Cattle Panel Hay Feeder

Sheep and goats are notorious for wasting hay. When it is fed on the ground, they lie down in it, and once they’ve done that they refuse to eat it. A conventional hay rack allows them to waste hay by pulling it out onto the ground. The taller animals also reach above the smaller animals’ heads and spill hay down into their fleeces. The resulting messy fleece causes major headaches when it’s time to process the wool. Quite by accident, I hit upon an easy, no-waste way to feed my sheep.
The year I decided to section off a side of the hay barn for lambing jugs, I had to find a way to keep them out of the hay. Cattle panels to the rescue! I tied them to the supports and made a wall they couldn’t anything but their heads through. Feeding was now so easy. Hay flakes are laid on the floor and the sheep push their heads through the panels to eat. There is enough space for them to eat side-by-side with no weaker, smaller ones getting pushed aside.

One end was sectioned off for poultry feed, oats and minerals. That took a little more doing. Fencing was wired to the panel on the sheep side to keep the sheep from putting their heads through. Since the chickens range everywhere, poultry wire was stapled to the hay side to keep them out.

I hope others will share their ways of feeding animals now that winter is approaching.

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Cattle Panel Hay Feeder — 5 Comments

  1. Necessity, they say is the ‘mother of invention’… I say, do whatever works.
    I did learn something reading this– didn’t know they’d refuse to eat it after they’ve laid down in it…
    don’t know much about sheep, only have chickens.
    You never know what information you’ll come across with the Barn Hop.
    …all good ideas!

  2. We raise Nubian Dairy Goats in TX. We normally feed round bales. A couple of winters ago, we put a round bale in the doe pen and then tied cattle panels around it! Worked like a dream. Even though my does will eat hay they have laid in……. The hay can only take so much abuse before they refuse to eat it. Sure save a LOT of hay! This is on the right track.