Hay Manger for My Nigerian Dwarfs

I have experimented with many different homemade hay mangers for my goats. Since using Chaffhaye I have mostly just used buckets, but buckets can be dangerous if heads get stuck, so today I bit the bullet and decided to make a new hay manger. I needed a manger to feed 8 does and have play space and safety for babies under and around it. I also needed to avoid spending tons of money. Here is what I came up with (and yes, others have made similar).

Empty manger being investigated

The manger is made by cutting 2 8-foot 2″x4″s in half. I gave the bottoms an angle so they would rest pretty much flat. I used 2 halves, the back and bottom, of an old metal futon frame and attached one half to 2 of the 2″x4″s on what would be the outside edge. Then I attached the other sides, making an “X” shape. At the top of the “X” I added a brace, making sure the top and bottom distances were the same. Then I laid the whole thing on the side with the futon metal attached and added the other futon metal to the other side, using 2″x4″ pieces where needed so it could be screwed down.

This is the end of the manger. See the "X" shape and the brace?

Setting the frame back up I measured 17-inches from the floor straight up to the middle of the “X” to get the height of the deck. This put the deck just below my does withers. I put in side pieces about 2 feet long to attach the plywood deck to, then added the decking, making sure one side was painted and the painted side was up to keep the moisture in Chaffhaye from damaging the wood and to help keep the goats from getting splinters. I used 1″x4″s to make and edge, using scavenged brackets to attach them so there would be a “lip” to keep the hay from falling to the floor. And that’s it!

Plenty of room for everyone to eat, and the shorter ones can put their feet up and get some too.

Amy is climbing up a bit, but there is not enough room for her to get all the way in. The bars are just wide enough they can put a head through, but not get stuck.

I really love this! No one was fighting because there was room for everyone to get some food at the same time. The baby we have was able to go under and get away from shoving adults with ease, and she couldn’t get in the tray (yes, she tried!) but she was able to eat. I would say it was a success!

About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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2 Responses to Hay Manger for My Nigerian Dwarfs

  1. Sarah Grove says:

    This is really awesome! I’m glad you shared this as I have been thinking about replacing my old hay mangers with new ones. You are very handy with the tools there! Looking forward to seeing more of your budget-wise ideas!!! (((Big Goat Hugz))) from NW Tennessee!

    • Thanks, Sarah! I found out I need to either put the frames closer together at the bottom or add a space divider through the opening as one of my older kids figured out how to get up through the center and get stuck. She couldn’t fit through the bars, but could get up in the center. A 2″x4″ center bar should fix that, though. I would love to see yours when you get them done! You can find free futon frames on Craigslist all the time, I pick them up on occasion for stuff like this and to build stalls.

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