These feeders are great and work well for us. They have a nice deep tray for the hay to sit in while the sheep are sifting through to eat the best morsels first. We have a lot less wasted hay and our fleeces are much cleaner now.
The bottom tray is made of a frame of 2 x 6's screwed to a 2 foot x 8 foot plywood base (sheet of plywood split the long way). The top frame is 2 x 4's in the same configuration. The top frame and bottom tray are then attached with six legs made of 2 x 6's. Finally, sixteen 1 x 4 slats finish things off...
Pictures say it best!
These feeders are pretty inexpensive to make and are an easy day project. We usually get all of our lumber cut first and then assemble it with wood screws.
We have a few minor changes for the "Outside Feeder" version (cleverly named as it is intended for use outside of the barn... sometimes I amaze myself with these moments of genious). The plywood base is replaced with rough cut planks from the Amish Sawmill and 1 inch drain holes are drilled in each corner. We are also working on making covers for the outside feeders which seem to help saving hay from rain, snow, and sun bleaching.
They are made from the same rough cut planks we used for the trays and have slats screwed to the bottom which hold them from sliding and falling in.
We do not use any treated lumber for these feeders, but this spring/summer I would like to power wash them and protect them with something safe that will not harm the sheep... Any suggestions?
I am no carpenter but I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.. you can imagine that these homemade carpentry projects can be a little frustrating when they don't turn out exactly "perfect". I have learned to accept these "little mistakes" as my signature. A split board here, a crooked cut there... That is how you know it is my work (I think they call it "folk art" on Antiques Roadshow).
So remember when you are working on your own projects and things aren't going exactly as planned - life is a canvas, don't forget to sign your work!