Monday, October 20, 2014

Winter Feeder

Round bale feeder.
Today I decided to tackle another project to prepare us for winter.  The last couple of years, rather than buy small square bales of hay for the goats, we've opted to buy a large round bale to get them through the winter.  Usually we  leave it outside, covered with a tent made from a big blue tarp.  Each year we think about building a feeder to make it a little easier for the goats to get to.

This year, with the new location, we have enough space to keep the big bale inside the barn.  We've been looking at various feeder designs online all summer, but figured we could put the bale up on pallets if we needed to, just to keep it up off the ground.

The feeder pictured is based on one that both my wife and I found online on separate occasions.  I figured if it looked promising to both of us, that is was worth pursuing.

After dropping my older daughter off at school, and once morning chores were done, I starting looking around for scrap 2x4s.  I managed to gather enough to build the feeder, so I dragged them down to the barn, where I also keep my circular saw and tools.

As I set about measuring and cutting, the goats decided to help.  Like cats, curiousity tends to get the better of them, and they can't leave things alone.  While the boys worked on holding down the boards I was trying to cut, Eair made an attempt at eating the sketched plans I had drawn earlier in the morning.  After a while they realized that none of the parts were worth eating, so they went about supervising instead.

Once the feeder was built, I had to question the design.  While I'm not an engineer, I do know that triangles help hold things up, and I didn't see a single triangle in this thing.  I was afraid (and I later confirmed) that the entire feeder would just twist with any amount of weight put on it.  Given the size of round bales, I decided to add some bracing once I got the feeder into the barn.  Now that it's in place, we'll just need to figure out how to get the hay in place once we purchase it.

"Let us hold this down for you."
"Aaahhh. Sunlight."
"Are you sure these are long enough?"
"You need another nail right here."
Feeder space.
Bracing added.

No comments:

Post a Comment