Building an inexpensive feeder for goats out of used pallets and old feed buckets will save money both by making use of waste materials and by preventing goats from wasting hay and feed. It can also save money on veterinarian bills because a hay rack will prevent hay from being infested by disease-carrying vectors in the soil. Used crate pallets can be obtained from farm-implement dealers, who may give them to you for free just to get them off the lot.
Cheap Hay Feeder
Stand four used pallets upright and attach them to make a box. Use a fifth pallet for a floor, securing it with screws to the pallet box. Stand the completed project on four used buckets, one on each corner, so that the hay rack can be moved from location to location.
There are a couple of ways to fashion a roof for the hay feeder to protect hay from inclement weather. Attach a piece of plywood, cut to the size of the hay box, to the top, attaching it with hinges so it can be lifted to put in fresh hay; ideally, elevate the hinged end by about 6 inches to allow rain to run off the plywood. Another option is to bend corrugated metal into a half-moon shape and screwing the ends to the top rails of the feeder.
Quick Minerals Feeder
A simple, inexpensive way to free-feed minerals to a small goat herd is by using a plastic bucket that has a lid. Cut a hole in the side of the bucket large enough for a goat to put its head inside. Fill the bottom below the hole with mineral mixtures and hang it on the fence, with the top sloping downward slightly to prevent rain from running into the hole and saturating the minerals.
Easy Grain Trough
An easy way to make a grain feeder for goats is to get a 4-foot diameter PVC pipe and slice the pipe into two long half-moon pieces. Attach wooden ends for the length of pipe so the feed will not spill out; legs can be attached to the wooden ends to keep the feeder at about head-height for your goats, or attach chains to the ends to hang the feeder from a shed ceiling, the frame of an old children's swing-set, or a hanging frame made from cheap lumber. Because goats like to play and jump over things, anchor the trough or frame so that the goats cannot tip the frame.