Hay Feeder

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by simplynewt, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. simplynewt

    simplynewt New Member

    83
    Sep 5, 2011
    Alabama
    Its getting almost time for me to start introducing hay to my girls and I waswondering if anyone here has any suggestiions as to how to make an inexpensive yet effective hay feeder.

    Would the feeder need to be kept in the pen or can it be placed in the yard where they browse?

    Thanks in advance for all the replies,
     
  2. Farmgirl675

    Farmgirl675 New Member

    252
    Oct 21, 2010
    I have lots of suggestions...need more info on the type you want to use and how many goats your feeding. Do you want something attached to the wall or a free-standing type?

    As for keeping it outside that is fine. I live in an area that gets alot of snow so I have a cover over mine to keep the hay from getting wet. I also have one inside because when it is nasty cold out they don't venture out much...so you'll have to evaluate your weather and how you want to do it.
     

  3. simplynewt

    simplynewt New Member

    83
    Sep 5, 2011
    Alabama
    I have 1 nubian and 2 pygmies. A free standing hay feeder would be ideal outside and I was considering putting a small one inside their pen.
     
  4. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I made a freestanding hay feeder out of a cattle panel, made an 8 foot section into a circle and put a rack in the bottom of it about 12 inches from the ground, as long as the goats don't have horns thay can't get stuck, I have mine wrapped with fencing that has 1x2" squares to keep heads out of it...the whole thing stands a little more than 4 feet tall and will hold a full square bale.
     
  5. simplynewt

    simplynewt New Member

    83
    Sep 5, 2011
    Alabama
    Thanks liz but I have no cattle panel let alone know what one is. Should I just wing this one?
     
  6. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Sorry bout that.

    What I have done inside the shed to feed hay when the weather is wet is take pieces of fencing( a 3 foot section works for mini's) and nailed it to the wall, the bottom half flush and the top puckered out enough to slide a flake of hay into. You can place it high enough so that they can't stand on their hind legs and reach down into the top.
    I've also attached pieces of fencing to the outside of the pen fence and used wire to attach the bottom and the sides for outside hay feeding, place a flake between the 2 "fences" and theres an easy hay feeder. If you place a feed sack between the hay flake and the outside piece, the hay won't drop on the ground out of reach.
     
  7. Mandara Farm

    Mandara Farm New Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    I've been using big buckets :shrug: One in the pen and one outside. The outside one gets flipped over when the girls go in their pen for the night in case it rains. When our barn is finished I'd like something that is a more permanent fixture inside. Someone on the forum said they got a big wooden crate from an auto place and pulled out a horizontal slat around the outside of it so the goats could get their heads in, and it cut way down on wasted hay. Might try something like that...

    Liz, do you happen to have any pics of your hay feeders?
     
  8. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
  9. simplynewt

    simplynewt New Member

    83
    Sep 5, 2011
    Alabama
    Thanks Liz for posting. The pics helped out a bunch. This I can do. :drool:
     
  10. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    These are the racks I have inside....the one has plastic trays from a commercial bread rack...I cut goat nose sized squares across the bottoms and the cattle panel holds them in place...I shoved 2 large handfuls of hay down in the bottom at 8 this morning and there was still hay there at 3...no waste either. The panel on the wall is a goat panel with smaller squares than a cattle panel...it works well too.
    The other is a piece of garden fence stapled to the wall....holds a flake very well.
    An outside feeder that I use on occassion is an old oven rack attached to the outside of the pens fence panel...hay sits snug and the reach through the panel squares with their noses to get it.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I just thought of another idea..it can be an inside or an outside feeder...one of those large trash cans with a lid....cheap enough at the Dollar stores and you can cut goat nose sized holes in the sides around it at varied heights. Securing it to a post bt bungee cord should keep it in place while used outside......Hmmmmm...I think I'm gonna have a new feeder here soon, gotta try out this one and see if my heathens deal with it.
     
  12. hearthnsoul

    hearthnsoul New Member

    199
    Jul 5, 2009
    We were losing so much hay from a regular feeder two weekends past we decided to redo. I have a regular sort of outside feeder that I just put a chip in each during the day but inside I have to be more conservative with loss stop. My husband built a square box with an lift up top less than a foot deep, in the boys and girls areas and it look much like Liz's photos. He used thin wire squared sheets in the front so the goats can't get more than a few sprigs at a time out so no dropping going on. He loaded each with a bale. The great thing is before he built this we started rapidly going through hay. I would bring home two bails on a thursday and by Monday i was almost out again, which was insane. After building these, we still have the same bales still rocking and the goats are not dropping any weight and are plump as usual. So the reality is we really were buying hay for ground cover,..YIKES! I will try and remember to grab some pics and load for you.
     
  13. simplynewt

    simplynewt New Member

    83
    Sep 5, 2011
    Alabama
    Thanks for the input Heart and Liz. I found an inexpensive plan for a feeder on line and I am going to give it a go. It requires only eight 2 x 4's and it is pretty easy to build.

    I tried uploading the word doc I have the plan on but being on dial-up, the site wont let me do it. :shrug:

    I will post pics of the finished product if anyone is interested in seeing them and will post how the girls take to it.