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 6. Farm Facilities & Equipment
 hay feeders
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Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  11:05:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I built my own hay feeders when I had my barn built, but now think that they are not very good because the animals pull they hay out and a lot gets wasted and winds up on the floor. So now I want to ask, for those who have them, is it worth spending the money on those feeders they have at the shows? I mean the ones that are covered with a little roof, and can you leave them outside without getting the hay soaked in a good rain?

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-3739

mythic

888 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  1:40:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit mythic's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Could I talk you into taking a picture, Heather?

Are you talking about a simple bale-sized box (solid bottom & sides) with a grate on the top? Does it sit on the ground or is it elevated? So you just drop the bale in, cut the twine and put the grate down?

Ryan

Ryan & Joanna Maas
Mythic Alpacas
Goode, VA
434.509.2559
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amyg

28 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  5:30:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit amyg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,
I actually replied to another post in another area of the forum about this same subject. We use double-sided 4 ft long hay feeders. We started out using wooden feeders that my husband made. We had a lot of waste. Our first winter (Sept-May) with 4 alpacas, 3 crias and 1 llama we went through 250+bales of hay. With the new feeders and 14 alpacas and 2 llamas we'll be going through around 320 bales this winter. Huge savings.

Hope that helps



Amy and Jim Grant
Good Karma Farm
Kingfield Maine
www.goodkarmafarm.com
info@goodkarmafarm.com
207-265-4557
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amyg

28 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  5:33:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit amyg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Christiane,

I would be happy to give you a link to the kind of feeder we use if you want to email me privately.

Amy and Jim Grant
Good Karma Farm
Kingfield Maine
www.goodkarmafarm.com
info@goodkarmafarm.com
207-265-4557
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pdhmaine

629 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  5:44:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit pdhmaine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We use the hay bale feeders produced by Horsepasture Manufacturing. I have a link on my website or you can google them. You can buy the whole thing or the kit that contains the grate and hardware to keep it on that's bolted to the wooden box (great instructions on how to build it are included).

One box holds a 30-35 lb. bale. It sits on the ground. The grate moves down as the alpacas eat the hay. They have to pull the hay out, so it mimics grazing. There is far less waste than some of the other feeders I have tried. Because they are not covered, I keep them in the barn/shelter. When the alpacas have eaten most of the hay, I clean out what's left and put it in an area outside where they lie in it and finish it up, stems and all.
Pam

Pamela Harwood
Longwoods Alpaca Farm, LLC
135 Main Street
Cumberland, ME 04021
pdh@longwoodsalpacas.com
www.longwoodsalpacas.com
www.fiberpieces.com
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Melina

25 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  9:50:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We bought a used grinder mixer that runs off our tractor. We put the ground hay in small plastic feeders for each animal and there is no waste. When the weather stays above freezing, I mix water in half of the hay bowls as some of our alpacas like it moist.

Melina Hawkins
Broadview Alpacas
Broadview, MT

melina@mtintouch.net

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richbye

750 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2007 :  10:45:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit richbye's Homepage  Send richbye a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
We have 3 types of hay feeders:
Wall mounted steel for the big boys
Free standing 4' long one for the girls (they like to have their space from each other and there's more room if they can all fit around it)
A large metal feed bin (about 3'L and 1 1/2' W) on the ground for the weanlings.
With every type of feeder, they get hay everywhere anyway. We just rake it up and put it back into the feeders. Once there's only a little bit of junk scraps left, then it gets refilled. I figure no matter what type of feeder we have or may get, they will still pull hunks of hay out, and munch while dropping some on the floor and their babies (not to mention into the water buckets as well).

The only good thing about having one on the ground is that there is less tendency for the select few to be covered in hay and such from others always eating over their heads.

I have yet to find a feeder that is mess-free....lol!

Jeanne

Gemstone Alpacas, Inc.
11300 Savage Rd.
Chaffee, NY 14030
(716) 868-0883
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Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2007 :  12:32:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heather,

Those look great. I know I can build some of those. What a great idea. Thank you so much for the info. That will be my next project.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-3739
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Lockwood

284 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2007 :  10:57:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lockwood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have hay feeders similar to Heather's except that I started with super large black hard rubber water troughs instead of wood boxes. There are drain holes for easy cleaning or drainage in case someone likes to eat with a wet face. I also have a raised bottom feeder trough so that small/short animals can reach the hay easily. I made PVC grids to fit just inside the bins and they sink down as the hay level goes down. The PVC doesn't rub the fiber off the face area, but makes it so they have to pull out one mouthful of hay at a time. So far there is no wastage and I can place them wherever I want so that all the animals can crowd around.
They do not have covers so I generally keep them under the overhang, but they are super easy to drag anywhere for any reason.

