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  #1  
Old 11/21/08, 12:54 PM
 
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Feeding goats hay without a manger

So, we're just about to get goats - we have a barn and about 2.5 acres fenced in (maybe one acre of grass and the rest brush/woods). We previously had horses so we don't have mangers for hay right now. We've read that you really don't want to feed hay on the ground, and you really need something therefore to keep it up off the ground.... Would hay bags work for a temporary solution? We plan on building a manger eventually, but for short term what have you found to work?

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  #2  
Old 11/21/08, 01:12 PM
 
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I used the feeder in these threads worked great

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...can+hay+feeder

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...can+hay+feeder

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  #3  
Old 11/21/08, 02:08 PM
 
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No hay bags. They can strangle themselves with it. I would use a rubbermaid bucket and stuff it with hay.

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  #4  
Old 11/21/08, 02:15 PM
 
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A manger can be built out of many things. What do you have lying around? A plastic trash can can have a hole cut in the bottom and hung on a fence post. A piece of a cattle or hog panel can be hung with baling twine from a fence for hay, your just making a V shape to put the hay in then they can pull it through the holes. When I got desperate for a hay manger once, I just stapled some field fencing to a pallet and put it over 2 t-posts. A hay bag warning, the fabric ones are fine but don't ever use the net type ones, goats strange and die in them.

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  #5  
Old 11/21/08, 02:51 PM
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Don't use the rubbermaid bucket, or any bucket with a handle.

When I was a young lad, I was responsible for taking care of our family sheep herd. I was supposed to get the feed and then put it into their trough, but at some point I got lazy. I'd fill up the bucket and then put the bucket on the ground for the sheep to deal with. That went on for a few weeks with no problems, but one day I came out to find that one of the sheep had gotten its head stuck down in the bucket and either suffocated or ran around in a panic until he hit something and died.

Use the appropriate tool for every task. You can put together an actual manger in a half hour out of scrap wood or lumber.

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  #6  
Old 11/21/08, 04:45 PM
 
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Bad idea to put hay down. They would poop all over it and then not eat it. I have been dragging my hay bales to the feeders with a jet sled. Sometimes it feels a bit heavy and I think I'm growing weary. I turn around and on top of the bale is a goat eating and enjoying a free ride.

I have opted for the commercial feeders with the rectangular grids. The loose hay falls in the base and not on the ground...for the most part. My husband cut wood and secured the ends because I would find one of the little ones inside the feeder regularly. We also cover the top with a cut sheet of OSB board and put a heavy pallet on top to keep it secure.

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  #7  
Old 11/21/08, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reicheru View Post
No hay bags. They can strangle themselves with it. I would use a rubbermaid bucket and stuff it with hay.
hay NETS are bad. I personally think hay bags are fine and used some homemade ones quite successfully one year. I had very little waste and if I could I would still. I can't see how they would get hung up as long as they are hung high. they were burlap sacks with the corners cut out and stitched to prevent them running. too many goats now have to feed roundbales.
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  #8  
Old 11/21/08, 07:04 PM
 
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Location: Cosby, TN
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Have you ever seen those huge 500 gallon square plastic jugs that some food companies use to ship their sauce mixes for canning in? These things also have a metal basket that goes around them, some have heavy duty bottoms and some have just a frame that goes around the outside. AND the plastic jugs make most Excellent kid hutches, if you cut a hole in one side, and keep the screw off lid side up, you can suspend a heat lamp in there with no worry about it catching fire!

If you can fine one of the frames with a bottom, it is heavy enough to put out even in a paddock with a bale of hay in it, with a piece of plywood over the top, then a tarp and something on top of that to keep the tarp on.

They can stick their heads in the slats to eat, but not enough so they actually get inside the thing. And the tarp keeps the hay dry when it rains.

I gotta put some of this stuff on my blog so's you all can see it.

