Getting our first NDs in the spring...
Anyone know of a place that sells or have plans to make an outdoor hay feeder - I need one with cover since it will be outside in the elements...? What do you guys use outside? Thanks!
You could make one like this and add a top to it. Make a top that has hinges that swings up so you can add the hay. All it takes is wood, woven wire and a little time. My son made one just like this for the outside and attached it to the fence. I got a big cloth umbrella from the dump that someone tossed and attached that to the fence about the hay feeder and its perfect. Hay does get wet and they can stand under it and eat. Hope this helps. Much cheaper and better built than the store ones!
I made this little feeder for my 2 Pygmy/ND mix does. Doesn't hold much hay, but they have free access to a lot of browse, so I only have to add more hay every few days at most. In between the 2 hay holders (made from welded-wire livestock fencing) is a container for loose minerals. The lid sheds water, and is hinged to lift up so that hay can be easily added. Fiona learned how to lift the lid, so since taking these pictures I've placed a heavy rock on top until I have time to add a latch. Although I only have it minimally exposed to the weather, I am confident it would keep hay and minerals dry if left completely outside. Best part is, I made this in about 1 hour for 'free' using scrap wood and materials laying around in my garage!
"Premier has plans for one. I don't remember if it has plans for a lid or not."
We used the Premier plans for ours as well. We are feeding 11 doe's out it. We then modified the plans and built a half size feeder and are feeding 2 bucks and a wether out of it. For a lid we just slide a sheet of plywood on and off. It seems to be working great for us.
Short term solution. This is what we used to do. Would probably work well for you with just a couple of goats.
Screw 2 short pieces of 2x4 across the bottom as legs so they don't turn them over.
Obviously it won't work if they have horns.
6 or 8 steel fence posts driven around the perimeter of a hay bale works well for me and my goats. These aren't the best photos for seeing the posts, but should give you an idea. Only problem is rain/snow can get on it, but the only time my goats need hay is winter and then it's usually snow so the hay doesn't get soaking wet. The top just gets snow on but once the snowfall is finished for the day, or whenever the storm moves out of the area, either I or the goats knock the snow off so it's never a big deal. We've even had some heavy rains this winter which is unusual for our area, and the top and sides just get a little wet, but the goats eat it so quick that it never gets a chance to mold or spoil.