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How to Build a Feed-Trough for Cattle

By Tim Anderson | Updated September 26, 2017

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Items you will need

  • Reciprocating saw

  • Drill

  • Large wood screws

  • 4-by-4 material

  • Safety glasses

  • Work gloves

Feed troughs are commonly used for feeding large farm animals. Essentially a community eating area, a simple trough can be built out of an old plastic barrel. Not only is it durable and capable of standing up to the test of time as well as the interaction with large animals such as cattle and horses, but a plastic feed trough is transportable so you can move it as you need, such as for switching between corrals or fenced in areas.

Obtain a large, 50 gallon plastic barrel/drum. Cut it down the center lengthwise with the reciprocating saw so that you have two elongated U-shaped halves. Clean the interiors with warm water and common household detergents to ensure that the feed trough is thoroughly clean before feeding any animals out of it.

Cut your 4-by-4 material down into three-foot sections. Decide whether you want to install two or three of these platforms per feeding trough, as these will be the platforms on which the feeding trough rests so that it does not rock back and forth on the base of its U-shaped exterior. The the platforms also weigh the trough down so the cattle cannot easily move it.

Attach the platforms to the bottom side of the feed trough by drilling through the plastic material with wood screws and into the 4-by-4 material underneath. Use at least four screws per platform. Use a normal drill bit to drill a series of drain holes in the plastic material so it doesn’t retain rain water and cause mold.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images


Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. His has been published online through GTV Magazine, Home Anatomy, TravBuddy, MMO Hub, Killer Guides and the Delegate2 group. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing.