When I set out to do a project, I typically find out it is more complicated than originally anticipated. Not so this time! Making this hay feeder was not only less than $30 to complete, but it turned out being much less work than expected. I went into the project expecting to do some cutting, grinding and welding. It turns out none of that was required.
Here is what you can do to make your own hay feeder for goats, sheep, alpacas or other small livestock.
1. Find a Futon Frame for your Hay Feeder
I found a basic, black, metal futon frame on Craigslist for $20.
2. Detach Frame, turn 180-degrees, Reattach
The hinge on the futon is slightly off-center. You can remove the 4 bolts (2 on each side) connecting the interior frame, rotate it 180-degrees, and reattach using the same bolts and reusing the existing bolt holes. This will nearly center the bend of the frame.
3. Attach U-bolts
You will need four 5-inch u-bolds. Use them to attach the interior frame to the arm rest once you decide on the desired angle of the two halves of the hinged interior frame. At this point, your feeder is basically done. However, I suggest you do one more step.
4. Build a Box Under the Frame
This will catch the little stuff that falls out of hay bales, keep it off the ground and clean. (Plus, our alpacas really like that little stuff.)
I happened to have some spare lumber lying around from previous projects, so I fortunately did not need to buy any additional. The following is a list of everything I had to purchase to complete this project.
- Futon frame – $20
- Four 5-inch u-bolts – $6
This hay feeder is twice as big, and literally 1/10 the cost of our store bought hay feeder. It works great.