We like to "Recylce, Re-use and Re-purpose" so many things here at Absent Jack Acres, it is hard to place it all on one page. Our goal is to be economical yet neat and clean with the equipment we create.
I hope that the below list of ideas inspores you to look outside the box and make something from your stacks or stored items. With a few accessories, parts and peices you too can have equipment that is both attractive, safe, functional and cheap!
This has got to be one of the best things we ever recycled!
Make use of something that is no longer safe for kids.
This bunk bed actually came from the trash bin at the local second hand shop; it was broken and unsafe for anyone to attempt to rebuild for use by children. I picked it up for "Free". The didn't have to pay to have it hauled off and I have a great hay feeder thanks to Glenn bringing my thoughts alive. A win/win if you ask me!
It is big enough for the goats and we have also used it for the calves when we weaned. It is far from portable, the calves don't move it around and if you feel the need to move it, well a tractor bucket is very helpful.
The goats and calves can rub, bump and stand on this with very little issue of injury. No sharp edges.
Assembled with recyled boards, a few U-bolts, regular bolts and heavy fencing staples and we have used this feeder for for 4 years now; it doesn't owe us anything, that's for sure.
An out of date infant hospital crib, flip on it's top. on a platform with a V-board in the center to guide the hay to the base is a great hay feeder in our kidding areas.
We have dragged this crib around for many years, never knowing what the heck we were going to do with it and once we started raising goats it finally came to use that this bed has a purpose. A very safe and functional feeder for babies & adults.
The rails are so close together that our pygmy kids can not get their heads between the slats and yet mother can dine in comfort and safety with this simple re-purposed peice of recycle.
We added a roof for additional protection for the hay. The drop down sides now serve as an easy clean out access for removing built up hay from either side.
Simply thinking about what you have on hand can make a great usable piece of equipment for nearly nothing out of pocket.
Oh what to do with that 55 Gallon Drum
A large plastic 55 gallon barrel can be cleaned out, cut in half with a hack saw and by inserting a peice of hard fence panel, securing thru drilled holes on the side and grinding off any shart edges to create a grid (either straight up and down or you may choose to tilt the wire towards the back on the bottom).
Either way the size is tall enough that babies can't get into it and goats need to work a bit to get the way out.
This idea came from another goat freind who is also very much into the recyle/reuse way of living too She gave me permission to share her creation.
You still need to secure this feeder to a post or wall just to be safe!
The pictured barrel has also become a favorite sleeping spot for a barn cat.. Silly critter!
Another simple repurpose job made quick work out of a broken futon frame I found near a trash bin in town.
I used both the back and the bottom to make two seperate hay feed stations in our housing unit. As you can see the goats can pick from either side; doubling my the space so everyone gets their share.
We then used the arm pieces and made good feed tub racks as you can see below making access to water and grain for kids in the bonding pens.
Note the cynder block that these two are playong on!
The rough concrete surface helps wear off the soft membrane that coats the hooves while inside their mother. It's great fun for the kids and starts them on their jumping journey.
Your local power company receives houndres of these spools in a wide range of sizes that you can normally aquire for free if you simply ask.
They make great play grounds that can be tipped and moved if needed.
Our Goats love to lazy around on them as you can see and then play king of the hill, chase and even a silly game of tag.
The serve as both a great play ground but also a shady and resting place in the hot summer when being inside an A-Frame is just too hot.
Paint them with a safe latex paint to fit the theme of your place and let your goats have a blast on this really inexpensive toy.
Just remember you will need to cover the openings on the top and check carefully for cracks that may catch tiny hooves. Paintable caulk can fix the cracks and a scrap peice of plywood and a few screwed will cover the opening.