Many have asked for the specifics for the goat feeder that we’ve perfected over the last 10 years.
It has taken many iterations and testing to be able overcome all of the issues that arise when goats don’t use the feeder the way I’ve told them to a million times. Here she is in all her glory!
Fifteen years ago we started the fight to be able to feed the goats without having a complete catastrophe. The first thing they do is drop half the food on the ground and then wouldn’t dream of even smelling it again if it’s touching the dirt. To prevent this, we had to do several things. You have to use the fence material with the perfect size openings to let their noses in and not drop it all the ground. Then you have to size the perfect depth of trough to catch the hay and hold pellets and other feed.
Now, a little hay waste is inevitable — but you can greatly reduce it by doing this method.
The next problem is that goats, especially babies, climb on and lay in feeders. That knocks a bunch of food on the ground and when their dirty feet touch the food, they don’t like the smell/taste of it anymore. To remedy this, you have to make the trough narrow and at a slant that they can’t stand on and put the hay close above it so there isn’t space to get between.
The biggest annoyance that goats seem to always do, and then laugh at you afterwards, is pee and poop in the feeder. If the trough is done well, that will stop the baby poop. For the others, we installed the anti-poop board to keep their rear end far enough away that the poop can’t make it in.
Here are the specifics on how to make the best goat feeder
- 2×8’s – length varies on however long you want to make it.
- 2×4 – length varies on your preference
- Goat fencing material with 2”x4” or 4″x4″openings between bars – here’s the link to the one we got
- Screws – 3 inch
- U-nails or wire clips (to attach the fencing material to the wood)
Cut (2) 2×8’s about 2 feet long for the sides of the rack. You have to rip them lengthwise diagonally so the hay can fall as they eat it. Cut 2 more 2×8’s about 1 foot long to be the sides of the trough. Put them about 4 inches below the rack sides. Cut (1) 2×8 for the trough however long you choose to make it. Screw it to the sides at about a 45 degree angle. Screw together and to the wall as orientated in the photos.
Attach the fence material to the rack sides using u-nails or wire clips and screws
Cut the 2×4 the same length as the trough and screw to the sides as the anti-poop board.
A miniature version of our goat feeder
We made smaller feeders for the birthing stalls in our goat barn. The only difference is we made them only 2 ft in length.