Sheep Feeder

Several months ago when we first bought sheep and learned about wool…we knew that feeding the sheep would be a major consideration in cleanliness of wool. (We haven’t gotten into sheep blankets yet) I found a nice design on Premier One’s website (they are they only reason we sane-ly own sheep: electric net fencing!) I gave the pictures and dimensions to my husband, figuring he would put something together… Then he passed the plans along to my dad…Then our neighbors offered us some rough cut lumber from Old Dominion – how appropriate! I came home from work one day to this:

 

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The metal panel is to keep the sheep from throwing the flakes out, the wood bar across the top keeps them from jumping in, and the chain has a hook on the end, so you can hook up the wire to clean it out between feedings.

We always get it set up in the morning before bringing the sheep over.

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We had been feeding our sheep in a small water trough with slats

(effective, off the ground, but messy and they like to jump into it)

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Now, we lock the sheep into a small pen at night  (it’s easy to trick a sheep – feed a flake of hay in the old feeder, they all come running like it’s Christmas! Close gate, you’re good!)

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Come morning, though, Sauvie (below) eagerly awaits a rub under her chin…and for us to open back up the gate!

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   They RACE to the feeder – and all 9 easily fit around both sides:

7 8 Having a spinner’s flock means having what some might call … variety, non-uniform, unconventional – and so yes, the Shetland Bonnet doesn’t fit our plans.

She takes care of business anyway, as you can see below:

9Some of the sheep are always spotless, some are never spotless… at this point we’re going to just do what we can, shear in the spring, and re-evaluate for future years what else we can do to obtain the cleanest wool. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Sheep Feeder

  1. Lara Dunlap

    I really like this feeder and will try to make it next weekend. I also have fleece flock and last years feeders did not help keeping their fleece clean. How tall are the uprights? 8’ or 6’?
    I, also wondering what type of wood you used for the roof laps. Nice work! Thanks for any advice you could give.

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    1. The sides are 6′ at most. If we did it again, I’d like a little more height. I think the guys kept it lower to keep it from being too tipsy perhaps. Ours is very sturdy, no issue of tipping, but I do have to duck down a bit when I put the hay in.

      I think they used pieces of Doug Fir (common in our area) though cedar would be a nice option if available to you and perhaps a bit longer-lasting (though ours have held up very well, too, but we’re in a dry climate so rot and such is not much of an issue)

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