At my old farm I had made the wall rack feeders from wood and utility panels with a grain bin under inside the stalls for my animals too and quickly learned that they just make a mess plus they limited how many could eat hay at any given time.
At my new place I have the gutter feeder troughs for grain/crumbles only attached very low on the wall inside instead, and if I need to keep hay inside, I have soft sided flexible tubs with small metal grids inside that I place in the corners. These work great at shows too.
Leah

D. Leah Thomsen
Lockwood Farm
Chippewa, PA
mail@lockwoodfarm.com
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Raessler

2 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  11:46:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Raessler's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have used a number of different kinds of feeders the last five years including grate box feeders and standard upright feeders. We bought two of the "little green covered feeders" last year and our hay wastage is much improved. In addition, they can sit out in the field in inclement weather - unlike some of the other feeders.

Claudia and Ken
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  09:25:03 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Similar to what Leah describes, this year I stacked my hay in the center of the barn surrounded by 9' panels. The alps surround the stack and eat through the spaces in the panels, which gives the females 18' of "spreading out" space, and the males 9' (but I also stacked a bit in the corners of the male end of the barn so everybody could access hay all the time. That's worked really well (except the boys, for some reason -- maybe because they're such "eager eaters" -- have worn the fleece off at the withers from reaching deep into the stack). It's funny to go out in the morning and see alpaca rumps radiating out from the hay stack! Next year when I have a smaller herd, I may try putting the 9' pen in the middle of the barn so boys and girls each have 18' of space. I love this system because other than having to occasionally move the bales from the center out toward the panels and removing or snipping any strings that loosen up, I never have to worry if they need hay -- it's accessible 24/7. (I've also found that if you need a quick restraint to do a procedure, you just open one end of the pen - let your victim in, swing the panel back in place and they're semi-restrained between the panel and the hay. Half the time they don't even realize you're handling them because they're so happy to get "fresh" hay!)

Judith Korff
LadySong Farm Alpacas, Fleece & Flowers
Randolph, NY 14772
Farm: (716) 354-6355
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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mmbass

21 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2011 :  3:01:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit mmbass's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pdhmaine

We use the hay bale feeders produced by Horsepasture Manufacturing. I have a link on my website or you can google them. You can buy the whole thing or the kit that contains the grate and hardware to keep it on that's bolted to the wooden box (great instructions on how to build it are included).

One box holds a 30-35 lb. bale. It sits on the ground. The grate moves down as the alpacas eat the hay. They have to pull the hay out, so it mimics grazing. There is far less waste than some of the other feeders I have tried. Because they are not covered, I keep them in the barn/shelter. When the alpacas have eaten most of the hay, I clean out what's left and put it in an area outside where they lie in it and finish it up, stems and all.
Pam

Pamela Harwood
Longwoods Alpaca Farm, LLC
135 Main Street
Cumberland, ME 04021
pdh@longwoodsalpacas.com
www.longwoodsalpacas.com
www.fiberpieces.com




Marie and Marc Bass
Palmyra Hill Alpacas
Palmyra VA 22963
434.591.1420
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renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2011 :  02:21:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One really nice thing about box feeders with a grate on the top is that it helps prevent the dreaded green topknot/neck syndrome. With upright feeders you always have some animals pulling hay out onto some of the others who are feeding lower down, which inevitably leads to tons of small particles of vegetable matter getting woven into the necks and topknots. Even a regular box feeder without a grate covering can cause this problem for those animals who love to burrow down into the bottom to get the select small tidbits of broken grass and alfafa leaves that accumulate down there. Just be careful of the size of the openings in the material you use for your grate as I have seen more than one instance at different farms of animals getting their heads through the gaps in the grating and lift the grating up with their heads trapped in it - a recipe for disaster!

Bill

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
renfarms@starband.net
www.alpacanation.com/renaissancefarms.asp
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