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).
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.
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!
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!