Feeding Goats With a Hay Net

An inspired reader discovered a method for feeding goats that prevented her animals from wasting as much hay as would a conventional feeder.

| November/December 1980

  • 066 feeding goats
    The author demonstrating her method of feeding goats with a hay net.

  • 066 feeding goats

Are you plumb tired of watching your goats bed down on perfectly good hay that they've kicked or dragged out of their feeder? Wouldn't you rather see that costly food end up in their stomachs, where it can do its bit to produce milk? Well, here's a simple solution to the expensive problem: try feeding goats from a horse's hay net!

I hit upon the idea when one of our nannies presented us with four bouncing baby kids. The hungry imps were ready to try their teeth out on solid food inside of a week, but I knew they'd waste most of the hay if I left it in a conventional manger.

That's when inspiration came to my rescue. I filled a hay net with several fluffed-out flakes and hung it (using a slip knot, just in case a rambunctious goat got tangled up in the thing) so that the feed would be suspended just above the kids' withers. The little rascals loved it. And, though they did leap up and climb on the net, none of them managed to get tangled up in the new feeder. I was encouraged by this success, and decided to try out another "hay hanger" on my mature does. The "old ladies" were, if anything, even more enthusiastic about the food-holder than their babies had been.

Hay nets aren't very costly (they're available for $5.00 to $7.00 at most feed and tack stores), and I figure that ours has already paid for itself in lowered hay bills. However, anyone with a little macrame skill ought to be able to whip up a workable net out of baling twine for no cash at all!

Of course, I wouldn't use one of these contraptions around any horned — or exceptionally nervous — animals, because of the danger of entanglement. As far as my own hornless and docile goats go, though, I'll continue to save money by hangin' their hay in the air. After all, in this day and age who can afford to argue with a "net" profit?

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters