Building a feeder/shelter for llamas

What do you do with an old fibreglass satellite dish?
Here is an example of creative recycling . . .

satellite dish

We had a ten-foot fibreglass satellite dish that had been unused for three or four years so I decided that it would make a good cover for a hay feeder. I talked my sons into helping me take it down as a dish this size is pretty awkward and heavy. The metal frame on the back of it had to be removed.

hay feeder

I dragged it up the driveway and used the power washer on it to remove about fifteen or twenty years of grime. It looked a lot bigger leaning on the fence.

hay feeder

I bought four eight foot landscape ties for the vertical pieces. The feeder itself is about two feet by four feet, but the top had to be four feet square to match the metal frame. The tricky part was figuring out the angles for the landscape ties.

I drilled holes with a post-hole driller for the landscape ties which left a little room to adjust the angles. The holes were deep enough to allow the ties to be trimmed off level at six feet.

The metal frame is leaning on the fence behind the feeder.

The metal frame had a tab with a hole on one side so I got my neighbour to weld on three more tabs so that the frame could be fastened securely to the top wooden frame.

hay feeder

When I put the metal frame inside the dish, the holes didn’t align. I had assumed that simply moving the frame to from the back to the front the holes would be the same, but I had to drill four new holes and fill the original holes.

hay feeder

Sliding the dish onto the feeder frame was a little easier than I expected. The 2x4 slats on the feeder are angled because the ground slopes.

hay feeder

I put some hay in the feeder and the llamas came rushing over to try it out.

All that needs to be done now is to drill a hole at the lowest point of the rim and hang a rope down to a water bucket to automatically fill from the rain.

hay feeder - chain drain

I decided that a chain would hang better than a rope so I drilled a half inch hole in the rim and clipped the six feet of chain to it. The water runs down it beautifully with no splashing.