How to Build a Goat Trough

Customized goat troughs waste less food.
Customized goat troughs waste less food. (Image: Seiya Kawamoto/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Goats are natural grazers. Anyone who has been close to them also knows they enjoy eating while standing, too, so we can plan to build a goat trough that is raised from the ground. Wood is better for building the goat trough because it is easily available and inexpensive. It is also possible to reuse wooden planks that may be leftover from another project or may have been something else at one time. This goat trough will take about one hour to build.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • 2-inch by 4-inch wood planks
  • Table saw
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch plywood sheet
  • Shovel
  • 1 lb. sand
  • 2 lbs. cement
  • 1 cup water
  • Cedar posts (4-inch diameter)
  • 6-inch wood nails

Measure and cut four pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch wood planks to 3 foot lengths, using a table saw. They will be used as the lengths of the goat feeder.

Measure and cut eight pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch wood planks, 2 feet in length, using a table saw. These pieces will determine the depth and width of the feeder.

Build a goat trough frame by joining all the pieces together with nails. Start by nailing two, 3-foot planks parallel to two, 2-foot planks across them at both ends. This makes a rectangular frame. Make another frame like this one.

Join the two frames by nailing four, 2-foot planks standing upright at each edge. Place one frame on the top. Place one frame on the bottom. This makes a three-dimensional rectangle.

Measure the plywood, and cut pieces corresponding to each of the sides of the goat trough frame, using a table saw. Make two, 3-foot by 2-foot plywood pieces. These cover the longer sides of the goat trough. Make two, 2-foot by 2-foot plywood pieces. These cover the shorter sides of the goat trough. Each of the pieces should fit snugly into a given side.

Cut a 3-foot by 2-foot rectangle from the plywood. Place the rectangle on top of the frame. Nail every 2 inches through the plywood sheet into frame. Invert the frame. The plywood sheet will be the bottom of your trough.

Choose an area of your compound where the goat trough will be placed. This should be a point that is easily accessible as well as clearly visible.

At the chosen site dig holes corresponding to the length of the goat trough. Put the trough in place. Mark the center of both sides of the trough. The holes will be dug on the left and right side of the trough.

Dig two holes 4 inches deep. Place a cedar post in each of the holes, and cover the holes with a mixture of 1 pound of sand, 2 pounds of cement, and one cup of water. Wait for one day for the mixture to dry and the posts to be firmly planted.

Mount the feeder between the two posts about 1 foot above the ground. Nail through the cedar posts into the trough every two inches, using 6-inch wood nails. This is essential so the goats do not stand in the trough and contaminate the feed.

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