Ways to Reuse Feed Bags

Previously I did a blog about the many uses for bailing twine, and during my spring clean of my barn I kept coming up with ways to use the extra feed bags I had laying around. They are just about as useful as bailing twine! 

  1. Storing winter blankets- most barns I have been in either don’t store winter blankets, or will use trash bags to containerize winter blankets for storage. After the blankets have been cleaned, simply fold and place in feed bag. You can also label the bags with a sharpie, to make finding blankets a breeze next fall. 
  2. Traveling with saddle pads or blankets- Saddle pads will collect all the dirt and debris they come into contact with, it seems to be a never-ending battle. When traveling to shows, or even going horse camping, storing saddle pads in empty feed bags will keep them clean and organized for travel.
  3. Totes- I have seen these originally in stores, but was able to work with my sew-savvy grandma and created a number of totes that I use as over night bags, packing goodies for horse shows, and even as reusable grocery bags!
  4. Trash Bags- Spring cleaning time is here! Use extra feed bags as trash bags to make them multipurpose and not add to the ever growing trash pile.  
  5. Hoof Blacking- There always seems to be an issue of where to hoof black to ensure we don’t ruin the aisle ways or stalls. Placing a feed bag under the hooves while blacking will allow you to hoof black any where with ease!
  6. Transporting Hay- Lets face it, hay is messy to transport, containerizing it in the bag will allow you transport hay without the mess and you can portion out meals if traveling with multiple horses. 
  7. Hay Bags- In a pinch, you can cut holes into the bag and hang in horse’s stalls for a single use hay bag. 
  8. Crafts for kids- whether the bag is all-plastic or has the inner paper liner, cut them open and allow the young ones to draw or paint to create masterpieces.
  9. Winter decorations- Need decorations for the barn? Allowing youth kids to cut snowflakes out of the bags will make for cheap and festive creations. 
  10. Protecting textbooks- If you run out of brown paper bags, or would like to get more creative use the feed bags to create fun textbook covers. 
  11. Picking up after dogs- If you are one of the lucky ones who has to scoop dog poop every weekend, use the feed bag for disposal instead of carrying trash bags or plastic bags which have a tendency to rip at the most unlikely of times!
  12. Desensitizing Horses- Many different ways to “sack-out” or desensitize horses with feed bags. 
  13. Warm Winter Beds- For barn cats you can place a warm blanket in the bag and they will appreciate the break from the cold. 
  14. Seat Protectants- A day in the mud, snow or even a day on the lake can wreak havoc on vehicles. Use cut open feed bags to protect floors and seats from the dirt and moisture. 
  15. Temporary Wind block- Do your best to keep everyone out of the rain and wind by covering holes during storms. 
  16. Instant Parka- For a fun day of arts and crafts or a sudden winter storm, cut three holes (two for arms, and one for the head), and you have a waterproof cover. 
  17. Show-Clothes Protectors- Taking a clean feed bag and cutting a single hole that will fit a hanger will create a dirt and waterproof shield for show clothes and chaps.
  18. Cow Training Tool- I have seen some trainers and horsemen use feed bags as mock “cows” to help as training tools for cow horses. 
  19. Outdoor Dog Bed-Fill and seal the bag, my dog loves to use it as a barn-only dog bed. It is easy to clean off and inexpensive.
  20. Dog Toy- I have a very playful puppy and found that braiding some cut up sections of feed bag together can make for a durable fetching stick and tug-o-war toy. 
  21. Tractor Seat Cover-Tractor seats are notorious for getting ruined in wet weather. You can use the bags for protection or to create a whole new seat if need be. 
  22. Garden Cover- For use in pathways or in garden beds lay down feedbags to create weed barriers. 
  23. Compost-Many will compost the bags; many people are looking for a certain type of material. So be sure to check your bags to ensure proper composting. 
  24. Icing injuries or Legs- You can fill the bag with ice and secure it to leg injuries. 
  25. Sand Bags- If certain floods are impeding on the barn, you can fill the bags with sand and secure for homemade sand bags. 

Like I mentioned, feed bags can be just as useful as twine! Be sure to add some of your favorite or even quirky ways you have used feed bags in the comments below.  

-Emily Bomgardner

Matthew Kimes