Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Best Hay Feeder for Goats in the World!

I've been away from my Blog entirely too long and hope I have not lost my readers because I do enjoy your comments and am thrilled when I can offer something helpful.  Today is going to be extremely helpful for you goat owners and maybe sheep owners too.

I have found a plan and have built four of these feeders for our goats.  It is the most wonderful, awesome, beautiful hay and grain feeder in the world. Almost 0, yes that is a zero waste of hay. 

In the five plus years I have owned goats there were two, OK maybe three things I totally didn't like.  One,  if you go into a pen with a feed bucket , you are mauled no matter how much they have ate.  They always act like they are one grain from starvation and almost all of my goats have horns so I constantly stayed bruised or scraped.  They don't mean to hurt you....they just think they are starving at all times and a bucket holds the answer to all of their food prayers.  Second is the wasted hay.  I have tried everything for feeding hay but as you goat owners know they waste more than they eat.  We use about 2 bales a day and have paid $5.00 to $7.00 a bale depending on the market.  Everyday all I could see was money laying all over the ground.  A goat will not eat anything dirty.  If one backs up and pees or lets the nanny berries drop, that hay is done for.  The third thing is keeping a herd of 30 goats hooves trimmed but that is even going to get better with time but that is another post.

As my feeders are outside incorporated into the fence line, I built them from all pressure treated wood. If a child is old enough to hold a bucket with grain, they can even feed the goats.

This pen is my older does.  I feed grain in the morning and then fill it with hay.  They reach their little mouths through the panel and pull out a polite little mouthful at a time.   If they do drop a piece it falls into the tray.   I love it!











This pen holds my younger does or the teenagers as I call them.  They actually are one year or close to one year old.


















These two feeders were put side by side in the fence line of our buck pen.  We started filling it with hay.


















It took the boys about 5 seconds to come running from the woods to munch out on the hay!















Download the plans at Premier1Supplies

I built the single sided feeder which was on page 5.  Although I have purchased from this company in the past, I did not order the panel inserts from Premier.  Instead I bought a panel from the local feed store.  It was 16 feet long and 48 inches tall with 4 inch openings.  Less than $40.00 and Papa Bear cut it into 4 pieces with some heavy duty cutters to make 4 feeders.  All the tools you need is a saw, tape measure, screw gun and screws or hammer and nails and fence staples.  If you are building it alone as I was on the first one you will need a couple of clamps.  I built my first one in a few hours. 

Did I mention I love these things!






19 comments:

  1. It would work well for sheep too, might have to go with a larger panel. I would certainly use that design once I have the fences placed as I want em no doubt about it.

    A good design from what I can see.

    That'll do pig :)

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    1. The plan I used was for large sheep and rams. The only thing on the plans I didn't do was put the strip of plywood over the top two rails. I saw no need for this. Should I find a reason later on I will add it.

      Can't figure out a way to make one for pigs. I ended up making a regular old trough and Papa Bear mounted it to 4 x 4's buried deep in the ground. I had purchased an automatic feeder for them and they destroyed that in about 2 months time.

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  2. Mamma Bear,

    Good to see you back! I love those feeders too, I will have to keep this information in the back of my head for when we get goats. We all know money doesn't grow on trees, and if you can save hay and not let it go to waste, it's a great plan.

    Give the Marine a hug,
    Sandy

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    1. Thank you sweet Sandy. The feeder is awesome for goats. We now have purchased the round rolls of hay which is saving any more money. I now don't resent having the goats so much especially with all the fresh milk, cheese and yogurt we have on hand. The Marine will be happy when I read the comments to him. He will be expecting all the extra hugs!

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  3. Mama- No you have not lost me. I have missed you so much. Those feeders are awesome. would like to have some as well when ever we have goats. I will go check out the website, and see what plans they have for chicken coops.
    We went to a Livestock auction a few weeks back, while we were up at the Carolina house...never been to one before, this particular night was birds, chickens, turkeys, guineas, etc...
    I hope all is well with you guys and that the Marine is doing good.. Hope you are back for at least a good while. I know how life is and you get busy.

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    1. JUGM...I have missed all of you as well. I have done some sporadic reading at times and kept up a little bit with all of you.. I haven't been to an auction in years. We used to attend one about 50 miles from here. I have always been told to be careful buying at an auction without checking the animals out beforehand. Some scrupulous people try to unload their sick animals at the auctions. I have so many post in my head and will try to get one done on a daily basis if time permits. Our homestead is coming together better and better!

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  4. Mamma - that goat feeder is awesome and of course i bookmarked the link! what is more awesome is that you are back - woohoo for all of us! we have missed you and are glad to have you back! like the lovely ladies above me have already said - give that Marine a big hug and kiss from me too!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Thank you sweet Kymber. Hope you and Jam are doing awesome! If you ever get you some goats on that island of yours, you will love these feeders. If I could I would Fed-EX you a couple of these critters! The Marine will look forward to all of these extra hugs and kisses when I read to him later.

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  5. could you post the plans for this feeder

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    1. Sami...under the picture reads Download the plans at Premier1Supplies. Premier1Supplies is a link. For some reason the color did not change in the post but if you mouse over it, you will see it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Do you have problems with residual in the bottom of the feeders that get nasty when it rains? Or do these drain well?

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  7. We are new to farming and I love this feeder idea! The waste is unbearable to see. How do the goats handle wet hay if it is raining? Or do you do something different in the rain?

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  8. I love your feeder, I really need to get the hubby to make these. I am so tired of wasting so much hay. And wasted hay is wasting money. Sigh.....I have 32 goats with 3 adult boys and 2 bucklings.

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  9. Well we made the feeder and it was wonderful until the bucklings and doelings decided it was easier to jump up into the feeder to eat. They could do this because they are so little. Anyway the peed and pooped in there and got the hay wet. The hay was pretty soft and had some of it that was kind of powdery and fell to the bottom which soaked up the pee but of course the wood started to smell. Anyway today we painted the wood to help seal it after I cleaned it and once that dries I am going to caulk under the boards so the urine can't go under them. If I didn't have any if the kids in there there wouldn't of been a problem. Ooh yes and we drilled some holes on the bottom to let any of the liquids out. The feeder is not out in the open and doesn't get wet from rain.

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  10. I know this is an older post, but still useful! Just found it while researching hay feeders for our new goat barn.

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    1. (Will be sure to make ours goat-jump-in proof. :)

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  11. Hi mama bear,
    My heart goes out to your son.on a lighter note,we are getting pygoras.is there a customizable plan I can have to build it before they come home? (4 kids)? They are a medium/small breed.

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  12. Hi mama bear,
    My heart goes out to your son.on a lighter note,we are getting pygoras.is there a customizable plan I can have to build it before they come home? (4 kids)? They are a medium/small breed.

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  13. I love this but I live in Scotland where it rains a lot- would have to think about some sort of cover.

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