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A big problem with any livestock, is hay waste. I have two ND does, and even with a makeshift hay feeder and rationing hay to 1-2 flakes a day, at the end of the week it feels like half a bale gets trampled and wasted!
My hay feeder is a pallet. Just a pallet. I get a flake or two of hay and stuff it in real good, and it works really well... until they pick out their favorite pieces until theres not a lot left, and whats lat falls out the bottom and they walk all over it!
So what I want to know is, are hay nets good for goats? I feel like there would be less waste, as the holes would be smaller, but I feel like the goats might get they're legs stuck! I would hang it on the wall of my goat shed. Does anyone have good/bad experience with hay nets and goats? Are they safe?
 

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I have used hay bags recently. I replaced them with bought welded feeders.
Reasons: I never felt 100 % sure they were safe, as I saw one doe stick her head in the top part. Even after I changed how I hung that bag, I never left them overnight after that.
Second, the ones that had a hay bag wore their nose hair off. I had mites issues before, and then wasn’t sure if that hair loss was from mites or the bags...
Third, the goats still pulled out all the hay to get to their favourite pieces. And stood on what was pulled out.
With the new metal feeders they also waste hay.
I have one feeder that we built that doesn’t seem to allow the goat to pull out the hay, other than that, there is always waste.
 

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It’s not going to be just the feeders but the amount you stick in as well. When I am feeding mine pretty much free choice hay they waste more then, like now, when they are only getting half that (because I want them to eat grass) so try to cut down more on the hay. They will eat it, they just need to be a little more hungry to do so. Yes they will throw a fit over it but if they are hungry it’s there. Now I wouldn’t and don’t do this to ones that are under weight or sick. I have 2 under weight girls right now and I’m putting up with a lot of waste from them.
But the feeder is important too. Don’t get me wrong on that! I don’t expect any of them to eat nasty crap off the ground but what is in the catch tray? Absolutely! But you need a feeder that won’t allow all that stem to build up first thing and over flow onto the ground. Less hay will also help with this ;) but so far, what I have had, that works the best is 4X4 square panels. They can’t really nose threw it and totally pick just the favorite out. It is not 100% no waste but it is so much better then larger holes. The only real down fall is they rub the hair off their nose and you have to explain that 100 times to people that think it’s some kind of zinc or staph issue.
But what I’m planning on making this summer is feeders that are like fence line feeder. So basically picture a wooden fence that they can only put their heads threw. They can nose threw it all they want but they have no excuse but to eat it all because it’s totally clean. I also don’t want it to be a actual fence so I am planning on making like a box with the same general idea as the fence line. That way I can move them around.
Depending on YOUR goats another idea is key hole feeders. For me though I don’t want that because I have a few nasty girls and I see broken necks. I think with the fence line they will be able to see those girls coming.
 

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Bane of my existence.
But, I also have crap hay. One should understand the nutritional limitations of their hay to decide if it is really the goat's fault or not.
This is what we just built in each pasture. They need some adjustments though. In one pasture, two of my littles hop right into the manger. Butt heads.
 

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Wood Building Mesh Brick Beam


These have made the best hay feeders for us. Obviously, there is waste, but not nearly as much. We use old retail carts (bought from a "going out of business" sale).

We have "recreated" them with the sheep and goat welded wire panels.

We only use hay bags at shows when we can watch them the whole time. Too much risk to leave them unsupervised in our opinion.
 

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I lost a doe 20 years ago to a net hay feeder. I used to fill several hay nets each weekend and just tied one in the shed before work each day. She apparently hung herself while I was at work. I still feel guilty. The hay bags look like they would be a lot safer. Now I use regular metal tubing racks but they are tie-wrapped on my side of the fence panels. It's super easy for me to load them from outside the pen and the goats have to pick it through the smaller fence panel side. Waste isn't too bad and I try to rake out under the hay feeder at least every other day. That raked out hay goes for compost. I did make a mesh top for one of the feeders that a particularly annoying doe kept climbing up and eating out of the top of.
 

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We use this feeder:

https://www.ruralking.com/tarter-dura-tough-small-animal-feeder-dtsaf

Then we added a framed top with some metal roofing panels and a handle and heavy duty casters with locks, we have tried EVERYTHING to prevent hay waste (especially this past year when most people only got 2-3 cuttings and hay was $8/bale) and we found this to work the best. There is still waste, but the tray in the bottom does catch some of the wasted hay and then it doesn't hit the ground and become goat "trash." Lol good luck, I think this dilemma is the bane of all goat caretakers existence! :)
 

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My husband built these feeders several years ago - a copy from Constadines book on goats. They work great and there is no waste. The angle of the slates makes them keep their heads in while they eat. The short one is free standing and the long one is attached to the wall.
 

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Yes! Something like that! But instead of the boards that go up I want mine more open, because they be nasty girls ;) but if yours all for the most part get along that would be perfect. They can’t get in and dirty up the hay. Some might grab a mouth full and pull out but for the most part I think they will just stand there and eat
 

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We use hay bags and they work great for us, but they do wear off the hair on the tops of their noses. And you definitely need to be careful of them getting stuck in them. The holes are normally way too small for them to get their head in, but they can chew the netting and make bigger holes. One of our does got her head stuck in because she developed a habit of boring her head through the hay feeder and eating from the middle before she was switched to a bag, and when she got her head in the bag she couldn't get out due to her horns getting caught. None of the other goats have this issue.

I would say hay waste still happens, especially with our billy cause he likes to just pull hay out and throw it on the floor because he can, but thats going to happen no matter what if they can get at the hay.
 

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Please do NOT use the mesh horse hay bags. You still waste hay and it is only a matter of time before you get a goat that is strangled. A few dollars saved in hay is not worth a dead goat.

Goats should not be around anything they can get around their necks. (Ropes, chains, etc). They are masters at killing themselves, in awful ways, too.
 

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Please do NOT use the mesh horse hay bags. You still waste hay and it is only a matter of time before you get a goat that is strangled. A few dollars saved in hay is not worth a dead goat.

Goats should not be around anything they can get around their necks. (Ropes, chains, etc). They are masters at killing themselves, in awful ways, too.
Spot on hay bags are a no go for us. My wife's grandfather had a dairy farm so we have a lot of metal milk crates. We lined them up in a row. Hay is off the ground, little waste.

besides hay is not usually wasted at our place, it just serves different purposes at different times. We feed it some gets processed, some gets raked up, eventually it ends up in the garden.
 

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Wow those are nice!!!
Tom just built another one yesterday. Girls can get a little pushy with each other so I wanted them to have more places to go eat. They watched him work and seemed to approve of the new one also. Picky girls. I have too many goats and can't seem to part with them,
 
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We have a multitude of different feeders for hay. We have a round bale feeder for the cattle and my goats climbed on top of it and sleep on it and render it not edible!
We have the small metal feeders you mount to the wall. My husband made wooden covers for the tops as we had a kid that managed to jump into the feeder when no one was home and she stuck her head through the rung and then back through another one. My poor daughter found her and our neighbor rushed over to help her free the goat kid. I could feel the indentations in her neck weeks after it happened.
I love the feeders where they stick their head through because then they can’t be so pushy!
 
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