Friday, December 5, 2014

Build a Manger for Your Goats

For most of the year I feed my goats brush from the woods along with a little all-stock feed.  Goats love leaves, bud, and shoots; and it’s a simple matter to cut down a good load of greenery for them.  The problem comes in the winter when there’s no greenery to be had.  So, in the winter I have to feed my goats hay.  Hay is not cheap, and goats are messy eaters.  As much hay ends up on the ground as ends up in the goats.  So I decided to build my goats a manger to try and cut down on the wasted hay.  As usual, I used a lot of scraps that I had laying around the farm, but I did end up having to buy a few boards for this project.  Here’s how I built the manger.

First I assembled what scrap lumber that I could find along with some cedar posts left over from a fence project.

I used a chainsaw to cut the cedar into two foot lengths and split the logs in half with a splitting wedge.

I took an eight foot 2x4 and sawed it in half length-wise then cut these in half so I ended up with four 2x2’s that measured four feet long.

Next I nailed the cedar splits to the four foot 2x2’s so that they looked like two short ladders.  These will be the sides of the manger.

I cut some more 2x2’s to use for end pieces then nailed the sides and ends of the manger together.

To complete the bottom portion of the manger, I cut two 2x4’s about four feet long as a base and screwed the manger down to the base with some long dry-wall screws.

I wanted to put a roof over the manger to help keep the hay dry, so this is where I had to buy a few extra boards.  I nailed a couple of four foot long uprights to the ends of the manger to support the roof.

Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of how I built the framing for the roof, I will let you look at the pictures below.  They are pretty self-explanatory.

To cover the framework I cut two sections out of an old toneau cover that had come off of my truck.  It’s made of heavy plastic, and it worked really well. 

I used some old rubber weather-stripping to cover the ridge of the roof.

When I moved the manger into the goat pen, I drove four stakes next to the base and nailed the base to them.  This is to keep the goats from tipping the manger over.

As a final measure I nailed a couple of angle braces between the base and the uprights to make the manger more stable.

The goats seem to like their new manger, and they haven’t been able to knock it over yet.

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