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View Full Version : Anyone use the rubbermaid tubs to feed hay



fivehorses
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:16 PM
My turnouts are turning into just muddy messes, and throwing hay out onto that just makes more mud.
So, I was wondering about getting some of the rubbermaid tanks that are used for watering. The kind that are long, but not very tall.
By putting the hay in there, I hope to have less waste and the horses have dry and clean hay.
My other alternative is to put down mats, but thats an awful lot of mats, and well they are heavy.
My turnouts are close to the barns, with openings to pastures. The areas close to the barn where I feed seems to be the most muddy, so I thought these tanks would be a good option.
Anyone else use them or have any ideas. thanks

Simkie
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:21 PM
Not rubbermaid, but an old metal trough. It works well enough. When the hay is really "tight," I'll actually shake out the flakes for my horse. Otherwise, she'll just end up pulling out the hay and eating it off the ground, anyway.

I'm not sure how well the shorter rubbermaid things would work (if I'm thinking of the right ones--they're less than 12" tall?) I'd think the horses would just pull the hay out, and I think the wind would be able to blow it out of those shorter ones, too. The tall troughs provide more of a wind break, and most horses seem to leave the hay in them...

SaddleFitterVA
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:29 PM
I use rubber water tubs, the 40 gallon ones in my stalls. I have 2 U bolts in the edge and eye screws on the wall and clip the tubs there. It keeps the hay from getting stirred around in the bedding.

I hadn't thought of using them in the pastures. Usually if it is wet enough to make mud, I keep the horses in until it drains. It doesn't happen too often, for instance, they were out in the rain for almost 3 days with minimal mud (they did come in for today's weather), but there is plenty of space and a 3-4% grade on most of the property and I spread the hay flakes all over the pasture.

I might consider a couple in the pastures for the wind though, not a bad idea. The wind is awful here and I worry about how much hay blows away on some days.

Waterwitch
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:48 PM
Tried that and I'm afraid it didn't work out too well here at "Hay Tossers R Us" :lol:

HRH, the real Waterwitch, simply must eat her hay from the bottom up, beginning with the shattered alfalfa leaves :cool:

I looked and looked for some sort of heavy "grate" that had big enough holes to eat through but was heavy enough to weigh the hay down and keep the horses from pulling it out of the tub - no luck.

equinelaw
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:56 PM
I used a rubber trash can. I used an old one that leaked and tied it to a post. Since it was taller when the horse flipped it it just was halfway turned over and I could still twist it to dump the dust and water. The flakes fit in there so they stuck halfway and the hose rarely ever had to put more than his muzzle in.

Trash can was also tall enough to keep other critters out and roaming dogs from marking the hay!

Its pretty much 1 horse per trash can, but leaky trash cans are often free:)

Of course, as I always remind people we do not ave mud here, but I still didn't want any hay going to waste or blowing away.

WingedPanda
Nov. 16, 2008, 01:53 AM
Yes, that's exactly what I use - a 50 gallon rubbermaid stock tank. Drilled a whole bunch of 1/2" holes in the bottom for drainage. :yes: Works great!

FootPerfect
Nov. 16, 2008, 03:52 AM
My barn owner uses those as well. They seem to do a really good job. I second the drainage holes.

FootPerfect
Nov. 16, 2008, 03:54 AM
Oh, one other idea. I used to board at a barn that took round bale feeders, took them a part and put each 1/4 of the feeder long the fence line with the open side against the fence. It kept hay in one place, spread the horses and the hay out and was easy to fill because she just tossed it over the fence into the feeders.

Hampton Bay
Nov. 16, 2008, 09:29 AM
I use the small rubbermaid totes because I had a couple extra ones, and they work somewhat. Since I use round bales and then peel off layers, the totes make it much easier to carry hay out to the horses, and they hold onto hay that my mare does not insist on scattering.

Of course, mine only like the big stemmy parts of hay, so the smaller pieces end up all over the place. Sometimes they go back and clean that up overnight, or if they are hot or its wet (hay is fed under shelter), and sometimes they poop on it. I try to feed just enough so that there is not enough to poop on, but some days they eat more than others.

My run-in is a sand over gravel base, so I leave the smaller pieces that they don't eat. Mine won't eat the hay layer right on top of the sand, and that layer makes it much easier to walk thru the run-in for me. So at least if they refuse to eat it, I get some benefit out of it.

