Keyhole Feeder

Discussion in 'Barnyard Bananza' started by PACE, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    I know, reading Fiasco Farm's website, that these are not always reccomended. However, with hay prices climbing and the goats getting bigger and requiring more food, I have decided to look into a keyhole feeder. I was thinking about making a hay feeder that can stay outside and will keep the hay dry (so a weather-proof paint and probably a shingled, hinged roof with an overhang to keep water from dripping down to the "keyholes"). Since I have quite a few questions, I will number them to keep things orderly:

    1) Firstly, do you reccomend a keyhole feeder? Or do you think it is a bad idea, due to it being dangerous, poorly constructed, wasteful, etc. If you say no, none of the other questions apply. Please let me know if anyone thinks it is a bad idea and why, because I don't want to waste effort on something that won't work.

    2) I think I want three holes big enough for any of the goat's heads to fit in, because Melino has a big head lol. He is an Alpine wether, pretty big, and still growing. What size should the holes be? And what shape?

    3) I don't have a place to store my hay besides the garage... so, I will have to haul each bale down the icy/muddy steep hill to get to the goat pen. Ideally, I want to be able to just pull a bale down on a sled and stick the whole thing in the feeder, then remove the baling twine. I just don't know if it will work to put in an entire bale at a time, and allow the goats to finish the bale (it should last a few days) or if it will turn into a huge mess. Will it be okay to do this? Will the compacted hay be pulled out too easily and too much each time? Do I need to add less and fluff it instead?

    4) If it fits one small square bale pretty snugly, and the hay is protected from the weather, should it be okay to leave outside for a few days until it is finished? Will it be impossible to protect enough just by putting it in a square box?

    Thanks for any suggestions. I just came up with the basic idea, and have not thought much about how things will work, so nothing is set in stone yet. Other ideas are welcomed! :greengrin:
     
  2. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Okay, to help people visualize what I'm thinking, I quickly made a few "sketches" not to scale or anything, just rough ideas

    Here is a front view:
    [​IMG]

    Side:
    [​IMG]

    Top, with the lid opened:
    [​IMG]

    Kind of 3D sort of view:
    [​IMG]
     

  3. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    haha PACE i love your goat drawings
     
  4. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    I take it Mr. Pace is the tub tub of the group? I love your drawings! I think for your size "herd" a keyhole feeder would be just fine.
     
  5. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    those are great, i love how you made them round! just like the real thing,

    i think that theyre safe but there should be an extra hole just in case. our friends use them with sucess- almost no waste
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Cute pics

    as to using keyhole feeders -- I see no reason not to.

    I think that having the ability to put a whole bale in is nice, but make sure the holes are big enough so that they can reach all the way to the back of the feeder to eat all the hay. That is if you make it big enough for a whole bale.

    The only thing bad i can think of for using a whole bale is that the goats will stand there all day and eat hay even if they dont need it. So maybe only put in like half a bale. But maybe they are use to that much hay and they will only eat as they need. :shrug: I just know my girls would waste it just by eating to much in one day!
     
  7. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Do you think that would work to make something like that to line the barn walls for feeding???
     
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    The idea offeeding even grain in that type of feeder would be a good idea...especially if you have the "bully" goats that ram others out of the way...their head is IN the feeder an so they can't easily reach another goat. Using it in the ine of a barn wall would be useful too...sort of an enclosed trough...nobody can stand in it or even mess in it and if you had the resources to have the trough on the outside, you avoid the mob while feeding...hmmmmm, Pace, those drawings really have my mind working!!

    Also, if you want your boys to have access to ALL the hay in the feeder, maybe just make it the width of a bale of hay...or even add 3 more keyholes to the opposite side.
     
  9. PiccoloGoat

    PiccoloGoat goat girl x0x0

    Sep 10, 2008
    Australia
    Good idea

    kelebek I had an idea for one along a barn wall..

    [​IMG]

    THe first pic is pretty bad, but yeah you get the idea
    Second, The top slant down a bit and its open-able
    plus the back has a bit of a tilt so the hay will fall to the front..

    Just a random idea that popped into my head
    Hopefull your goats would be more in proportion though xD
     
  10. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    The only problem I can think of is that the goats will be sticking their heads into a dark box. Will they do that?

    I know I've seen hay feeders made from a cattle fence panel attached to the barn wall at an angle with a tray underneath to catch the leaves and scraps that fall out of the feeder. I've also seen keyhole feeders made from those big plastic barrels. I believe that a whole small square bale of hay will fit into one of those, but you can only put two keyholes into it, one on each side. So you would need one barrel for every two goats. And I always wondered if the barrels were attached to anything to keep them from being pushed around or tipped over by the goats.

