Building a feeder/shelter for llamas


This feeder has a two foot square area in the centre for hay and four triangular areas on the outside where the llamas can have shelter from the rain or bad weather. I picked a high spot where there had been a stump so that there will be good drainage.

hay feeder

I made the base out of some dunnage that I had lying around. They were four inches by three inches, but a couple of 2 x 4s would work just as well. Each of them is eight feet long and they form a 24" square in the middle. You end up with an 8' wall and a 6' wall on each side.



hay feeder

On each wall I used four 2 x 4s and a couple of the 3 x 4s for studs, but again all 2 x 4s would work just as well. The studs are six feet long, making the height of the walls just over six feet. It is a little higher as well because of the cement pier blocks the bottom beams are sitting on. The hay feeder area has three 2" x 10" pieces, 30" long for the floor. You could use plywood here if you wanted.



hay feeder

Normally I would have put the plywood on the walls but I wanted to show the frame, so I put three 12' long 2 x 4s on top of the walls to support the roof. The centre 12' roof beam is about 18" higher than the other three beams. We don’t usually get a lot of snow, so this amount of slope should be ample. The ten roof joists on each side are six feet long which gives a nice overhang.



On my original feeder I used fencing wire to enclose the hay feeder area and after a year or so it started breaking and got very dangerous with bits of wire sticking out. The orange netting here is the type that is used for safety on ski slopes and it stands up very well.


hay feeder

I found some used plwood for the walls and it takes four pieces 4' x 6' for the lower part and then two more pieces 2' x 6' cut diagonally. This allows the wind to spill out of the shelter, as it is not quite as stable as a building with four outside walls. The diagonal piece keeps the llamas from spitting at each other while at the feeder.

I put a couple of diagonal braces from the centre of each outside beam to the ends of the centre beam to help keep the shelter from twisting.


hay feeder

On one side of the hay feeder area I built a door which makes it much easier to drop a bale of hay inside. On each side there is a 2 x 4 cross piece between a couple of the studs for hanging a grain feeder. The strapping for the roof was added after the plywood gables were put on. Two pieces of plywood 5' x 18" go on each side. It is much easier to mark the angle of these before the strapping is nailed on.



hay feeder

The metal roof is on which completes the structure, so we put some hay in the centre and some of the girls came down to check it out.



painting hay feeder

The finishing touch was added later by our four-year-old grandson who helped with the painting.


Note Over the years the netting holding the hay has gotten worn and the llamas have managed to break through in a few places. I think that I will revise the netting so that it forms a bag so that there will be some give to it. The problem is that the netting has been fastened to the uprights and the llamas push on it to get at the hay. A system with a bag for the hay should solve this. A board or two would have to be put across to keep the llamas for passing right through though.