My dad and I built this hay feeder for the goats (we started in November, but only just got it outside, due to a number of reasons... mostly we were just too busy to work on it!) I do not have very specific instructions, as we mostly winged it and changed things as needed while we went along. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves and give everyone an idea of how it's made. My aim was to have a sturdy, simple, easy-to-use feeder that would be efficient and reduce wasted hay, while saving space (as I have a small pen). I wanted something that could be loaded from outside the fence and would hold a full bale of hay and keep it dry and clean.
First we went to Home Depot and bought our supplies: Lots of wood (2x4's, sheets of plywood, pressure treated wood for the legs, etc.)
Then we arranged all the tools (skill saw, electric screwdriver/drill, chainsaw) as well as the screws, extension cords, hammer, ruler, tape measure, level, and carpenter's pencil
Making the first cut
The back frame (with model Ruby Lee)
The front and back frame
We then cut the bottom out and screwed everything together
After that we added the support beams in the top, which will hold up the roof
Next we measured and cut out the roof and attached it to the top
Then we measured and cut one side wall, then the other
Then we attached it
You can see an inside view here, with the frame on the inside making it sturdy
Once the walls, floor, roof, and back door were attached, we only needed the most important part: the front, which contains the keyholes. I measured each goat's head and we came up with the correct size hole that will fit all of them. Then we made a cardboard stencil which we traced onto the plywood
After that we drilled holes in the corners so the skill saw could be used to cut out the keyholes
And finally, the front was done
Next we screwed the front on to the rest of the feeder, and it was just about finished!
The last thing we did before I painted it was to add little blocks so the latches were level with the door (but we didn't attach the latches until after the painting was done)
Finally we got it painted and since it's so heavy, we used the tractor to get it into the field.
We put in another post so there is one directly on either side of it to make it very secure. We hammered in a few staples into the face of it as well, as an extra precaution. However, it is so solid there is almost no chance of it being pushed aside or falling over. We cut away the fence around the keyholes and were very careful to make sure there are no sharp edges where they can cut themselves. The door is on the back, making it possible to load in a bale of hay (which fits in like a glove) and then cut the baling twine and pull that out. No mess!
We also put in a little (though very heavy!) stepping stone so Pace with his little legs can reach far back into the feeder
Melino, however, has no trouble reaching!
Far away shot
So there it is, the hay feeder that took months to build! So far I am very happy with it, but I'll post any problems I have, to let people know issues that might arise if they decide to build something similar.
Very sharp feeder and super sharp painted. Thanks for detailed pics, very helpful.
__________________ Laura 16 Goats: Molly-Jett, Isaac & Vivian>>Zoe-Sage, Kalan, Dash & Violet>>Gabby-Skye & Lily>>Ellie-Meg & Silas>>Shiraz Dogs: Tanner, Maggie-(In loving memory), Casey & Emma-(In loving memory) Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Mark Twain
It looks to serve it's purpose well....and yes please post if any thing comes up with it's use, I too have horned goaties so the keyhole concept is a no-go but yours makes me jealous! I'm sure that Pace and Melino are very appreciative to all you and your dad's hard work, great paint job too.