders!

Used (cracked) fruit/veggie harvest or grape bins work great as feeders!


In Grass Valley, I fed on the ground.  I put mats down all around the barn, but in the outside fields, they ate off of the dirt.

Not all dirt is the same.

I found that out…

Here, in Paso Robles, our ground is slippery clay.  Not so great for horses.  Not good for sand colic…

Immediately, I knew I had to get their feed off of the ground… but I couldn’t afford to put mats all around their pastures.  The one mat that I do have, slides around too easily anyway.  The ground is like having marbles under anything.  It all shifts easily.  (I am afraid of the rainy season but we’ll deal with that when it happens…)

A generous reader from the local area told me to try to find ‘grape bins’ from a local vineyard.   I had no idea what she was speaking about, so she sent a photo.

This was the image the kind reader sent to me.

This was the image the kind reader sent to me.


I went to a farm supply store and they had these bins, brand new, for hundreds of dollars.  Ouchiwawa!   So I wrote back to the reader who suggested these and asked the ‘going rate’ for a used bin.  She said she traded  ‘two bales of hay’ or around $45.

OK.  Now I was ready.

I called the lady who owns the vineyard where Hubby lived before we found this place.  She said that she had some cracked bins and I was welcomed to them.  How much did I want to pay?  I said that the going rate was $45.  She loved it!  Win-Win.

I raced over there and made two trips to bring all 4 bins home.  I wish I had been able to get another 4…

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This is one flake inside of a used grape harvest bin.

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See how all the crud that was baled with the hay falls to the bottom – and you can see it?! I love this. Quality control for sure. I was never able to see this when I fed on mats. Here it is clear. No disputing where the mud balls and dirt clods came from…


1) UP OFF OF THE GROUND AND HEAVY.  First of all, they are up off of the ground on legs.  So water can run underneath them.  They don’t get buried and they are heavy enough to stay in place – for the most part.  Some of mine are on a slant so they slide a bit.  But, generally, they stay in place.

2)  HORSES CANNOT NOSE THE HAY OUT.  The horses eat out of them readily but they don’t push all the hay out onto the ground – even if they flip it all around looking for the best parts.

3) THE DIRT AND CRUD THAT WAS IN THE HAY ALL FALLS TO THE BOTTOM – AND YOU CAN SEE IT!  I now see all the nasty stuff that they bale up with the hay.  Rocks and dirt clods and sticks… you name it.  I value this.  I can understand more about the grower, baler and seller.  Huge!

4)  I CAN MOVE THEM.  I can move them because they are on legs so I can rock them and stand them on end to roll or move them.

5)  NO HAY LOSS.  Boom!  It can’t blow away, it won’t get stomped on and it won’t be mashed into the ground or mixed with manure.

6)  DRAIN PLUGS ALREADY INSTALLED.  Yup.  No worries about water build up!

Yum! We can all eat out of one feeder! (Who are these faces?! - more on them later...)

Yum! We can all eat out of one feeder! (Who are these faces?! – more on them later…)


If you are around any growers,  many use these for all types of produce.  Just call and ask!  I’m sure they would be just as eager to get rid of damaged bins as my friend.  Or, make an excuse to go wine tasting and ask.  Take a trip to the country and ask a farmer.  Just call ahead and arrange to take these slightly broken bins off of their hands.  Win-Win!

Or, buy them new, online.

Click to go to website

Click to go to website


We still have a few days to reach our goal on our July Bucket Fund horse, “Read”, with the embedded halter.  He is now at Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in quarantine.  He is eating and free!  We are collecting for his hauling fees and medical expenses.  Thank you!

This is our July Bucket Fund horse, "Read". Click to learn of his plight and to donate!

This is our July Bucket Fund horse, “Read”. Click to learn of his plight and to donate!




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