Mairzy Doats

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey, A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe?

Today I finished fixing the electric fence around the front pen.  I mowed, weed-whacked, adjusted the height of the wires, added another wire around the top, and two more wires to the gate.  Three goats inside with no escapes.  Yet.

We started feeding some hay so I needed a good hay feeder.  Goats are picky eaters, contrary to popular belief, and won’t eat hay that has been trampled.  In reality that’s a good thing because goats are very susceptible to internal parasites which are generally picked up while eating off the ground.  But it’s annoying when they drag hay all over the ground and refuse to eat it.

There are many different hay feeder designs around, but most are horrible hay wasters.  Goats like to get a mouthful and chew it away from the feeder, usually dropping half of it on the ground.  Most feeders are designed simply to hold the hay where the goats can reach it, without taking into account goat behavior.

The feeder I built today it based loosely on a picture I found of a huge feeder used on a large scale farm.  I scaled it down and modified it to work with the scrap wood I had on hand.

The bunk at the bottom will have to be deepened to hold more hay and to force the goats to put their heads through the openings.  With it this shallow they can stick their noses in and pull out a mouthful of hay  The angled pickets make the goats twist their heads to fit them through so they tend to stay in place while they eat.  Anything they drop falls back into the bunk instead of on the ground.

It’s a simple design, cheap and easy to build, and extremely strong.  With a few simple changes, it should work great.

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Danny

Husband, father, jack-of-all-trades.

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