Since we did hay this summer with the neighbours, we will be using a lot more square bales. We used to buy big round bales, and we probably will still get a few this year, that we'd just push out into the pasture around the barn. The critters love to eat the centre out of the bales, then spread the rest around and lay on it. We used a lot more hay than necessary, because they wouldn't eat it afterward. So the boys and I set out to build a hay feeder. Something to hold the hay, let everybody eat, but not lie in it, poop on it, and waste it.
We picked a spot just far enough away from the barn to make sure all the animals could walk around safely and laid out the logs- leftovers from a couple of other construction projects.
#2 has become quite the expert at notching logs. If/when we run out of oil, I am going to miss my chainsaw most.
Once the logs were in, we laid them on top of each other and nailed them together with spikes. Then we notched and added a second row.
It's hard to see in the pic, but the ends have a three log high opening, to allow the goats to stick their heads in to grab feed. It had to be a good sized hole, because Nanner and Oscar both have impressive horns. Hopefully it's not so big that Mama (dehorned when we bought her) can climb inside. Then there are another two rows all the way around. I should have taken another pic when we tested it, with the critters munching away. It looks like it is going to work out well. My only fear is that they might fight- the horses tend to chase everyone else off so they can have a hay pile to themselves. I think it's big enough that they'll stay on their own side, but time will tell. We may need to build a second one. It is big enough that we could drop a round bale inside it, if we ever get one of those forks for the tractor.
For now, since we haven't had any snow that has stuck yet, we're still dropping square bales out around the pasture. Spreading fertilizer where needed (poop), without adding to the muddy, sloshy mess around the barn area.