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Hay nets for goats?


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#1 Dakota Sunrise

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:35 PM

I've had goats for most of my life and the one thing about them that has always drove me crazy is how much hay they waste. It's bad enough when they're out in the pasture but it's really bad when I have goats in a pen. They waste so much hay! They'll eat the top of the pile but then walk on or poop on or pee on the rest and then they won't eat it. Once they declare it dirty in any way they won't touch it again.

Right now I have two goats in a pen. Actually they're in the horse's run in shelter. Now that I have the barn the horses don't need the shelter and it makes a very nice goat house. Quite roomy for them and all I had to do was wire a gait on the front and viola.
Sammy my buck is in there because I don't really want him with my does because I'm trying to avoid having kids this year. And Oreo is with him to keep him company. That was supposed to be Dean's job (my whether) but he'd much rather be in with the girls so Oreo got the job. They're an unlikely pair but for whatever reason they get along pretty well.

Sammy:
http://www.baywindfa...pictureid=21384

Oreo:
http://www.baywindfa...pictureid=21382

So anyway the point to this thread is to see if anyone has any ideas on what I could buy or build to keep the goats from wasting so much hay? I considered hay bags but I'm worried they could get their heads stuck in them somehow. Or Oreo's horns. Or Sammy's big head if he stuck it through the single hole. I don't know if it would fit through the hole or not and if it did I don't know if he'd get it back out. I also considered the other kind of hay bag that has all the little slots to pull the hay out through instead of just the single hole, but I don't know if that would be dangerous or not because they could get a hoof caught through the netting. But then on the other hand if they did they should be able to just pull it back out. In theory. I had the same concern if I used hay nets. That would be cheapest to buy but would it be dangerous for goats?

Has anyone ever used hay bags for goats? And if yes what kind? Any other ideas?

Edited by Dakota Sunrise, 20 November 2011 - 09:38 PM.

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#2 WashingtonBay

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:39 PM

I used hay nets for awhile with mine and they did get hung up in them. Could usually get out, but I did walk in once to Kili sitting there with a leg in the net. And that's before I had goats with horns.

I'm not sure I'd use any with horned goats. Even the small mesh ones they could get snagged on.

Unless you made them all into safety goats :) (see my other thread)



#3 shewasmyshadow

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:46 PM

I googled "goat hay feeders" and got a couple different things...

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Some of these look fairly easy to make with some scrap wood.
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#4 vicklynn

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:53 PM

Only had one goat and that was so many yrs ago I dont remember how we fed him.

I like a wood box with slats idea. I think it would work and be easy to make.

#5 WashingtonBay

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:04 PM

I think they would climb IN it. :)



#6 Dakota Sunrise

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:07 PM

I think they would climb IN it. :)


I know they would. We used to have that metal bar type hay rack ages ago. No idea what ever happened to it but I do know the goats climbed in it.:rolleyes:

I was worried hay bags/nets wouldn't work for them. That's why I haven't tried them yet. I just hate seeing them waste so much good hay!:doh:
Galadriel: Why the halfling?

Gandalf: Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? I don't know. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

-The Hobbit

#7 WashingtonBay

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:08 PM

Either feed them less or call it bedding. Go with the flow :)



#8 Equine_Woman

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:10 PM

Mine waste a lot of hay too. . .unless it's chaffhaye. . then they eat every bit. You might look and see if you have any chaffhaye dealers around there! It's not any more expensive than good alfalfa and there is zero waste with my goats. Can't help with the feeder though!! Sorry!

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#9 vicklynn

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:11 PM

What if you made it closed on the top. not flat, but see how the ones are made narrow at the bottom, make them narrow at the top, hinged at the bottom, fill with hay, close and use a bungy cord or lock to keep it closed. Sounds easy enough

#10 HorseloverLee

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:15 PM

Maybe a hay rack kind of like this would work? http://www.youtube.c.../14/1Y5wcfJ1_vM

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#11 FatSpottedAppy

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 08:26 PM

Our goat shares with the horses, we put them in the hay feeders where he can *just* eat, so he doesnt pull and waste everything. I like the first option, it looks easy to make! If I had the materials I would be tempted to make one myself!

