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  #1  
Old 07/05/12, 11:43 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 106
Mind helping me with water/feeder height?

Goats are coming in a week and a half! We're so far behind on the barn, and are scrambling now to get the pen walls and fence up at least. I've got 2 lamancha bucks and 2 lamancha does coming (boys are 4 months and girls are 2-3 years and in milk).

We pretty much have everything figured out except for the feeders. We've decided to half a 2 foot strip of solid boards on the bottom of the stall to help keep the straw from being pushed out into the aisle, then we're going to attach cattle panels above it. I'm planning on cutting a couple squares out of the panels, and mounting the water buckets on the outside of the pen so it's easier to feed/water them. I'm wondering what height I should mount the water buckets though? As well as what height the mineral/baking soda feeder should be screwed to the wall at?

Also, while searching for feeder designs/ideas, I saw KimM's which we think is a really great idea. But, again I have no idea how deep the feeder should be, how high it should be, and what height the bottom should sit at? I don't know how long to make it either for 2-3 goats. For now we'll only have 2 does, but I plan on retaining a doeling next year (If I get one), and there also needs to be enoughs pace for kids to share as well. (I'm thinking I'll make a stool or something so the kids can reach). I don't have a lot of space here, and am only allowed a certain number of animals so I can't ever see us having more than 3-4 does max. So how long do you think would give the goats enough space to all eat from the feeder?

Here's a photo of the feeder we'd like to build (KimM's feeder that I found posted in another thread):



Thanks a lot everyone for all the help!

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  #2  
Old 07/05/12, 03:28 PM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
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That is a lovely feeder, but goat kids are going to climb in the front and jump on the feed and get it poopy and leave worm eggs.

Your feeders must not allow feet in them.

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  #3  
Old 07/05/12, 08:35 PM
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Alice is right about the kids jumping in it. You could take a regular piece of cattle panel and put in along the front so the kids can't climb in, at least that is what I would do.

To be honest on the heights for the water buckets and minerals I would wait until they arrive to make sure you have the right height. I only say that because I know that with at least my herd their heights can vary to some extent. But that is just my 2 cents .

Justine

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  #4  
Old 07/05/12, 09:38 PM
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I have small troughs, not buckets. They are raised up on chunks of wood to be a little higher than butt level. I like to have the wood sticking out so the goats have to stand on a ledge to reach into the trough. Otherwise the little sweeties will poop in it.
The water level in the troughs are kept pretty low if there are kids as it is easy for one to jump in and drown if the water is deep.
I have plywood tops on my feeders to keep kids from jumping in. The feeders are for full sized goats. The kids are fed in seperate pans, including hay. They will waste a lot but, if there are enough pans around, everyone will get to eat.

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  #5  
Old 07/05/12, 09:46 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Thanks for the feedback, what do you think of a set-up like this one:



Hubby would build a trough instead of using barrels though, but basically the same idea. Cut a strip out of the cattle panel and mount a trough on my side of the pen wall so they have to reach their heads through. Are kids nimble enough that you think they could jump up in there?

I really want to find something that will provide as minimal of hay waste as possible, but while still keeping the hay clean, I definitely don't want any kids walking in the feed!

As far as height, do you have even a general recommendation? I'd really like to have to ready beforehand, as we'll be getting home with them late at night and hubby will have to work the entire following week so will have no time to set things up after their here. If it were to be too high for them I could always mount an extra board for them to step up on to reach it, right? I just don't want to end up too low. I really don't have even a general clue though, so anything would be helpful.

(Also, I don't need to worry about the kids needing to reach, I think I'm going to set up a creep feeding pen instead and keep their water and hay in there so they won't have to share with the does.)

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  #6  
Old 07/05/12, 10:18 PM
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Oh, dear. I hope someone who has *successfully* had a creep feeding pen for goats chimes in. Adult goats are kind of like mice. If they can get their nose in, the body follows.

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  #7  
Old 07/06/12, 12:14 AM
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This isn't the best picture but here is one of my hay feeders I have for the does in the barn. The nice thing about this feeder is while there is some waste I can feed the does without going into the pen. Same with the second feeder I will show. The first feeder below has a wooden frame that goes up about a foot and then a wooden frame around the top. We bent a piece of cattle panel to wrap around and attach to the frame. I can feed the goats without having to go actually inside their pen.




Here are a couple of other feeders we have made

This is another hay feeder for a different pen in my barn.





This we built for alfalfa pellets but I use it also for a hay feeder now if I need extra space.

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  #8  
Old 07/06/12, 09:35 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Thank you for the ideas and pictures! Since we're using combo panels I like the idea of keeping it simple and just building a hay feeder to sit outside their pen and they can stick their heads through. I don't know if the holes are large enough at head height for them, but we can always cut some squares out to make the holes larger if needed.

