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I was just curious what feeder designs people were using. We began goat life with keyhole feeders similar to the one idahonancy posted. The squared off holes allowed horned goats to eat from them till the horns got too large. After years of trial and error we finally settled on slat feeders for our horned crowd. The slats are 4 inches wide with a 4 inch gap between them. The tray holds the loose stuff that falls out when they gab a bite.
[attachment=2:3dqldlyq]Slat feeder on the goats side..jpg[/attachment:3dqldlyq]

Our main feeder extends through the main wall into the hay storage area so we can feed right from the hay stack.[attachment=1:3dqldlyq]Slat Feeder on the hay shed side.jpg[/attachment:3dqldlyq]

You can even make them portable with metal hooks on the top to hang them from the fence where ever you need them. A piece of plywood on the slats converts them to mineral feeders.
[attachment=0:3dqldlyq]Portable Slat feeder.jpg[/attachment:3dqldlyq]
 

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You can see my current feeder in this photo:



I don't really like it, honestly. It was created for a horse which occupied this stall previously. I lowered the feeder and then put the platform below it to catch the dropping hay. However, that platform has become a sleeping platform for one of the goats and another (pregnant doe even) actually likes to get up underneath of it at night.

So I'm waiting for the weather to warm up and then I'm going to redo it entirely. So would really like to see some photos what works well for others!
 

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Lets talk feeders again

I built a feeder like the pictures above with 6'' space but to much hay was waisted so I narrowed it to 3''. Still the goats seem to pull a lot of hay out on the ground and it gets waisted. Any other ideas? And I do have a large tray under it too.

My horses have the same type of feeders but they don't waist a straw blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately goats like to grab a mouthful of hay then pull back and look around while eating which causes a lot of it to fall on the ground where they won't touch it. Keyhole type feeders are the best for hay conservation because they make it much more difficult for the goat to pull its head out of the feeder after each bite. That generally forces the goat to just keep its head in the hole while its eating. Unfortunately horned goats need a much larger hole and small goats can wriggle through holes made for bigger goats. Also, I don't like keyhole feeders because they limit the sight of the goat eating which allows dominate goats to sneak up and slam them while their heads are stuck in the keyhole.

The slat and tray method are the best we have found. Though far from perfect they are much better at conserving hay than simple tray feeders and hay bags.

As noted by Cryptobrian above, catch trays that are too large quickly become sleeping platfoms which only adds to the amount of wasted hay.

The most efficient way of feeding is to only feed what they can completely clean up each day. That includes the stuff that falls in the tray. Otherwise the tray fills up with stems and other less desirable bits of hay and the goats start picking and choosing letting much of it fall on the ground where its wasted.
 

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Makes sence to me. I do have the tray, but its only large enough for their grain. They can't sleep in it.

I may be over feeding. I let them out to grase the back for a couple hours every day and they come back plump and fat. Then I throw them hay for the night.
 

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Here's my goat feeder. It's made from a 55 gal plastic barrel sawed in half. It's mounted such that they have to stick their heads thru a hole in the wall. That way we can feed them without having to go into their pen. I put a pivoting cover over each one made of a scrap of cattle panel. That keeps the chicken (who share the pen with the goats) from getting out, and keeps predators from getting in. I lift the cover to put hay or other goodies into the feeder.



 

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Got my new feeders set up today! This set up is temporary just to try them out. Just set them up real quick after baling hay all day.

I'll likely move them to the wood rail fence and set it up so they have the entire opening height for their heads. The guy that made them for me made the goat spacers adjustable/removeable if needed for goats with large horns.

Seems to be working well. Sorry photos were taken in the dark....
[attachment=2:bzj95yo2]DSC01304 Feeders 9-25-11 PSEC8-600x360.jpg[/attachment:bzj95yo2]
[attachment=1:bzj95yo2]DSC01317 Feeders 9-25-11 PSEC8-600x360.jpg[/attachment:bzj95yo2]
[attachment=0:bzj95yo2]DSC01328 Feeders 9-25-11 PSEC8-600x360.jpg[/attachment:bzj95yo2]
 

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