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  #9  
Old 11/21/08, 08:19 PM
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Many good ideas here!
I have a former horse barn, and this year, I've converted two box stalls and a cattle panel into ahay feeder. I knocked out one wall and both fronts of two box stalls and put a cattle panel across the now open front of the boxes. Hay is stored in the former box stalls.
I just open up the box door and spred hay along the cattle panel. The does can eat all the hay they want without contaminating it.

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  #10  
Old 11/21/08, 10:17 PM
 
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I only have two goats so this might not help you but I have found a plastic milk crate to be a great hay feeder. We just stuff a flake down in the crate each day and so far it has stayed clean. It is not tall enough that they feel the need to climb on it or in it. We have a bungie cord running through one side to attach to a post so they can't knock it over.

NOTE on Round Bales - one of my friends who raises Boers lost a doe to a round bale. Evidently they had eaten out much of the center and it fell on her and she smothered. Probably a fluke but stuff happens when you least expect it.

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Hondo, TX

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  #11  
Old 11/22/08, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette View Post
I only have two goats so this might not help you but I have found a plastic milk crate to be a great hay feeder. We just stuff a flake down in the crate each day and so far it has stayed clean. It is not tall enough that they feel the need to climb on it or in it. We have a bungie cord running through one side to attach to a post so they can't knock it over
How high up on the post do you put the crate? or is it setting on the ground?
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  #12  
Old 11/22/08, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DQ View Post
hay NETS are bad. I personally think hay bags are fine and used some homemade ones quite successfully one year. I had very little waste and if I could I would still. I can't see how they would get hung up as long as they are hung high. they were burlap sacks with the corners cut out and stitched to prevent them running. too many goats now have to feed roundbales.
I guess it must depend if the goat has horns. I had my red doe get caught up in one. Fortunately I was standing there and cut it off before anything horrible could happen.

I call all rubbermaid tubs 'buckets' lol They don't have handles or anything like that. I've actully used the big rubbermaid trash bucket in the shelter... then I use the lids to feed from.
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  #13  
Old 11/22/08, 11:37 AM
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Here is one that is not expensive to make. http://www.goatworld.com/articles/feeders/feeder.shtml We are going to make a couple of these ourselves

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  #14  
Old 11/22/08, 01:04 PM
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************************************************** ****
prairiedog.......tried to open the hyperlinks given but they won't open or display; any ideas on how to find them?
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  #15  
Old 11/23/08, 07:00 AM
 
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Ok, thanks for everyones thoughts! We ended up buying a manger type thing that you bolt to the wall at our local feed store.... and then yesterday we got two little kiko doelings! They're such beatiful little does!!

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Old 11/23/08, 09:52 PM
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i also had no luck at the links.

congrats on your new girlies!

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  #17  
Old 11/23/08, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Ok, thanks for everyones thoughts! We ended up buying a manger type thing that you bolt to the wall at our local feed store.... and then yesterday we got two little kiko doelings! They're such beatiful little does!!
Congrats! We need pictures :banana02:
of the goats not the feeder
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  #18  
Old 11/23/08, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette View Post
I only have two goats so this might not help you but I have found a plastic milk crate to be a great hay feeder. We just stuff a flake down in the crate each day and so far it has stayed clean. It is not tall enough that they feel the need to climb on it or in it. We have a bungie cord running through one side to attach to a post so they can't knock it over.

NOTE on Round Bales - one of my friends who raises Boers lost a doe to a round bale. Evidently they had eaten out much of the center and it fell on her and she smothered. Probably a fluke but stuff happens when you least expect it.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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Not a fluke, I've heard of that happening more than once.
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  #19  
Old 11/23/08, 11:31 PM
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If you or hubby or someone you know can weld you can make some hanging hay feeders out of cattle panels. My dad made some by cutting a cattle panel and bending it to form a very tight "u" shape. Then the pieces of metal that were cut he welded together to form the sides. Then the last pieces at the top, he bent over to hang on the fence. They work really great!

