How to Make A Homemade Sheep Feeding Trough For the Pasture
Sheep Farming In the Pasture Got Easier With These Homemade Feeding Troughs
By Lewis Roy It’s easy and economical to make a homemade sheep feeding trough for my flock when they are out to pasture. I’ve been making this type of sheep feeding trough for as long as I’ve been raising sheep. I use 8 inch light sewer pipe to make sheep feeding troughs. They are made in 10-foot sections or 20-foot sections and you saw them in half lengthwise with the caps on them. They are ideal for feeding pellets or grain out in the weather on our homesteading land. When I make this homemade sheep feeding trough, I bore a 3/4 inch hole in the caps to let the rain water out.
The number of wooden supports depends on how long you make your sheep feeding trough, but on a 20-footer you need three 18-inch two-by-fours, secured onto bottom with 1.25-inch screws to keep the trough from tipping over. One nice thing is that you can make the sheep feeding trough any length you want with the PVC pipe.
I still use this sheep feeding trough in my creep feeder for grain and salt. When we were running 150 ewes on our sheep farm, I used a long one out in the pasture for feeding pelleted feed and grain, but since now we only run 20 ewes everything is done in our barns.
Make a Homemade Sheep Feeding Trough
I use 8-inch PVC pipe for this sheep feeding trough, which comes in 10 or 20-foot sections with a “bell” on one end, which you have to cut off. Also needed are 8-inch PVC end caps. To draw a straight line down the center of the pipe, I use a piece of angle iron — any size, such as 2-inch by 2-inch, or 2-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch, etc., at least 4 feet long. It is impossible to lay a piece of angle iron on a pipe that isn’t held perfectly straight and mark the entire length of pipe.
To draw a straight line on your pipe, glue an 8-inch end cap on each end of the pipe. Extend the line you drew on the pipe out over the end caps. Using a pipe centering square, draw a line down across the end caps to get exactly 180 degrees from the original line. You can now use your angle iron to draw a line on the other side of the pipe, or you can snap a chalk line. Using a saber saw—or a “SawzAll,” or a PVC saw—cut the lines you drew.
Now your pipe will look like the one below.
Next, cut four pieces of 2-by-4, 18 inches long. Place the PVC pipe on a flat surface and attach one 18-inch piece of 2-by-4 to each end, using three 1/4-inch self-drilling screws at least 1.5 inches long (Photos Three and Four).
Measure in from each end—6 feet, 6 inches—and secure the other two 18-inch long pieces of 2-by-4, using three self-drilling screws 0.25-inch by 1.5 inches long.
This finished sheep feeding trough is very light and easy to turn over to dump rainwater out. It’s easy to clean and won’t tip over. It will last for years, and it’s easy to replace. Works for me, and my sheep!
Originally published in the July/August 2011 issue of sheep! magazine and regularly vetted for accuracy.