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Element Shelter for Hay & Sheep
This handy item I've designed will not only serve as shelter from the elements for the hay bale, but the sheep can use it for shelter too! It's easily dismantled and moved as the area around it becomes too trampled and muddy.
Note: Click on the colored images to enlarge them.
trampoline.jpg
Items Needed: items available at Southern States, Tractor Supply, Lowe's, Home Depot type stores.
1 - trampoline. I used a 14' trampoline I purchased from a Craigslist ad for $50.00
1 - feedlot panel — approximately $20.00 feedlot panel measurements
feedlot panel

5 - wire panel connector hinges purchased from Premier 1 for $2.40 each. Cut them with the bolt cutters to be the proper height so they do not puncture the trampoline mat as the trampoline lowers. Premier 1 connector hinge
3 - double-sided hooks — approximately $1.50 each double-sided snap hook
2 - 5.5' T-poles — approximately $4.75 each T-post
1 - post driver — approximately $30.00 post driver
Items needed, not pictured individually - bolt cutters, file and or grinder, cement block, twine.
Construction:
  1. Place a round bale of hay in the sheep's pasture.
  2. Put the trampoline together and lift it over the top of the round bale.
  3. In the picture, the trampoline legs have only one cement block under them. I need to purchase four more and put one at each corner of the four trampoline legs. As the hay is eaten by the sheep, the trampoline will lower and sit on the cement blocks.
  4. I used the twine from the hay bale to tie the trampoline legs to the cement blocks.
  5. Pound in a T-post next to a vertical support of the trampoline leg, one on opposite sides of the trampoline. Again, use twine to secure the trampoline to the T-post.
  6. Use bolt cutters to cut the feedlot panel into 5 sections, 4 squares wide. Also cut out a piece of the panel (see the pink box) three times. This is where the Babydolls will pull the hay from. Use a file or grinder to file the edges down so they are not sharp.
  7. Turn the panels on their side so they are wider than they are tall. This also makes them where they will not be too tall as the trampoline lowers. Attach them together using the wire panel connector hinges. After the panels are wrapped around the hay bale, use the three double-sided snap bolts to hook it together.
  8. As the hay bale gets smaller and smaller, move the panels closer by adjusting the hinges eventually removing one or more of the panels.

T-poles & cement blocks
feedlot panel
Even though I filed the edges down on the nubs left from cutting out a vertical piece of the cattle panel to make the "head holes", my sheep were still getting their fleece caught and pulling chunks out. To remedy this, I came up with the following solution.

  1. Run a 1/2" PVC pipe through a table saw to cut a slit the entire length so it will snap over the wires on the feedlot panel.
  2. Then cut 10-1/2" sections of the PVC pipe.
  3. Slide these sections on the top and bottom of each "head hole".
  4. Use 4" zip ties, one on each end of the 10-1/2" section, to make sure they don't pop off.

head holes two sheep side-by-side using head holes
single sheep side-by-side using head holes