A Better Goat Feeder

Our Pygora goats (Sam and Belle) are settling in to their new shed and the large fenced area we refer to as the ‘pasture.’  After watching how much hay they spill of the ground I realized I needed to build them a better goat feeder. I’m already dreaming of more goats and love the times each day I find to steal out to the pasture.  Most of the time I have the baby along and often a few other tag alongs, but occasionally I find time to head out by myself and simply sit, marvel, and soak in a little barnyard love.

There is still lots of fine tuning going on in their shed/barn, and I’m hoping to give a full tour soon, but for now I’m fairly excited about their new feeder. Lately I’ve been on a mission to build a new hay feeder.  I know I should have gotten the feeder ready before the goats arrived, but I felt like I needed to see them before I decided on the best system – completely illogical I know.  So it was time the goats stopped eating out of a cardboard box and got a real feeder.

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Why do you Need a Goat Feeder?

 What I quickly discovered was that goats will not eat the hay that falls on the ground, and when they do eat, they knock a LOT of hay on the ground.  So the mission was to build a feeder that kept the hay from falling, kept the chickens from getting inside and pooping in the feed, and kept the goats heads from getting stuck.   A goat feeder will help your hay go farther an reduce parasite loads since your your goats aren’t eating off the ground.

Check out a few of my favorite goat hay feeders here:

A Square Feeder from Goat World
 A Small Feeder Dallas Tyler Ranch (very similar to the one I built)
Great Outside feeder for a bunch of goats or sheep
An In and Out Hay Feeder from Swift Althea Simone Blackstock 

Small Goat Feeder Design

My final design was 2 feet wide, and one foot out from the wall with a hinged door on top to keep the hay in and the chickens out.  By keeping the bottom tray small, I’m hoping it will discourage the chickens from perching here. The feed was easy to build but did have to be reinforced over time as the goat climbed on it. The particularly like to jump up on the small platform at the bottom and you can see that I added some legs in the picture below.

Goat Feeder
Goat Feeder

We’ve built and purchased several other goat feeders over the years as our herd has grown, each with it’s own list of pros and cons. The most important thing to remember is that goats are tough on things so make them sturdy!

Currently we have a large feeder outside – the goats knocked the roof off and still climb inside of it, but it does keep most of the hay off the ground and can be easily cleaned. We feed them both hay and feed in this feeder. We also have an purchased feeder inside their shed so we can feed them hay when the weather is bad. Goats do not like to eat hay that has fallen on the ground or is wet so finding a proper goat feeder is good for their health and for getting the most out of the hay and feed you’ve purchased.

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Goat Feeder

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