At Ewe Lamb Right we try to have the right equipment to make the farm experience convenient for us and comfortable and healthy for the livestock. There is a lot to be said for purchasing quality equipment though for the money, a lot more can be done by making some of the more basic pieces of equipment yourself.
Sydell Fenceline feeders are nice, and can be self-standing. If not self-standing, they need to be on a fairly consistant & level surface. These are made from heavier steel than the EMT that I use. The EMT makes the feeders and panels much lighter (& cheaper) though they won't last as long.
Fenceline Feeders are the Only Way to Go!
Dan-Made Fenceline Feeders. Using 3/4" galvanized EMT, 1" steel tubing, steel angle and composite lumber. Each 8' section is self-standing and cost about $90 plus labor. I may add a longer lip to make feeding a little easier. We bought some fenceline feeders from Sydell, I replicated a few more sections, then came up with an easier version. Not saying it is better, just easier and cheaper to make.
Not a good feeder design for sheep. We feed almost 4 tons of hay per week, and find round bales are the most convenient for us. I built the feeders out of 1-1/2" galvanized EMT, bent every 8" to form the cradle. This would be fine for cattle, but sheep only reach the bottom, and create mushrooms. At this point, the mushrooms need knocked over which takes a little work. We lost 2 ram lambs from being burried under mushrooms that fell over.
The round bale feeders have removable end panels, made out of 3/4" & 1/2" galvanized EMT.
The end panels are intended to keep the hay in and the sheep out. The end panels semi lock in place, but once in a while a sheep will raise its head and run off with an end panel. They should be fastened in place.
Until I get to make new round bale feeders, I will continue to use these but put the bales in on end. They don't mushroom when stood on end. The roof hinges and is held up by one of the end panels for loading. A 3/4" piece of EMT is fastened to the roof and it slips over a 1/2" piece on the end panel to get the roof high enough. The new feeders will be much easier to make, as the large radius is not required.
Underground water lines run to several new paddocks
New equipment shed also served for hay storage and lambing