Tilly
Nov. 16, 2008, 11:27 AM
I use big rubber tubs, I think they're the 30 gallon ones.
They work quite well, although the pony drags hers around and will sometimes dump the hay out. :lol:

criss
Nov. 16, 2008, 11:30 AM
Waterwitch and my guys are long-lost twins. :rolleyes:

Plus, when it's raining and there's a little hay left in the tub, it becomes hay soup, and if you don't dump it...ewww. Taking the drain plug out helps a little, but not much.

I'm EBO
Nov. 16, 2008, 11:40 AM
I use one. Like them better than the worn out metal water trough I also use. The only thing I don't like is that the horses move them around--which I could fix by bolting them to the fence if I weren't so lazy. My feeding areas are covered, so I don't have mud right there--just everywhere else.

They toss the metal trough around, too.

eta: What works best are the big fruit packing boxes that are about 4 x 4 by 3ft high. The old fashioned ones are made of 3/4 inch reinforced plywood, with all edges covered with metal flashing. They can fling hay till their hearts are content and get very little out of the feeder; and they're too heavy for the horses to move them around much. (A bitch to move, as you might imagine.)

Bluey
Nov. 16, 2008, 11:45 AM
Every old water tank under 8' we have replaced, a friend gets first dibbs at it, to use for feed in her small pastures.
Beats feeding on the ground.

Try it, I bet that it will work fine. I would get the regular water tank size, not the shorter ones, that are for pigs and such.
If it is very windy where you are, you may have to chase it down some days.;)

fivehorses
Nov. 16, 2008, 12:00 PM
Ok, back to report how things worked out.

I have three herds, so...
One got a the low 50 gallon rubbermaid tank. One pony is doing fine with it, but her colt is making a racket, since he is a pawer. It may work out.

second herd...forget it, they have joined the group of horse tossers r us. Arghh...and they are the ones that need this the most. I used behlen's hay bunk, not good for them, too easy to toss. Also, used a low 50 gallon tank, and one horse ate like a queen while the others just worked at tossing hay out of the hay bunk, as if it was a new game I have introduced.

Third group, saddlebreds and TB, they did ok, they will get the hay bunk and a 50 gallon tank.

So, a lot depends on your horses. I have decided to put rubber mats underneath, since no matter what, horses are slobs and will drop hay as they gaze out munching.

I am going to try a very large, I think 300 gallon rubbermaid tank. Its about 2' tall and 5' wide. Its a circular tank. I think this may work, since hay tossers won't have as much luck. Since its for the drafts, they have big heads and can probably reach into the center.

I hope I can find something that works.

theotherdasher
Nov. 16, 2008, 12:06 PM
I tried the water tubs without success. I bolted them to the fence and took out the drain plug and filled with hay. The horses put their heads in and flung each and every flake of hay onto the ground and ate from there. So now I have 4 tubs that are sitting in the barn collecting drips from the leaky roof.
It sounded like a good idea at the time.:no:

grayarabs
Nov. 16, 2008, 01:40 PM
For the muddy days - could you hang hay nets? the nets with real small holes - or double them - and hang on something right height and secure? We did this before - hay nets on trees ie where limb met tree - was secure - worked well.

2boys
Nov. 16, 2008, 08:37 PM
Okay, so it is time to use our ingenuity and think of a product that works here. I am so sick of wasting so much hay. There must be something that we can put together that works. I just had to pull my invention out of the paddock tonight because my fresh little pony got his leg stuck in it trying to paw his precious hay out. Come on guys, let's get those brains working so we can become independently wealthy and buy a bunch of new horsies!:mad:

sublimequine
Nov. 16, 2008, 08:47 PM
Okay, so it is time to use our ingenuity and think of a product that works here. I am so sick of wasting so much hay. There must be something that we can put together that works. I just had to pull my invention out of the paddock tonight because my fresh little pony got his leg stuck in it trying to paw his precious hay out. Come on guys, let's get those brains working so we can become independently wealthy and buy a bunch of new horsies!:mad:

http://www.bjmanufacturing.com/images/large/5-FT-Horse-Bunk-With-Hay-Ra.jpg

I suggest something like that. THat's what my mare eats out of at the boarding barn, well not that exact one but similar. Works well, and very little hay ends up on the ground.

2boys
Nov. 16, 2008, 09:04 PM
http://www.bjmanufacturing.com/images/large/5-FT-Horse-Bunk-With-Hay-Ra.jpg

I suggest something like that. THat's what my mare eats out of at the boarding barn, well not that exact one but similar. Works well, and very little hay ends up on the ground.

Can a small pony reach??

fivehorses
Nov. 16, 2008, 09:39 PM
The farm store sells those, but encouraged me not to buy it. It rusts, and with metal and drafts, well, it could get ugly.

