Feeding goats hay without a manger

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mamadelbosque, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. mamadelbosque

    mamadelbosque Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. prairiedog

    prairiedog Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. reicheru

    reicheru Well-Known Member

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    No hay bags. They can strangle themselves with it. I would use a rubbermaid bucket and stuff it with hay.
     
  4. Feathers-N-Fur

    Feathers-N-Fur Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  5. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. powderhooves

    powderhooves Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. betsy h.

    betsy h. Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  9. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. Jeanette

    Jeanette Well-Known Member

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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.

    Jeanette
    Hondo, TX

    Always Learning!
     
  11. Minelson

    Minelson Well-Known Member

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    How high up on the post do you put the crate? or is it setting on the ground? :)
     
  12. reicheru

    reicheru Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. sadie6447

    sadie6447 www.waltersgirlsfarm.com

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  14. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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  15. mamadelbosque

    mamadelbosque Well-Known Member

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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!!
     
  16. chewie

    chewie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i also had no luck at the links.

    congrats on your new girlies!
     
  17. Minelson

    Minelson Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! We need pictures :banana02:
    of the goats not the feeder :cool:
     
  18. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Not a fluke, I've heard of that happening more than once.
     
  19. greenacres

    greenacres Well-Known Member

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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!
     
  20. Jeanette

    Jeanette Well-Known Member

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    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

    Always Learning!