I think we'll go with that as it's simple, yet should keep babies and feet out (I hope), and we're also running out of time so I need to make my mind up! :giggle:

Justine, would you mind telling me what height your hay feeders sit at? I think we'll build a trough and I'll have hubby cut the legs so it sits at whatever height yours sits at since you have La Manchas too, and worse case if it's not right we can always change out the legs later. I would just really like to have something ready and set up for them before we bring them home.

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  #9  
Old 07/06/12, 09:53 AM
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I like the slot thing except I think a plywood cover would be better. I don't know but I can just see some goatie managing to get a head or horn caught in the grate and getting pummeled while stuck.
I creep feed successfully. I have a piece of plywood with a kid size slot in it that fits across a section of the shed. I screw it to the 2x4s when there are kids. The key is having it far enough out that a big goat can't reach the food when they stick their head in and the slot needs to be small enough to keep the rest of the goat out.
I think I may adapt that slot for something I've been thinking on doing. I love keyhole feeders for reducing hay waste but a goat can be too easily blind sided when her head's inside.

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  #10  
Old 07/06/12, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice In TX/MO View Post
Oh, dear. I hope someone who has *successfully* had a creep feeding pen for goats chimes in. Adult goats are kind of like mice. If they can get their nose in, the body follows.
That is too funny! I've never done a creep for kids, since I bottle feed and they're in different areas. I have, however, built a "door" that would allow (not on purpose) the young goats (like weaning age) to get through to the adjacent chicken run. The door was meant to be small enough for chickens only. Yeah right! LOL. The fence was 2X4 mesh, and I cut a hole approximately 10"X10" at the very bottom, then put 2 small wood stakes on either side to make it a sturdy hole. The young goats could get through but not the older goats. I solved the problem by putting a cinder block in front of the hole, which allowed the chickens to crawl through but not the young goats. My recommendation for a creep feeder would be to make the hole SO small that the goats have to Army-crawl and squeeze through it!
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  #11  
Old 07/06/12, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MDKatie View Post
My recommendation for a creep feeder would be to make the hole SO small that the goats have to Army-crawl and squeeze through it!
My goats will army crawl. I use cattle panels and in one area where the grow out pen is attached to the main herd one horizontial piece was gone so it made the hole aprox. 8 inches wide and 12 tall. I have a wether that is bound and determined that if he goes into that pen he gets extra feed. Maybe just a case of homesickness that is where he did most of his growingg out or maybe a case of .......the grass is always greener. The hoop house now sits along the fence where he bar is missing.
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  #12  
Old 07/06/12, 10:30 AM
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One thing with wasted hay is that if you pick it up and put it back in the feeder, the goats think it's just fine. They watch me doing it, making food noises as they watch me.
I feed on rubber mats and when I roll the poop cart by, I just gather up the hay that has just fallen, not yet stepped on, and put it back in.

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  #13  
Old 07/06/12, 10:58 AM
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sahmoffour when I head out to milk this morning (waiting for bottles to heat up) I will get some measurements for you . Now that I think about it I will measure where I put my mineral feeder at also so you have an idea of how tall to do yours.

Justine

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  #14  
Old 07/06/12, 11:46 AM
 
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Thank you Justine!! That will make it so much simpler and at least give me a starting point so I can get it ready for them, rather than scrambling late at night once they get here.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I love this place and these boards have some of the nicest people around.

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  #15  
Old 07/07/12, 01:05 PM
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Okay I finally got the measurements! Sorry they are a day late . On days I work things can get hectic trying to get all the chores done before I have to get ready and leave for work. But this morning I made sure to get them!

My mineral feeder is about 22 inches high right now with bedding and that seems to work for everyone. My mineral feeder does hang on the outside of their pen that way little feet (or big feet) stay out of the minerals as well as their poop. The wooden feeder I have attached to the wall is about 23-24 inches from the bedding. I measured from the bedding to the top of the "trough" part. So I guess for my herd the general rule is about 22-24 inches off the ground? I always just eyeball it so I never bothered to measure anything until now .

Hope that helps you out!

Justine

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  #16  
Old 07/08/12, 12:02 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Thank you so much Justine! Don't worry about being a day late, we're not quite at the point where we're ready to build the trough anyways, we're just getting ready to build our pens right now. I really appreciate it!

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  #17  
Old 07/08/12, 12:29 AM
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Goats will pull hay out and drop most of it on the floor then refuse to eat it they require a key hole they streach up a little to get there head through the hole then reach down into the manger to eat the feed the neck ls now in the slot and they can't back out with a mouth full to waste having to streach up some to get there head out they swallow first .jerome belanger has a very good description and a lot of other goat info in his book 'Raising small livestock''' check out ebay or amazon for a used copy for cheep:-) or there's a chance the local public liabary has or can get you one for all the good info in there you can,t go wrong with lots of first hand tryed and true info even pitures:-) :-) :-)

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