April 19, 2018

Hay Feeder

While we're gradually collecting more plywood for the goat barn walls, there is still plenty to do on the inside. Like the hay feeder.

The plans for this particular feeder came from Premier 1 Supply Company, although Dan made a few modifications. The specs are to accommodate standard-size sheep and goats, so we had to modify it for our mid-size Kinders. Also, we didn't order Premier's specially made feeder panel, rather, Dan cut down a sheep and goat stock panel from the local feed store.You can download the free plans here.

The instructions offer a choice of single or double-sided feeders. I wanted the double-sided for several reasons. One is because it will be positioned under a hay chute. The other is because dominant goats have a tendency to hog any kind of feed and chase the others away. I figure you can't defend both sides of the feeder at the same time.

The beauty of this design is that there is less wasted hay. The V-shape of the panels holds the hay, and the goats access it through the panel. The shelf on the bottom catches hay that gets pulled out and dropped.

It's free-standing, so it could be moved in the future if we want. Directly above it will be a hay chute between two of the floor beams. It will be so nice to not have to wade through a crowd of grabby goats to fill the hay feeder.

And that brings us to the hay loft floor. Originally Dan planned to mill it from our homegrown pine the way he has the rest of the barn.

The problem is that it would require use of the chainsaw, but his hand just isn't ready for that yet. No matter, there's still plenty to do and it all has to be done before the goats can move in. Progress in any form is nice to see. 

Hay Feeder © April 2018 by Leigh


Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent idea!

Susan said...

Your goat barn is so well-thought-out, Leigh! It is going to be a joy for both you and the goats!

Mama Pea said...

Susan said what I was going to say!

I knew once Dan got over (worked through) the extreme pain of his injury he would find plenty he could do around your homestead . . . both to keep his sanity and help the healing (I believe). While I know neither of you would choose to be in this current situation (especially financially!), seeing the move-ahead progress on a few things must feel great.

Ed said...

How are you getting the hay up into the mow?

Sam I Am...... said...

Just catching up with you..I'm so bad! I was thinking about Dan and wondering how the hand was healing? I hope he isn't in any pain now? I have thought about that hand more than I can tell you! He's a toughy though....out there working away. Your feeder is great looking and well thought out. I had a loft in my barn where I could throw down the hay to the horses and it was handy plus the barn was built into the side of a hill so you could drive the tractor to that side and load the hay into the loft which was ground floor on that side but when you went around the barn the stalls were there and the loft was above. Someone was thinking when they built it and it stayed warmer in there because the North side was underground for the first floor where the critters were. That is one fancy barn with the curves braces! Nice! Stay well and safe..both of you!

Fiona said...

What an awesome feeder. I just love your barn. It gives me ideas on how to better use our barn. Your Dan is a talented man😊

weavinfool said...

Hay chute. Love the feeder.

tpals said...

Eminently practical for Dan to work his way through the list of smaller jobs now. Projects may get done in a different order than originally planned, but it all needed doing anyway.

I enjoy seeing how well built everything you make is.

Mrs Shoes said...

I love that it's positioned to throw hay directly from the loft!

Leigh said...

Gorges, thanks!

Susan, well, we've had a couple of trial runs in terms of goat buildings. I've learned a lot from my mistakes and from the goats themselves. :)

Mama Pea, Dan is determined to press on! His hand usually hurts pretty badly by the end of the day, but he's gradually doing more with it and getting a little more movement with the fingers. So that's all good!

Ed, I think a block and tackle off the ridge beam. We'll see!

Sam, it's hard to stay caught up when there's so much going on. I love the idea of a barn on a hillside like you had. We considered on place on the edge of our woods where we could do that, but it would have been farther from the house than I'd like, especially when the goats are due to kid or have little ones. I wish we had a house like that too!

Fiona, thanks! I'm not sure how I originally found the plans for that feeder, but I think it will be a much better design than the one I have now.

Weavinfool, good eye! Thanks. I had to go back to correct it, although I will definitely be shooting hay down that opening. :)

Tpals, very true. He figured it all had to be done anyway, so why not work on what he can. Keeps the progress moving forward, which is truly a relief for both of us.

Mrs. Shoes, me too! That's an old idea found in many early barns. Very practical for feeding.

Paula said...

Glad to hear you guys are moving along. The feeder looks awesome, and make me think I can do something similar for rabbits (once I get them. Boy is that a ways off!).

The Wykeham Observer said...

That's a nice feeder, keeping hay off the floor and dry.

Leigh said...

Paula, I'm happy to say that progress is steady. Nice to hear you're planning to get rabbits!

Phil, we've tried a couple other designs and most of them waste a lot of hay. On the other hand, I've never had to buy straw! :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I don't know anything about hay feeders but yours looks like a very convenient one done nicely. Nancy

Sandy Livesay said...


Nice feeder! It's good to see Dan determined, and in time he'll use more tools.

Hugs to you both,

Leigh said...

Nancy, I didn't know anything about them until we got goats! Amazing what critters can teach you. :)

Sandy, thanks! Yes, Dan is definitely determined to press on, even if it means finding workarounds. But he's finding them and he's so much happier when he's feeling productive.

Goatldi said...

Fabulous my dear!

I love that type of feeder. The bunk really helps eliminate waste. As do the panels as it stops the "let me stick my head as far in as I can and pull out as much as I while opening my mouth wide and tossing both my head and said hay." Silly 🐐