Finally a DIY feeder I like

WILLIFORD

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I’m not saying this is the best feeder design out there, but it is the best one I have been able come up with. I am pleased with it. I built 2 others that I was not happy with. I see a lot of designs the utilize wire with 2”X4” wire mesh. I tried using this wire and was not pleased with it at all. My goats struggled to get the alfalfa out of it. I wanted to build something that was easy to keep clean, was easy to fill, was easy for the goats to use and was freestanding so I could move it around if needed. Please keep in mind, this unit would not be suitable for horned goats.

I won’t go into a lot of detail as the picture explains the bulk of the design. However, the area I will describe in more detail is the wire panels themselves. I use 6”X6” welded wire mesh; that you would use for a concrete reinforced slab. 5”X5” mesh should work just as well.

My approach for the panels was this.

  1. This may sound confusing but I cut the wire so I had 5 squares of wire horizontally and 5 squares vertically, but I overcut it 2” past the edge of the squares on all 4 sides. Basically I had 2” fingers stick out all the way around the 5 X 5 squares. Which gave me a width of 34”X34” This will make sense (I hope) once you have read through the steps completely

  2. I then made a frame out of 2X3’s as follows. With a dado stack on my table saw (or you could use a router), I removed a ¾” deep by 2 ½” wide by 2 ½” long section of wood from both ends of all 8 of my frame pieces, this is enough pieces to make two panels, one for each side of the feeder. This is to create a lap joint at each corner, allowing each piece to overlap the corresponding piece at the corners, which makes a much stronger joint (do not fasten them together at this point). From here forward I will describe the assembly of one panel, this would of course be duplicated to assemble the second panel.

  3. I then dry fit all four 2X3 frame pieces together on the floor and laid the welded wire mesh panels on top of the frame. I then marked each fingers location on to the 2X3 pieces. You will notice at this point there are 2 of the 2” fingers in each of the four corners that can be cut off completely to ease with assembly.

  4. I then took each of the four 2X3 frame pieces and drilled holes in center of the inside edge of each frame piece, where I had placed the marks from the fingers on the welded wire mesh. I drilled the holes slightly larger in diameter than the fingers themselves to make assembly easier. I drilled the holes 2 ¼” deep.

  5. I then dry fit the frame together by placing the wire mesh fingers into the holes I had drilled in the four frame pieces to insure a good fit. Once I was satisfied with the fit I disassembled the panel. I then placed wood glue on all the lap joints at the corners and reassembled the panel with the wire mesh. Using a square I clamped each corner together and fastened the joint together from both sides using 1 ¼” exterior screws. I repeated this process for the second panel.

  6. After the panels were assembled I then used poultry stables and fastened the welded wire mesh by driving 3 staples on each side into the inner edge of the frames pieces for added strength. Is this necessary? Probably not, but goats are pretty hard on equipment and this step only took a few extra minutes.



    I can provide more measurement if needed for the rest of the assembly, but really I just measured the height of my tallest and shortest goat and kind of built around that. Roughly speaking the trough is about 24” X 36”. From the ground to the bottom of the trough is about 10 to 11 inches. The cross pieces on the legs at ground level are about 24” long. The two pieces on each end that run from the top of the feeder all the way down to the ground, that form the legs are about 48”.



    I due plan to build a hinged cover for this before the rainy season. I plan to build the cover in a manner it is easy to open for access when refilling, while still preventing my hay from getting wet. I have found there is very minimal waste due to the trough at the bottom, as the goat will eat whatever drops in the trough, but they won’t eat what drops on the ground. Right now the little ones are still small enough they can hop up in the trough, but soon they will be too big to do that.



    I hope this helps. Like I said I can could provide more in depth measurements if needed, but really the rest of the assembly is pretty straight forward if you just tailor it around your goats. Mine are Nigerians, so what works for them would not be ideal for other breeds. But I am convinced the larger welded wire mesh is far superior to the other stuff I tried.
  7. I must point out, after viewing the picture it looks like a lot of waste around the feeder. That is not from the feeder. That is where I through the debris when I cleaned out their barn previously. The waste from the feeder is very minimal.

  1. feeder.png
 
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secuono

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That's what I do, just less complicated. Bend a cattle panel in half, enclose the sides and hang up. Quick 16ft feeder. Only difference is that the holes are 5x6
 

OneFineAcre

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That's what I do, just less complicated. Bend a cattle panel in half, enclose the sides and hang up. Quick 16ft feeder. Only difference is that the holes are 5x6

I can't envision what you are describing.
Can you take a picture?
 

germanchickTX

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A4FE1D6C-38E4-45AD-B3D7-76092825EF93.png
I’m not saying this is the best feeder design out there, but it is the best one I have been able come up with. I am pleased with it. I built 2 others that I was not happy with. I see a lot of designs the utilize wire with 2”X4” wire mesh. I tried using this wire and was not pleased with it at all. My goats struggled to get the alfalfa out of it. I wanted to build something that was easy to keep clean, was easy to fill, was easy for the goats to use and was freestanding so I could move it around if needed. Please keep in mind, this unit would not be suitable for horned goats.

I won’t go into a lot of detail as the picture explains the bulk of the design. However, the area I will describe in more detail is the wire panels themselves. I use 6”X6” welded wire mesh; that you would use for a concrete reinforced slab. 5”X5” mesh should work just as well.

My approach for the panels was this.

  1. This may sound confusing but I cut the wire so I had 5 squares of wire horizontally and 5 squares vertically, but I overcut it 2” past the edge of the squares on all 4 sides. Basically I had 2” fingers stick out all the way around the 5 X 5 squares. Which gave me a width of 34”X34” This will make sense (I hope) once you have read through the steps completely

  2. I then made a frame out of 2X3’s as follows. With a dado stack on my table saw (or you could use a router), I removed a ¾” deep by 2 ½” wide by 2 ½” long section of wood from both ends of all 8 of my frame pieces, this is enough pieces to make two panels, one for each side of the feeder. This is to create a lap joint at each corner, allowing each piece to overlap the corresponding piece at the corners, which makes a much stronger joint (do not fasten them together at this point). From here forward I will describe the assembly of one panel, this would of course be duplicated to assemble the second panel.

  3. I then dry fit all four 2X3 frame pieces together on the floor and laid the welded wire mesh panels on top of the frame. I then marked each fingers location on to the 2X3 pieces. You will notice at this point there are 2 of the 2” fingers in each of the four corners that can be cut off completely to ease with assembly.

  4. I then took each of the four 2X3 frame pieces and drilled holes in center of the inside edge of each frame piece, where I had placed the marks from the fingers on the welded wire mesh. I drilled the holes slightly larger in diameter than the fingers themselves to make assembly easier. I drilled the holes 2 ¼” deep.

  5. I then dry fit the frame together by placing the wire mesh fingers into the holes I had drilled in the four frame pieces to insure a good fit. Once I was satisfied with the fit I disassembled the panel. I then placed wood glue on all the lap joints at the corners and reassembled the panel with the wire mesh. Using a square I clamped each corner together and fastened the joint together from both sides using 1 ¼” exterior screws. I repeated this process for the second panel.

  6. After the panels were assembled I then used poultry stables and fastened the welded wire mesh by driving 3 staples on each side into the inner edge of the frames pieces for added strength. Is this necessary? Probably not, but goats are pretty hard on equipment and this step only took a few extra minutes.



    I can provide more measurement if needed for the rest of the assembly, but really I just measured the height of my tallest and shortest goat and kind of built around that. Roughly speaking the trough is about 24” X 36”. From the ground to the bottom of the trough is about 10 to 11 inches. The cross pieces on the legs at ground level are about 24” long. The two pieces on each end that run from the top of the feeder all the way down to the ground, that form the legs are about 48”.



    I due plan to build a hinged cover for this before the rainy season. I plan to build the cover in a manner it is easy to open for access when refilling, while still preventing my hay from getting wet. I have found there is very minimal waste due to the trough at the bottom, as the goat will eat whatever drops in the trough, but they won’t eat what drops on the ground. Right now the little ones are still small enough they can hop up in the trough, but soon they will be too big to do that.



    I hope this helps. Like I said I can could provide more in depth measurements if needed, but really the rest of the assembly is pretty straight forward if you just tailor it around your goats. Mine are Nigerians, so what works for them would not be ideal for other breeds. But I am convinced the larger welded wire mesh is far superior to the other stuff I tried.
  7. I must point out, after viewing the picture it looks like a lot of waste around the feeder. That is not from the feeder. That is where I through the debris when I cleaned out their barn previously. The waste from the feeder is very minimal.

  1. View attachment 52809

I saw a cool Palisade feeder, which could be covered by a roof. Works for horned goats also...
 

Carla D

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That does look like a really nice feeder. I struggled to come up with a temporary feeder as my goats are not in there perminant Spot, this is only for the winter since they are pretty small. My first attempt got one of my goat ankle hurt. That was two weeks ago. He still limps, but he has no problem headbutting his brothers, flying through the air, or even pawing at me with his injured leg. I’m starting to wonder if he limps for attention, because he sure does get a lot of that. So I attempted to modify it. That seems to work pretty well. But, I really like the looks of yours. You did a really nice job building it. Did you use a pattern or is this your own design?
 

germanchickTX

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Actually, I didn’t build it. I found these pictures during research as an example of a commercial german goat dairy. I really liked these ideas...
I could imagine you could build a low table (or use a couch coffee table) and cut the palisades out of 1 or 2 x 8‘s (or 10 inch). One board would make several of these. Then screw them around the table top, and you could even put a roof over it.
If you install two wheels it would even be mobile...
 

greybeard

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I built something similar a few years back as a mineral self feeder for cattle back and quickly realized it could be moved around much easier by dragging after I added a 4x4 skid on each side, right at the ends, (but under) the ground supports you have.
Mine had a roof, so was top heavy and it was difficult to move on fel forks without it trying to tip over. Much easier to just drag it. I've moved it as much as 1/4-3/8 mile before.
 

Carla D

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I built something similar a few years back as a mineral self feeder for cattle back and quickly realized it could be moved around much easier by dragging after I added a 4x4 skid on each side, right at the ends, (but under) the ground supports you have.
Mine had a roof, so was top heavy and it was difficult to move on fel forks without it trying to tip over. Much easier to just drag it. I've moved it as much as 1/4-3/8 mile before.

That is really cool. I bet one could be made out of a coffee table like you mentioned. Thank you for the ideas.
 
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