Efficient and Easy. Everyday, I am looking for new ways to do those two things. Improving the efficiency with how I can feed my animals is no different. Making it easier to do and thereby making it quicker to do let's me do more in each day, which makes me a happy camper!
Hay and goats... Who knew the animals "that eat everything" are actually the pickiest eaters on our place! In our continual effort to improve how our animals are fed, my husband and I came up with the following hay feeder design. We were using hanging hay feeders used for horses (see below) for a long time and found they held up well but were messy to fill and a few of the dominant goats would guard them and not let the other goats eat. We needed a larger feeder that was easy to fill and clean out.
I feed and house my goats in two former horse stalls that measure about 10' x 10'. I wanted something that took advantage of the length of the wall but would not infringe into middle of the stall or set on the ground so I would be able to easily clean up.
Here is our material list:
- (1) -2"x4" Opening Wire Panel - 5' x 16' (found this at our local feed store in the fencing section. It is very important that it is the heavy gauge stiff metal)
- (4) - 1 1/4 x 4 Cedar - 10' length (Typical Decking) - these make up the horizontal part of your frame.
- (1) 2 x 6 Board - 10' length - This makes up the bottom of your feeder.
- (2) - 1 1/4 x 4 Cedar - 8' length - these make up the vertical part of your frame.
- Screws, hinges, eyebolts, clips and chain
Most of the equipment you need is typical stuff. Make sure you have a pair of big bolt cutters to cut the panel to the size you need!
First cut the panel to the size area you have to work with making sure to leave enough room for the trim boards to safely cover up the sharp edges of the cut panel. Then cut the frame pieces to cover all the edges of the panel. You will have two pieces of each side of the frame so you can sandwich the metal panel between (see below). This gives extra stability to the panel and covers up any possible scratch points.
We then mounted the whole panel on a 2 x 6 board that ran the length of the stall. Just used small cleats to rest the board on and screwed everything together (shown below).
So that I would be able to clean it our periodically we put the whole panel on hinges and chained it at the top. This also works great for adjusting the width depending on the size of flakes you feed!
We used eyebolts, lag screws and left over gate chain to secure it at the top and make it more or less angled.
Result, very happy goats!!!
And I can easily clean up under the feeder and give any extra hay to my horse!
Thanks for reading and feel free to drop me an email with questions!