I am still working on it.
I am thinking of large tractor tires...anyone use anything like that?

I remember years ago a photo circulating the internet of a horse that got stuck in the tire and died. Was that urban legend or are they dangerous?

sublimequine
Nov. 16, 2008, 09:42 PM
Can a small pony reach??

Depends on the type you get. Some of them, yes. :)

OP; My mare's has been out in her paddock for.. over 5 years now, I think. Minimal rust, and still in good condition. They also have it somehow.. attached? to the fence to keep the horses from messing with it. :lol:

Cindyg
Nov. 16, 2008, 10:20 PM
Some links for ideas:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/littledale/

http://www.slo-feed.com/

http://www.flatumbrella.com/users/hayoptimizer/goals.html

http://www.haymizer.com/haymizer_horse.htm

And here's the motherlode:

http://www.hoofauthority.com/hoofauthority010608_012.htm

This is actually the link I was looking for when I found all the ones above. At this link, when you click on Easy Feeding, you'll come to pictures. Be sure you click on each picture for more info.

I love the look of the Slo-Feed (above), so I'm glad I found it. I have the small mesh hay net (also linked at hoofauthority); and it is just what I need for my small horse family. But since you mention "herds," I'm sure you can't be messing with hay nets. I'd actually like to get that Slo Feed to replace my small-mesh hay net someday.

equinelaw
Nov. 16, 2008, 10:35 PM
Wow. They sure are expensive. I should be selling trash cans and bailing twine as a fancy slo-feeder.

Holds half a bale of hay! keeps it dry and clean. No sharp edges and can't be dumped. Comes in classic sage brown or bold dumpster blue!Send me $159.00 and S&H today!:)

Mersy
Nov. 17, 2008, 12:20 AM
I currently use a 300 gallon rubbermaid water trough for feeding. It's big enough that the horses don't toss the hay out, just around in the feeder.
I have also used smaller ones. I use mats around the smaller ones since they do toss the hay out of those.

A few years back I remember seeing a feeder design with a grate over the opening that was weighted so as the hay went down the grate followed. It took time for the horse to eat and the hay could not be tossed out. I remember them being pricey but would probably pay for itself within a couple of years.

threedogpack
Nov. 17, 2008, 01:24 AM
[QUOTE=Waterwitch;3656051]Tried that and I'm afraid it didn't work out too well here at "Hay Tossers R Us" :lol:



buy a cargo bed net that is made to cover the bed of trucks and cover the top with the netting. Holes are big enough to pull the hay thorugh

http://www.pickupspecialties.com/bedweb.htm

fivehorses
Nov. 17, 2008, 10:43 AM
Nin, thanks for all those links.
Mersy, my farm store has the 300 gallon rubbermaid, and I am thinking that may be the best option since they will be tossing hay to each other so to speak. Just wondering if my horses will climb in though. I suppose if it doesn't work, I could use it as a mini soaking pool in the summer!

I think each horse is different in how they eat, and one has to find the solution for that particular horse(s).

I think building something is the way to go as well.

horsecents
Nov. 17, 2008, 11:38 AM
I just made hay feeders out of wooden pallets. Inexpensive and easy for 2 horses to eat out of, would hold a normal sized square bale. My pony also thinks they make a great rubbing post.

The idea came from a COTH article many years ago.

marta
Nov. 17, 2008, 11:53 AM
for the dry lot.

they look like wood frame with screen bottom. not deep but they lift hay off the ground just enough so it doesn't get wet and muddy. i'm going to ask my SO to make me a couple of those for my mare. she's in a dry lot and not only do i think that it would save some hay but i also think it would reduce the amount of clean up i have in the paddock.

here is the link:

http://www.skodeshorsetreats.com/lowsugarlifestyle.html

marta
Nov. 17, 2008, 12:01 PM
I just made hay feeders out of wooden pallets. Inexpensive and easy for 2 horses to eat out of, would hold a normal sized square bale. My pony also thinks they make a great rubbing post.

The idea came from a COTH article many years ago.

did you just place the pallets in the paddock and place hay on top or did you modify?

webmistress32
Nov. 17, 2008, 12:06 PM
I use the 40gal rubbermaid troughs to feed hay to horses. 1/2 of them just immediately tip it over and let the hay spill out everywhere.

the small 12hh pony can get her head in there no problem.

