I use my partially German heritage as blame for inability to throw away some
things. If my brain can perceive a use, I keep it. But I do have "laws" in that if I haven't used something in a year, it gets pitched. And that, my friends, is maintaining the fine
line between being "thrifty" and being a hoarder that ends up on TLC.
Last fall when we moved into the new farm, it was actually quite clear of odds and ends from the previous owners (a miracle considering the mounds of junk we encountered on other farms we considered buying), but they did leave a large baby crib in the garage. I went to put it on Craigslist and get rid of it and soon found out why--it was recalled and therefore was pretty near impossible (in good conscious) to sell. It looked like something I could eventually find a use for and so it got stuffed into the old garage, which we refer to as the garden shed.
By this spring, that poor garden shed had become a horrifying catch-all of things we didn't know exactly where to store and so I finally tackled organizing it last week. I found a place for everything except that crib. It needed a use or it needed to go.
Looking at it, the slats screamed to me "hay rack". After considering several possibilities, I finally decided that the donkeys needed a new hay feeder more than anyone else (I was just putting their hay on the other side of the fence and making them stick their heads through all winter...poor girls are missing so much mane now!).
I brainstormed for a bit and then grabbed the screw gun. I am dangerous with a screw gun, it gets me into all sorts of trouble. I mean, it takes like 5 minutes to "create" something...not always something good, but something.
This time it turned into something good. I was able to create a solid, good-looking donkey-size hay rack in under 15 minutes.
First I attached the bottom mattress holder (which was wood on this one-perfect!) to the two main sides, like you would normally do to put the crib together but using construction screws instead of the removable bolts that came it with it. I don't want it to come apart!
Next, I took the long sides and sloping them to a relative mid-point. I couldn't do a perfect mid-point due to some hardware on the bottom, but it was close. I screwed them at the top and bottom into the short side.
And that was that. I am going to drill some holes in the bottom to let water out and add one bracer bar to each side for extra strength, but otherwise it's done.
This hay feeder will fit at least a small square bale and it the perfect height for the donkeys. The bottom wood will catch anything that falls and prevent waste. It would probably work quite well for goats, sheep, alpacas or ponies as well.
Recalled cribs are usually free and this is a good way to make sure they don't end up in the landfill!