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#12 Dakota Sunrise

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 09:25 PM

Maybe a hay rack kind of like this would work? http://www.youtube.c.../14/1Y5wcfJ1_vM


I was thinking about something like that. If I used a wire with small enough holes so that they couldn't get any heads, hooves, or horns caught it might just work. I'll have to keep it in mind.

I like that one other wooden hay rack too, but I'm still worried the goats would climb in it and then get stuck trying to come back through the slats. Although it could be made with the boards closer together so that couldn't really happen. Might work.
Galadriel: Why the halfling?

Gandalf: Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? I don't know. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

-The Hobbit

#13 roughcolliegirl

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:49 PM

it's called a "keyhole feeder". if i was puter savvy i would look it up for you and post a link and pictures and all that fancy stuff. Google "goat keyhole feeder" and see what you find. it's the ONLY thing that WILL keep them from wasting / spoiling feed of any kind.

#14 lacyloo

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:46 AM

Two in one :cowboy:

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#15 OwnedByOurHorses

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

it's called a "keyhole feeder". if i was puter savvy i would look it up for you and post a link and pictures and all that fancy stuff. Google "goat keyhole feeder" and see what you find. it's the ONLY thing that WILL keep them from wasting / spoiling feed of any kind.


here is a link that shows a keyhole in use
http://kinne.net/gpix2.htm
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#16 natisha

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:44 PM

The keyholes won't work for goats with horns & the goat with its head buried is at risk for getting rammed by surprise.
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#17 roughcolliegirl

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:07 PM

that pic isn't a very good example of a feeder for a horned goat. the ones i've seen are shaped so that a horned goat can get their head thru (in this pick the top hole is too round and needs to be more of a U shape, yet wide enough for horns not to get caught up), the long part at the bottom is thinner so the goat can't get it's feet in the feed, and the feeder isn't sitting on the floor so the goats can put their feet in it. if you look closely that goat is IN the feeder. there also needs to be sufficient room around the feeder so the least goat in the pecking order feels safe enough to feed freely. those holes are too close together and i can't see how long it is (8', but i can't visualize it). there needs to be an over abundance of holes- if you have 2 goats you need 5 holes. just to be safe. 4 holes and the dominant goat can, and will, slip out and bang the least goat. distance between goats is needed. for a herd, several keyhole feeders (with multiple holes) set as far apart as possible will help keep the least goat well fed. the herd leader and her friends will flock to one feeder and the other goats to the others.
and a long horned billy cannot use a keyhole feeder. if you try to make the holes big enough for his horns the other goats will learn they can just jump right in. a billy will just have to be fed off the ground, usually. unless he's dehorned.

and don't forget that goats derive their heat by digesting bulky feed. for winter warmth they require browse daily. this can be achieved by feeding cow hay, rodeo hay, weedy hay, and small limbs and sticks. the fine timothy hay needs to wait for summer.

Edited by roughcolliegirl, 22 November 2011 - 10:14 PM.
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#18 OwnedByOurHorses

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:25 PM

The keyholes won't work for goats with horns & the goat with its head buried is at risk for getting rammed by surprise.


I have the keyhole for my three and they all have horns. I haven't had any problems with them ramming each other.
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#19 roughcolliegirl

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:29 PM

goats are real smart when it comes to feeding. they'll learn just how to turn their heads to get in and out of a keyhole. and yeah- we never had a problem with ramming either, unless i tied them them too close together for feeding. then they would get defensive. but a loose goat knows how to take care of its self. but she sounded concerned about that stuff, so ......

#20 natisha

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 06:34 AM

I got that keyhole information from a goat site. Those people are crazy serious but the keyholes must work for some because they've been around a long time. They are supposed to work like cow stanchions, head & neck in.

Edited by natisha, 23 November 2011 - 07:18 AM.

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