Waterwitch
Nov. 17, 2008, 01:23 PM
buy a cargo bed net that is made to cover the bed of trucks and cover the top with the netting. Holes are big enough to pull the hay thorugh

http://www.pickupspecialties.com/bedweb.htm

That is a good idea, actually the luggage nets look even better. Similar to the idea I had in which I tried securing hay nets through the drainage hole of the rubbermaid tub, but after filling and lugging heavy hay nets for part of one winter my back couldn't take it any more. The luggage net would be a bit easier as you could theoretically put the hay in the tub and then cover the hay without wrestling with it. Not sure how you would secure the net so that it stayed with the hay and the horse didn't end up reaching his head through the net and risk getting caught.

marta
Nov. 17, 2008, 01:28 PM
how does that work?

cheryl ann
Nov. 17, 2008, 01:38 PM
Scoop out the mud/hay mess and put down a couple three loads of stone. Pack it down.

horsecents
Nov. 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
I took one pallet and placed it on the ground. I then took two more pallets and nailed one on each long side of the ground pallet. On the short sides I nailed 2 - 2 x 8 by width of pallet to help stabilize the upright pallets and prevent the horses from throwing the hay. I've posted photos on my COTH page. http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/horsecents

Night of Songs
Nov. 18, 2008, 02:40 PM
Interesting designs to slow waste and eating time:

http://www.swedishhoofschool.com/hayfeeders.htm

Gentleman who owns the site is Swedish but most of the site is in English; most of the pictures are clickable to details on how each feeder was built.

We use 100 gallon Rubbermaid tubs, tied to screw eyes on the corner walls of the runout shed , but will still will find the shed decorated with fluffy hay piles on occasion if we put too much hay out. These look like a potential option in the future.

jetandmegs4
Nov. 18, 2008, 02:43 PM
I have a hay feeder (wooden with metal) that my horses are still knocking over! Any ideas?

marta
Nov. 18, 2008, 02:45 PM
that wouldn't work for me since i need to keep my mare moving so her hay is spread in 6 piles. i can't fill the paddock w/ 6 contraptions that big.

threedogpack
Nov. 18, 2008, 08:10 PM
Not sure how you would secure the net so that it stayed with the hay and the horse didn't end up reaching his head through the net and risk getting caught.[/QUOTE]

I'd probably drill holes and use either "s" hooks or bunge cords. If the sqaure holes are small enough s/he might only be able to get a muzzle in there.

Philliab
Nov. 18, 2008, 09:13 PM
This thread came at the perfect time for me. We're in the process of finding something to our 4 horses hay to keep them from ingesting sand off the ground. I know we can get the hay mangers from our local feed store, but besides being expensive, I really don't like the idea that my horses would eat with their heads up. Do you think 2 of those 300 gallon tubs would work for 4 horses? I really like that idea. Also, I can't picture one in my mind, but could you fit a round bale in there? Just a thought.

Thanks guys! Please keep the suggestions coming!

criss
Nov. 19, 2008, 10:05 AM
Dear lord, those things with the sheep panels to slow the horses down scare me to death. Likewise the idea of a cargo net around horses.

Then again, I have no idea how to do it better. My big Rubbermaid tub goes mostly unused, and when I do use it, my older horse very deliberately and precisely throws out anything he doesn't want onto the ground and then climbs into the tub for easier access to all the choice bits that are left. So eventually he'll crack the tub and then it will be totally useless. And in the meantime, it's a PITA because I have to dump it any time it rains, and it doesn't even keep the hay off the ground.

One thing I tried that kind of worked was to put half a dozen rocks in the tub to prevent flinging. The problems with that are first that Mr Smartypants figures out where the rocks are and then either moves them or just carefully flings around/between them; and second, that the rocks make dumping hay soup out after a rain even more of a PITA. So the first problem would be solved by more/larger rocks, but the second would be exacerbated by that "solution". Sigh. Damn horses! :lol:

marta
Nov. 19, 2008, 10:11 AM
totally unrelated but i LOVE your sig line:lol:

idtogo
Nov. 19, 2008, 10:41 AM
we use the 100 gallon rubbermaid tubs . these are tied to the fence so they cant tip them and toss them around the paddock. My husband also used plywood to create an opening with a lip so they can't toss the hay out. we also drill holes into the bottom for drainage in the rain.

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2044690550099644495GNCzle

Everythingbutwings
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:25 PM
I want one of these, the Ultimate Square Bale Feeder! (http://www.squarebalehayfeeder.com/)

Our three big horses are out together and eat from the round bale feeder. I'd love to have one of the square feeders for the pony, though.

Time to start bugging Mr. Wings to weld me one. :)