DIY Pallet Goat Feeder

As our little goat herd grows, we are need of a more efficient feeding system. This week I busted out my amateur carpenter skills and put together a pallet goat feeder.

Why Build a Pallet Goat Feeder?

Hay feeders are not cheap. A steel frame feeder will cost you upwards of $60 for a decent size one. A quick google search will show you there are a dozen ways you can use pallets to make an effective hay holder for your goats.

We happen to have just about unlimited access to pallets which makes them a ready resource for farm projects.

Are there any negatives to a pallet goat feeder?

Unlike buying a ready made feeder, a pallet goat feeder is going to require some elbow grease on your part. If you don’t have the time to monkey with one it might be more cost effective to just go buy one.

Another draw back of pallet goat feeders can be the look. My husband hates them, saying we should be build things from “real wood”. Well these ARE real wood, but I do get it that sometimes pallet construction projects can look like… well… pallets.

Since my carpentry skills are about a 7 on a scale of 1-100, I wasn’t shooting for anything too fancy. Just something functional.

Why is it important to keep goat feed of the ground?

Goats are notorious for being hay wasters. They are picky little eaters and a lot of perfectly good hay will go to waste if it is just strewn on the ground.

Hay that is loose on the ground can also come in contact with manure, which can and usually does contain a certain amount of parasites (worms). By keeping hay off the ground you get rid of that contamination aspect.

What kind of pallets will make a good feeder?

Gaps on a pallet are the main thing to look for when making a feeder. Thin slats that have large gaps are perfect. You want to make sure the gaps are wide enough for the goat to poke their nose in and pull hay out. They shouldn’t be too wide or the hay will fall out and you risk little goats getting trapped in there somehow. Which they will do.

Make sure the pallet doesn’t have any protruding nails, broken boards, sharp edges, etc. If it does you can still use it, just remove or sand down those areas.

Supplies for Making a Pallet Hay Feeder

To put together this feeder I used the following:

  • Wood Screws
  • 1 Pallet
  • Hammer
  • Cordless Drill
  • Several pieces of scrap wood (mostly 2x4s)

How to Make a Pallet Goat Feeder

Prep the Pallet

The day before you plan to assemble your pallet, make sure your drill batteries are charged or charging. I say this because pretty much every time I go to work on a construction project I have to sit and wait for a battery to charge.

The first task was removing the slats on one side of the pallet. I thought this was going to be a simple process of prying them off. No dice. These nails have a spiral pattern on them that makes them impossible to pry loose. Instead, I whipped out the circular saw and cut the boards away in chunks.

Make sure to remove any loose nails, broken boards, sharp edges, etc.

Hanging the Pallet

Next I hauled my pallet into the barn and marked on the wall the height at which I want the pallet to sit, and where each side would be.

I screwed a board horizontally where I want the pallet to sit. This step might not be necessary, but I wanted to make sure the pallet had extra support from the bottom.

building a pallet hay feeder rough and tumble farmhouse

Next, I screwed two boards on the wall vertically to line up with each side of the pallet.

building a pallet hay feeder rough and tumble farmhouse
Sorry the photos are so fuzzy! Dim barn and low res iphone!

Using more scrap wood (I tried pallet slats but they split too easily) I screwed them into the sides of the vertical boards to make bracing arms.

how to make a diy hay feeder rough and tumble farmhouse

Next, I screwed the arm braces into the sides of the pallet.

I lifted the pallet into place on top of the bottom support board and screwed it down. I made sure to angle the pallet so it lined up with the arm braces I already installed.

pallet goat feeder rough and tumble farmhouse

Then I added an another brace midway down the pallet on each side.

making a simple goat hay feeder rough and tumble farmhouse

The gap on the bottom side is definitely still a little big so I plan to add in another brace. Otherwise it’ll be a prime spot for little goats to climb in and make mischief.

Using my circular saw I’ll trim off any extra protruding parts of the braces.


If you wanted to do this more professionally with less waste, I would say you could measure and pre-cut the braces to fit the angle of the pallet. With just me there to hold the pallet in place it was easier to just trim off extra later rather than trying to balance it up there, measure it and keep track of the measurements.

diy pallet goat feeder rough and tumble farmhouse

Some folks will include a chalf tray on the bottom. This would collect the finer bits of hay that sift out.

I might incorporate that at some point but for now I have a very sturdy hay feeder for my goat girls.

Want to see more of my half baked construction projects? Check out my chicken coop windows!

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DIY Pallet Hay Feeder - Rough and Tumble Farmhouse

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