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  #20  
Old 11/24/08, 02:58 PM
 
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Wink milk crate for hay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minelson View Post
How high up on the post do you put the crate? or is it setting on the ground?
Sorry I didn't get to your question sooner
At the moment it is on the ground. I am going to set it up on a couple of bricks so that when it eventually rains the water will go straight through and it won't sit in mud.

Jeanette
Hondo, TX

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  #21  
Old 11/24/08, 04:57 PM
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Here are some pictures of the ones I made, got the idea from Vicki. I made mine with horse panels, you can also use utility panels. Cattle panels waste a lot of hay, the holes are so big.

No welding abilities needed They are very sturdy and should hold up for a LONG time.







For a temporary feeder for less goats, you can use a little 2 x 4 welded wire and just wire or staple it to something to make a pocket.

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  #22  
Old 11/24/08, 06:13 PM
 
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Well...... I'd take pictures'n post'm... except they escaped today And, we don't know where they are And its all icky and wet and raining outside tonight. Couldn't be a fun night to spend outdoors you know? So, we're currently just hoping (praying?) that they come back and are here in the morning... My DH says he thought he heard one of them a ways back in the woods, so we're hopeful there still around here somewhere close. Some stupid old guy had his beagles down here running all over the place. We didn't care before we had animals, but we're worried they chased them (or at least scared them big time by all the barking). So.. yeah. We're just really, really hoping they come back.

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Old 11/24/08, 06:17 PM
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  #24  
Old 11/24/08, 07:15 PM
 
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Is it possible to have the breeder come over and call them with a feed bucket? I remember my breeder once telling me that a doe she sold three years prior came running to the fence when she heard the woman's voice at a visit. I know my goats know my voice when I call for feedings. Worth a try if they are willing.

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Old 11/24/08, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Well...... I'd take pictures'n post'm... except they escaped today And, we don't know where they are And its all icky and wet and raining outside tonight. Couldn't be a fun night to spend outdoors you know? So, we're currently just hoping (praying?) that they come back and are here in the morning... My DH says he thought he heard one of them a ways back in the woods, so we're hopeful there still around here somewhere close. Some stupid old guy had his beagles down here running all over the place. We didn't care before we had animals, but we're worried they chased them (or at least scared them big time by all the barking). So.. yeah. We're just really, really hoping they come back.
oh no!!! I sure hope they are ok. You must be going crazy! How many are missing? Just the mama and babies?
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  #26  
Old 11/24/08, 09:28 PM
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Southerngurl, Your hay feeders are awesome...good job!

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  #27  
Old 11/25/08, 08:56 PM
 
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We found'm! Or I should say, my husband found them Or... maybe our neighbors? Something like that. Our neighbors (who live nearly a mile away), called EARLy this morning (7:30ish), to say ask if we had goats Cause' they were up in their yard. By the time we got there (5 minutes later?), they were gone. I had to go, but my husband eventually found them up in their old orchard a couple hours later. And then proceded to chase them around for about 2.5 hours It probably would have made a fantastic YouTube video!! If only. Anywho, he finally caught one and carried it home! All the way! An 80~ lb goat!! So, now they're safe and sound in our nice warm barn (ok, so maybe not THAT warm... but at least it has straw, and is dry and doesn't have snow. ), with hay and water and mineral block Now we just have to figure out our fencing situation!!

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Old 11/25/08, 09:00 PM
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Whew! I'm glad they are safe and sound at home. How are the babies doing?

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  #29  
Old 11/25/08, 10:16 PM
 
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Oh...I wish you had video. That's too funny....except for your husband of course.

Love the feeders! Great idea. My husband tried to makeshift a second feeder....well...you can see what a great idea it was :-) We ended up buying another one. Even at that we had to cut plywood to fit the ends and put a heavy board on top. The little feeder in the picture had a piece of ply on top with a board and Nate still got it off.

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  #30  
Old 11/27/08, 09:22 AM
 
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I have a 55 gallon barrel that was cut down to about half or maybe its 1/3. I put it in the shelter and have it secured in a corner. I have very little waste this way and the weather cannot spoil it and no one is poo'ing in it

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