COVERED HAY FEEDER

A couple of years ago, I was on line searching for an idea for my goat operation. I visited Premier 1 and discovered their “Double Sided Walk-Thru Feeder.” For the price of shipping and handling, they would send me the plans for the feeder. I ordered and received the plans.

Since my construction is normally done with logged timber, milled by the Mennonites, I had to break down and actual purchase lumber - plywood. The plans called for 4 inch by 4 inch goat panels. If I had ordered the goat panels from Premier 1, it would have cost me as much in shipping and handlings as the cost of the two pieces of panel. I elected to use cattle panels (6 inch by 6 inch) instead. Other than that one change, I followed the directions I received.

Up on completion, I placed the “Double Side Walk-Thru Feeder” in the barn and began to feed in it. It worked great! A couple of weeks after I began using it, on a cold winter night, I decided to throw a square bale of hay into the walk-through portion of the feeder to feed the goats their hay. A few hours later we went to check on the goats - a cold January night - and found the little kids had found the feeder. They had crawled into the feeder, through the 6 inch by 6 inch cattle panel openings, and were snuggled in the hay. While we watched, a little four week old doeling got hungry, crawled from the feeder, and found Mom for a quick mid-night snack, then back to her cozy hay bed.

For the next four or five months, we placed feed in the feed hopper and hay in the walk through area. When the warm weather finally arrived, I continued to feed hay in the feeder; and the goats seemed to enjoy it
.


Problem! The area around the feeder started to mound with hay. When we cleaned out the barn, we decided to move the feeder out of the barn. I decided that the feeder would not last very long out in the weather, so we had to put it under cover of some sort. I added four uprights to each corner, rafters connected to these uprights, the placed cross bars at the crown and tail of the rafter. We then added ‘cheap’ tarps over the rafters and we had a covered hay feeder.

Now in used in front of the barn, in the open, the hay feeder holds two square bales of hay. Oh, we finally got goat panels in Tennessee, so I replaced the cattle panel with goat panels before I moved it out of the barn. The kids can no longer crawl up in the hay area, but some sleep under the feeder and in the feed troughs. The smaller goat panels seem to cut down on the amount of hay wasted since the goats can’t pull out as much at one time.



I’m considering building another for the buck pen and another for the isolation pen.

To obtain a copy of the plans for Premier 1’s Double Sided Walk-Thru Feeder:
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=25675&species_id=ALL&cat_id=20

Material required for our adapted hay feeder:

From Premier 1:
Four 20" x 4' Feeder inserts @ $14.50 each (I used a $13 cattle panel -16 feet long - then later a $22 goat panel - 20 feet long - for this…cut to fit)
24 barbed staples (provided free by Premier 1).


From local sources:
Ten 2 x 4 x 8' (horizontals)
Six 2 x 4 x 42" (vertical legs) CCA treated
Two 2 x 4 x 35" floor supports
One 2 x 4 x 32" center floor support
2/3 sheet 1/2" CCA treated plywood floor cut into two 32" x 48" pieces
One half sheet of CDX 1/2" plywood cut into two 12" x 96" pieces
Forty 16d nails and 80 1-1/2" roofing nails, or 40 2-1/2" decking screws and 30 1-1/2" sheating screws

I added:
Four 2 x 4 x 36” for support for my rafters on each corner
Six 2 x 4 x 45” for the rafters
Four 1 x 6 x 8’ one on each side of the crown and one on each of the rafter tails
A cheap tarpaulin large (8 x 12) enough to cover the feeder from the rafter tails to the crown and down to the other tail. (I nailed down one side or the tarpaulin and tied the other side down with bungee cords to allow access. I remove the bungee cords, place two square bales of hay inside the “feeder”, removing the bailing twine, and re-secure the bungee cords.)


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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168


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