I researched how to keep fleece free of vegetative matter and there were many versions of the two feeders I had already tried which did not work for my sheep. Feeding on the ground results in great waste, so that option was out. It seemed sheep coats were the only answer.
I found a type of feeder made from what appeared to be livestock panels that were 4 feet by 52 inches, without the gradient increments of openings. It was latched together around a large round bale which stood upright. I cut two of the long panels with an angle grinder and used twine and a few stainless clips that were around to put it together. The sheep were put in the adjacent pen for the construction and importation of the bale and let in when it was complete. It seems to keep the hay from their backs. The sheep with large horns will still have to work harder to eat, since they cannot stick their heads very far in the openings. I noted that the commercial version of this feeder has four larger openings cut in, so I will try that with the next model for the rams. I do not like using the angle grinder to cut the metal though. What a horrible job with sparks flying everywhere. Gross.
Now the new feeder is on trial. So far so good. There is quite a bit of waste though. I was hoping for none. It seems sheep are bad that way. If this functions well, I will make one for the ewe lambs and one for the goats as well. Then I can spend the time I would normally be forking hay over petting the sheep instead. Fingers are crossed!