    I've got plans to make a feeder using a section of cattle panel to make a V to put the hay into with a plastic barrel cut in half to work as a catch basin for the stuff that falls down. But so far I'm just tossing flakes of hay on the ground in the pen. It drives me nuts to see how much hay is wasted that way! But I haven't had the time to put together my feeders yet.
     
  11. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Love those drawings!
     
  12. creaturesall

    creaturesall Member

    288
    Oct 26, 2007
    Langdon, AB Canada
    I'm curious. I'm looking for some idea of measurements. How wide is the neck hole? Just wide enough that their neck fits in or should it be wide enough to allow their heads in & out at will? How high off the ground is the bottom of the keyhole? My goats have to step up to feed. Would that be dangerous (choke??) if they also had to stick their fat little necks into the keyhole? Has anyone one actually built one like this? I'm thinkin' I might like to rework the outdoor feeder I built so that there is less waste. Would a keyhole feeder do the trick?

    :? :? :? Inquiring minds must know! :? :? :?
     
  13. creaturesall

    creaturesall Member

    288
    Oct 26, 2007
    Langdon, AB Canada
    [​IMG]
    Anyone have any answers??
     
  14. PiccoloGoat

    PiccoloGoat goat girl x0x0

    Sep 10, 2008
    Australia
    bahaha Sorry cant help you there :? :?
     
  15. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I wouldn't know the dimensions, Bob, but I would think the "keyhole" is designed so that when they stick their heads in to feed it's not as easy for them to pull mouthfulls of hay out and waste it.....as to the chokeing I would think that if your goats had access to it straight on as opposed to stepping up, there would be no danger of choke. Of course the hole size would have to accomodate those goaties with horns, to prevent any hang ups.
     
  16. creaturesall

    creaturesall Member

    288
    Oct 26, 2007
    Langdon, AB Canada
    Thanks Liz . . . I appreciate the response. I just read a couple of other internet articles, both of which said keyhole feeders were not a good idea if your goats have horns, because a 'bully' goat will charge another which is feeding and can break ribs etc, as the victim will be unaware of the danger from the bully and not run or pull away. With that in mind, I'm thinkin' I'll just live with the waste (seems like it's around 40%-50%).
    Didn't I read elsewhere on TGS that someone feeds the waste hay to their horses? No danger of disease transmission to the horses from goat :sick: pea and poop :sick: ?
     
  17. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Well I spent like 8 hours working with my dad today, mostly on goat-related things, which was nice. We got 50 bales of hay... now just need 50 more :roll: We also planned out the feeder, very extensively lol. We were down at the goat pen for 45 minutes getting measurements for each goat and planning how the feeder would fit in with the current setup. Then we spent almost 2 hours at Home Depot buying lumber and supplies... I can tell you the feeder will be a very pretty red haha. Then it got dark and I was starving so we went to dinner together and I just got home... have to write a paper for tomorrow ugg, so we couldn't actually start building the thing, but it we have the plans ready and the supplies we need. I'll show pictures once we get it done! And maybe construction pictures, if anyone is interested.
     
  18. farm and home restoration

    farm and home restoration New Member

    2
    Oct 5, 2017
    Farm and Home restoration, has the Natural feeder. at [email protected]. Feed your animal one day, and they eat for. as much as five days. Taking orders now. Horses, Lamas, Cows, Sheep, Goats and more. Recover the cost of this feeder in one year with as little as 3% waste.Can be installed in a fence line, in a stall or in a barn. $349.00 Pat. pending

    Saturday Dec 17, 2016 at 11:00 am. I loaded this feeder with one bale of hay about 65 lb.
    Sunday Dec 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm. I checked it, it had about 2/3's bale left.
    Monday Dec 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm. I checked the feeder again, it had about 1/3 of the same bale that I put in it on Saturday.
    Tuesday Dec. 20 Checked again 1.5 flakes left I will reload the feeders on Wednesday Dec. 21.
    Wednesday Dec. 21 The feeder was empty and the little bit of waste that was there yesterday, 1/8 lb of less than 1% waste, and was eaten and gone. reloaded with one bale per feeder, one feeder per horse.

    Yes it is a slow feeder. With about 3% waste on the ground, most of which will be picked up by the horse.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/271868866664966/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
     

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