But we noticed right away that the goats were not able to get all the hay. We found almost full leaves of hay still in it when they were done eating.
At first it seemed the problem was that their Nubian noses couldn’t fit through the holes far enough to reach the hay. So, using his angle grinding tool, Mtn Man cut out some of the wire to make bigger holes and sanded the cut edges smooth.
This helped a little, but they were still having trouble. The hay wasn’t sliding down as easily against the wood back as it did against the plastic back of the indoor ones. Mtn Man decided that the support slats were too close together and that we needed to remove every-other one to help the hay slide down better. He started by just removing one to see if it would work. Sure enough, the next day after they ate there were only crumbs left.
So then he removed the others, and made some more of the bigger holes in the wire. The combination of the two made the manger work much better and now they are eating happily.
We built a second fence feeder so that we would have enough feeding space for all the sheep and goats, along with their babies come this spring. This time we were able to use a livestock panel with 4×4 inch holes and thicker gauge wire. It worked MUCH better. We didn’t even need the vertical wood supports. The original feeder was 8 feet long, the new one is 9 feet long (just because of the variation we needed in our fence sections) – between the two there is plenty of space for our 7 sheep and goats to eat, as well as space for more once the babies arrive.