If you own goats, you might want to consider making your own hay feeder for them. While hay feeders can be purchased, building your own can save you money and you can customize them to what works best for your goats. Plus, it can be a fun project for DIYers.
Using a hay feeder for your goats keeps the hay off the ground, where it can get full of dirt, poop, pee, and other bacteria. It also stops goats from wasting hay, which is a waste of money. No matter your skill level, here are 13 goat hay feeder plans that you can make today. Read on to learn more about these plans and find the right one for you.
The 13 DIY Goat Hay Feeder Plans
1. Rough & Tumble Farmhouse Pallet Goat Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Pallet, scrap wood|
|Tools:||Wood screws, hammer, cordless drill, sandpaper|
This pallet goat hay feeder is easy to make and can be built using items that you may already have around the house. By attaching a pallet to the wall, you can save floor space and keep your hay confined to one area of your barn. The gaps in the wooden slats are wide enough for goats to stick their noses in to reach the hay, but not wide enough to waste hay by letting it fall out. Just make sure to sand the wooden slats to prevent splinters.
2. Rolling Garbage Bin Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Thoroughly cleaned rolling garbage bin|
|Tools:||Jig saw, drill, drill bit, sandpaper|
You can make this simple and affordable hay feeder out of a stable, rolling garbage bin. Goats can push this around and even jump on it if they’re feeling particularly active. Use a jig saw to cut holes in the sides of the bin for your goats to access the hay. The bin can be easily filled with fresh hay. Just make sure to drill holes in the bottom of the bin to let any moisture escape and prevent rot.
3. Homestead Lifestyle Storage Container Goat Hay Feeder
|Materials:||20-gallon storage container with lid|
|Tools:||Handheld drill, hole saw attachment, tape measure, marker|
This storage container goat hay feeder is exactly what it sounds like: a storage container filled with hay! The plan suggests using a 20-gallon storage container, but you can use any size you like. Once you make your measurements on the container for where you’d like your holes to be, you can cut out the holes and fill the bin with hay. The lid helps the hay stay fresh and dry. This design can help minimize wasted hay. Attaching it to the wall at a goat’s height for easy access is convenient and doesn’t take up floor space.
4. Repurposed Crib Hay Feeder
This repurposed crib hay feeder is so simple! It’s practically free if you have an old crib and requires just a few minutes of work. If you don’t have an old crib, one can be purchased from second-hand stores. You may even be able to find someone giving one away. All you need to do is stabilize the crib and then tilt in the sides so the goats can access all the hay. This is a cute way to repurpose a piece of furniture that’s no longer needed, and it can be painted any color to brighten up your homestead.
5. Plastic Drum Goat Hay Feeder
|Materials:||55-gallon plastic drum or barrel, cement block|
|Tools:||Knife or hacksaw, marker, ruler|
This plastic drum goat hay feeder is weighed down with a cement block and filled with hay. Goats can eat from the openings in the side of the drum that you cut out. This plan uses square holes, but you can make them any shape you like, as long as the goats can reach the hay through them. If you have an old rain barrel, you can repurpose it and save money.
6. PetDIYS Bucket Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Plastic buckets with lids, wire mesh or goat panel|
|Tools:||Jig saw, drill, eye bolts, square lock pins|
This bucket hay feeder doesn’t take long to make. You can make a few and place them around your barn or yard to give your goats several feeding stations. You just need a few tools and materials. If you have plastic buckets to use, you’re already halfway there. As long as you’re savvy with a saw and drill, you can make these in no time.
7. Grit Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Wood boards, plywood, cattle panel|
|Tools:||Drill bits, speed square, hammer, reciprocating saw, tape measure, pencil, bolt cutters, nails, wood screws, staples, miter saw|
The plan for this hay feeder is more difficult than some of the others on this list because instead of repurposing materials, you’re building the feeder from scratch. It requires more time, tools, and elbow grease. There are 17 steps to this plan, but don’t let that discourage you! If you’re up to the challenge, you can have a convenient, perfectly sized hay feeder for your goats. There are photos to give you a visual as you go along. The plan is divided into three sections, so you won’t feel overwhelmed doing too many things at once. You’ll make the hayrack first and then you’ll construct the bunk feeder. Finally, you’ll make the foundation. The feeder also includes runners so it can be moved easily.
8. Futon Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Futon frame, lumber|
|Tools:||U-bolts, drill, screwdriver|
Using an old futon frame, you can make a hay feeder for goats and other small barn animals. This plan includes a video so you can see the steps as you go. Futon frames can be purchased for low prices from second-hand stores, so you should be able to find one if you don’t have one. The hardest part of this plan is constructing the wooden box underneath the frame that’s designed to catch the hay.
9. Rectangular Hay Bale Feeder
|Tools:||Bolts, nuts, washers, galvanized nails, regular nails, sinker nails, drill bit, cordless drill, tape measure, skilsaw, ruler|
The plan for this feeder requires plenty of measuring and cutting wood, but the end result is a perfect hay feeder for rectangular hay bales. The feeder is safe for goats whether they have horns or not. The plan also includes ideas for optional covers on the feeder to keep the hay dry. You can use this feeder indoors or outdoors. There are also instructions for staining and waterproofing the wood if you’re going to keep the feeder outside. While the feeder fits rectangular hay bales, you’ll still need to break the bales apart before feeding them to goats to make sure there is no mold growth hidden inside.
10. Boots & Hooves Homestead DIY Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Pallets, water line boards|
Made from four pallets and wooden boards, this easy goat hay feeder is designed to feed multiple goats at once and reduce hay waste. Since picky goats won’t eat hay off the ground, any hay that falls is wasted. As a result, feeding goats can often be messy. This feeder was designed so that less hay would wind up on the ground. There are just a few simple steps to follow, so if you’re handy with a drill, you’re all set.
11. Ocean Bluff Farm Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Wire panel, cedar boards, clips, chain, eyebolts, hinges|
This efficient and large hay feeder designed by Ocean Bluff Farm is big enough to give multiple goats enough space to eat without them trying to guard the hay or push each other away. It’s also easy to fill with hay and clean out. Since it takes up the length of the wall, you don’t have to sacrifice much floor space. The step-by-step guide will show you how to construct this feeder easily, and the end result will be multiple happy goats calmly eating hay.
12. Mixing Tub Hay Feeder
|Materials:||Cement mixing tubs|
This mixing tub hay feeder can be attached to any fence and works best if it’s attached to a goat enclosure or playground. The idea couldn’t be simpler: Fill a mixing tub with hay, and attach it to the outside of a fence using bungee cords. The fence acts as an enclosure to hold the hay in place while still allowing the goats to reach it through the openings. It minimizes hay waste, and best of all, the feeder can be moved easily at any time. It’s also simple to remove it to clean it out thoroughly before refilling it with fresh hay.
13. The Goat Spot Pallet Hay Feeder
This simple hay feeder idea is great for one or two goats. If you have multiple goats, you can easily make a few of these feeders and hang them around your fence. The plan shows you how to use a pallet and a flat board and make a hay feeder that can go anywhere indoors or outdoors. The pallet holds the hay, and the goats have no problem reaching it between the slats. If you already have the supplies on hand, it won’t cost you anything to make this simple but effective feeder.
The right goat hay feeder depends on several factors, including the number of goats that you have and how much hay you need the feeder to hold. These ideas can offer you low-cost solutions to getting the feeder that you need. If you require multiple feeders, you can make several of the same feeder or mix and match these ideas to give your goats variety. Goat feeders don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. With these plans, you can have a goat feeder full of hay that your goats will enjoy.
Featured Image Credit: TinaSova20, Shutterstock