Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hay feeder part deux



Since we got a tractor and can actually move a round bale without use of PVC pipe as rollers and only the strength of Chuck's back, he has been experimenting with making hay feeders. He's made some pretty good feeders for grass hay by the flake, and a commercial horse feeder works fine for the lespedeza because the large openings between the bars work fine with the tightly packed lespedeza stems. The round bales were a challenge, though. How to make a feeder the goats could get the hay out of, with as little waste as possible? I noticed on another blog a goat producer had made a feeder with a very similar design, but out of metal. The original incarnation of our wooden feeder didn't have quite enough stability, and we have to contend with the goats eating a hole in the middle of it, leaving a giant donut. The "new" feeder is a little taller, so we hope that eliminates some of the donut problem, but at the least this feeder is much stronger. If anyone has figured out the perfect do it yourself design, we are all ears...

7/28/2012 - I've seen some horse folks on the site looking at the round bale feeder so I wanted to post about some alterations Chuck made on his later models.  He added a board across the open end that he takes off to load, and then rebolts on after the hay is in.  The feeder is much more stable with it on.  Also, we are using goat panels, not cattle panels, and goat panels have smaller openings so a horse with a normal sized hoof very likely could not get a leg stuck down in it.  I wouldn't use it for ponies, though.  I have horses, too, and I can't see a way yet that mine could get themselves killed on this thing, although I know some horses do try very hard to eliminate themselves from the gene pool.  If you don't know goats, though, you ain't seen nothin' like some of the ridiculous life ending things that they try to pull.

8 comments:

  1. What a clever idea! I've been wrestling with the same issue with my Dexter cattle (small breed). My round bales are 3-ft in diameter and 3-ft tall and weigh about 240-260 lbs. 'Regular' sized bale feeders are far too large so I've been looking at goat feeders to get some ideas.
    You've given me something to think about - thanks!
    Pat

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  2. Yes,i also agreed.This is one of the best feeder.i am happy to see it here.visited many blogs for horse feeders, but i think this is one of the best blog.thanks admin :)

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  3. Any chance you would be willing to share the dimensions on your hay bale feeder? It looks great!

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  7. I was wondering if you could email me the wood sizes you used , I would like to build this for my horses , RMullins43@aol.com

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