Friday, January 22, 2010
I had a request from someone to send a pic of my hay feeder for my goats. Of course there are far more elaborate plans out there, but I needed something quick and so far this feeder has worked out fine.
It is a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom sawed off. I drilled four holes near the bottom and inserted wire in a cross pattern so it would catch the hay. I had misgivings about wire, but I figured they would probably find twine yummy and so would defeat the purpose of holding the hay up. Just make sure that the wire is bent upward so the goats don't get scratched.
Goats are actually rather picky eaters. They like to eat a little of this and a little of that. If anything falls on the ground, they won't touch it. If they soil their hay, they will refuse to eat it, which is why most feeders are designed to be up off the ground. A more efficient design would have a trough at the bottom to catch what falls out as they pull the hay down, but I haven't gotten to that.
Did you see all the wasted hay on the ground? Well, that just goes with the territory. They will waste some hay no matter what you do. I figure they are just adding a layer to their bedding. And, if I see particularly clean bunch of hay that the goats have refused, I will bring it to the chickens. They seem to like it.
Some folks recommend a "keyhole" style feeder, to reduce waste, but goats butt each other all the time and they can end up with a serious injury. No thanks!