Livestock supplies from the trash pile!

Posted: April 19, 2011 by hopejoyandfaithfarm in Around the Homestead

Last year, I needed some grain feeders for the sheep. It was hard to feed them individually by pouring the grain into the little feeders. They would spill the food or one would finish eating before the others would and then the fight would  be on. I had hubby help me build a couple feeders that worked great, except for filling up with water when it rains.  I tried drilling holes in the bottom, but that didn’t work well.

This year I really needed another one, since we’ve added a few more sheep since then and trying to pour feed into 3 of those little black rubber tubs takes so much time. So, I once again put hubby and his chain saw (our main “cutting” tool) to work, with one modification, which I’ll tell you about. First, I went and pulled as many nails as I could out of the “scrap” 2×4’s that were left over from my hay feeders.

The nails that were too hard to pull, I pounded into the boards so that there was nothing sticking up to hurt anyone. Then I grabbed a scrap of old plywood that was a little irregular. Hubby sawed the 2×4’s to run the length and width of the plywood, with a gap in one corner. We screwed the boards standing on edge to the plywood. We put a chunk of 2×6” flat on the bottom to elevate one side slightly.

Feeder Completed
Now, when the feed is poured in with one fell swoop, the mini-horse and the two sheep she is penned with can all eat out of the one feeder. And, since I put it in the pasture with the gap facing “downhill” (the modification), when it rains, the water all runs out. I need to go and cut the same sort of gap in the two older feeders.

My Mini-Rex does (I’m looking for a buck) live in a very nice 3 pen hutch outside. It’s all enclosed except the front and floor, which are rabbit wire. Since the storms here blow really hard, I put in the nest boxes (also built from scrap wood). However, because I want the rabbits to use the nest boxes when they deliver, I was not comfortable leaving the boxes in the hutches all the time. So, using more scrap wood and some short screws, I made a triangle-shaped open-ended shelter. This keeps their feet off of the wire floor if they so desire, and the angle of the side boards (forming a teepee of sorts) helps to protect them from the weather. They aren’t very stylish, but they do the job quite nicely.

The two hay feeders shown below were built from pallets. I pulled the boards off the side with fewer boards (it amazes me how hard these are to pull) and cut it in half, removing the middle 2×4” support. Then, using more scrap wood (seems to be an endless supply, huh?), I built legs, a bottom and sides, in a “V” shape. It’s not attractive either, and because I was mad at hubby when I was building it, (he said it wouldn’t work so I became a martyr and ordered him to leave me alone) it is somewhat shaky when on uneven ground. However, I can put two or three flakes of hay in it and it cuts way down on the waste and the pushing and shoving that happens between the critters. I used the loose boards that I had pulled off the pallets to make another hay rack inside the lean-to. We already had a pallet attached inside as a wall, so I simply added a couple of spacer boards and screwed the longer boards horizontally. Plenty of room for hay and for the critters, out of the rain.

Yes, I have a habit of saving odd sizes of wood. Hubby goes to throw it in the burn-pile and I pull it out. All these weird sizes have served me well, giving me a piece of wood that’s just the right size without having to spend the money for “new” wood or store-bought feeders. A little ingenuity goes a long way.

  1. Heidi says:

    I love it ! tell a woman she can’t do it and watch out ! the way things are now days you get by with what you have on hand . grt job Ruth

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