creep feeder

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creep feeder

Postby Shepherd40 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:00 pm

About how wide should the spacing be for a creep feeder? I don't know if the breed matters, but I have dorpers. Thanks.
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Darroll Grant » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:19 am

We saw a new design a couple years back. No vertical slats. A horizontal about 6" above the ground level piece, then an 8" space (adjustable, bolt in place), another horizontal 10" up and the top at 10" more. Never had a ewe go through, but lambs to 100 pounds could slide through ( might have to adjust the 8" space to 10"). It can also be used as a feeder panel for ewes.
Darroll Grant
western Oregon
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Scotdale Farms » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:54 pm

It is really hard to answer without knowing the size of your smallest hoggett. I built my own out of wood two years ago and have adjusted them since the first use. I just built it out of two long inch and a half deep by six inch wide boards that were about 10 foot long on the top and bottom (I actually used what is refered to as deck boards). Then I put verticle 1x6 boards horizontally. I have Kat's and my mature ewes only weigh around 150 lbs. Another Katahdin breeder told me to space them 7 inches and another one 10. I spaced mine 9 inches and it worked great for the mature ewes but I had hoggetts getting in - especially the smaller ones. Eating creep right beside thier offspring. I narrowed them down to 7 to 8 inches and then I had hoggets caught just behind the hips hung up in the gate. The only way to get them out was to push their ribs back together and shove them back head first. Bad deal. I am blessed that my 84/87 year old parents live on our home farm and watch out for things when I am at work or busy - nothing like having 140 years of farming experience watching over you! I didn't lose any but I probably could have in hot weather.

Anyway to make a long story short. I now wish I had taken the time/money spent on these and invested in a couple of good adjustable creep gates to do the job. The ones I would buy have a roller in the middle that rolls when the sheep go through them if it is too tight. The adjustment is easy and allows you to start off small when the lambs are young and go wider as they grow. The great thing about this is that your ewes and hoggetts will learn that they can't get in early and will be less likely to try later when the widening opens. The other thing is that as they grow they will still be able to get in as they hit the rollers and turn and let the lamb through unlike a peice of wood.

If I had to do it again I would buy two or three of them - really beleive they need lots of areas to enter or exit in order to entice them to come in and stay, or I would build one with a pcv pipe over a smaller lead pipe that rolls and is adjustable. Did that make sense? If no there are plans you can find on the internet for stuff like this but it is much harder to make and thus my comment about wishing I had used the lumber expense to go toward purchased creep gates.


If you are set on making you own with wood and can't do the rollers then I would reccomend the horizontal and verticle approach described in the previous post.
Vince A. Pope
Double Ewe Farm
Registered and Commercial Pasture Raised Katahdins
www.DoubleEweFarm.com
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Judy Lewman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:19 am

Darroll Grant wrote:We saw a new design a couple years back. No vertical slats.


Several years ago, by accident (a broken board in a lambing panel), we stumbled onto something similar to what Darroll describes. Visualize a 34" high panel made of 1x6 horizontal boards, 3 boards tightly together at the bottom, 2 more at the top spaced 3-1/4" apart. Now remove the board second from the top, thereby leaving a full 12" open space under the top board, and flip the panel upside down. You end up with a solid visual barrier at eye level for ewes wondering what's on the other side, plus a 1x6 board that lambs easily hop over as they pass through the 12" horizontal opening. We now use this type of creep panel exclusively. It handles our lambs to weaning without needing adjustment, and our experience has been that it is far more effective for keeping squirmy yearlings out than are panels with vertical openings. Super tall sheep (or jumpers) would need a higher panel . . . mine are only 34" high so that I can easily step over them.
Judy Lewman
Production Border Leicesters with Style and Substance
Minnesota http://springcreekleicesters.com
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Darroll Grant » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:46 am

I neglected to mention that the horizontals are pipe so maximum slippage for larger lambs going through.
Darroll Grant
western Oregon
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Sylvia Murray » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:25 am

I have the vertical adjustable panel with a horizontal bar about half way up from Sydell. It has rollers (larger pipes that go over a round bar). I like it. My thought with the horizontal panel type is that if you have some horizontal fencing you are teaching the lambs to go through the fence.
Sylvia Murray
Alder Brook Farm
www.alderbrookromneys.com
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Darroll Grant » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:30 am

We have not had any problems with lambs going through fencing as the wire spacing is closer. Horizontal non charged wires 8-10" apart would result in ewes going through the fence.
Darroll Grant
western Oregon
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Paul DeWitte » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:24 am

The ones that I make are adjustable both vertical and horizontal.

I put 2 horizontal bars that are adjustable. The lower setting will keep out the ewes and let the lambs through. The upper one will keep the ewes from trying to jump over the lower one.

As they grow you can raise the horizontal bar to suit. No problem with ewes getting through.
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Re: creep feeder

Postby Scotdale Farms » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:06 am

Great information. Maybe I can salvage my gates by adding an adjustable horizontal board in the middle. All I need is for you to visit our farm this spring Paul and bring along your planning skills and I will have it made. But let's wait until we lose the snow and the mud aftermath. :D
Vince A. Pope
Double Ewe Farm
Registered and Commercial Pasture Raised Katahdins
www.DoubleEweFarm.com
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