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View Full Version : Cheap/Inexpensive ideas for keeping hay out of the mud?



mbm
Jan. 6, 2009, 06:24 PM
I like my horses out as much as possible but of course it being winter and all there is mud..... the amount of hay being wasted is large.

any ideas on keeping the hay out of the mud?

I am thinking galvanized tank feeders - any other ideas?

I dont really have fences to hang feeders on as everything is electric....

TIA!

BuddyRoo
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:09 PM
I've done a few things...

1) I got some mats put out
2) I fed in rubbermaid tanks or similar on the mats. That way, even when they pulled the hay onto the ground there was matting there.

Downside? Hard to move the mats til spring.

LT
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:15 PM
i did a galvanized tub with cinderblocks in the bottom..it keeps the broodmares busy and they can't tip it "yet" seems to be working well it is inside the shed where during this ice is where they like to hang out

Woodland
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:20 PM
Round bale in a round bale feeder set on high ground. No mud under because the horses have not churned it up. Little waste. Happy horses.

horsetales
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:39 PM
Someone told me they use small tractor tires. You can check with tire places and see if you can get free used tires and place it in the tires and it help with it blowing aways as well

mybeau1999
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:47 PM
Someone told me they use small tractor tires. You can check with tire places and see if you can get free used tires and place it in the tires and it help with it blowing aways as well

You have to watch the tires. I've read that some tires have some sort of metal woven into the tread. Once the tire is exposed to the weather long enough horses can ingest little wires or have them stuck in the mouth:eek:

Guin
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:48 PM
Well, if you put hay in a tub or something and it rains, sleets, or snows, you're going to get soggy/rotting hay. What about pallets? Places are always giving away free pallets - check Craigslist or the newspaper. That way you're keeping the hay off the ground.

deltawave
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:53 PM
Big, used tractor tires. Cut off the sidewall if you're worried your horse will fall in and get stuck. :) They are FREE from your local John Deere place. Love them: indestructible and perfect for the job. :yes: No metal in ours--just plain old used tractor tires. The horses don't chew them, don't bother them at all except my one mare liked to play frisbee with them until I staked them down. :)

DiablosHalo
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:54 PM
I put pallets under my round bales outside. I've had great luck with them. Keeps air under them and hay off the ground. Of course, when they pull the hay out, it gets on the ground and they stomp on it, so maybe you could put angled "fence" attached to bottom of pallet to keep them from stomping hay on ground? I feed alf/orch round bales and my guys only waste about 5% of the bale. I figure that 5% is worth me not having to throw hay 2x/day so I'll take it!

Some will be concerned about the nails or horses stepping on pallets when bale gets smaller. Which of course is something to consider. I've had my pallets out there for almost one year now and no issues *yet*. And they are out in the fields with TB weanlings, yearlings, older horses, and the retard field. I'm surprised I'm not supporting the mobile vet! :)

mbm
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:04 PM
re: tires - aren't you worried that there is toxic junk in tires?

as for pallets - great idea - but i feed flakes of hay - not round bales. :(

deltawave
Jan. 7, 2009, 05:21 PM
aren't you worried that there is toxic junk in tires?


No. :) At least no more so than I worry about toxic junk in wood, plastic and the soil. Which is to say . . . no. ;)

Guin
Jan. 7, 2009, 06:46 PM
Why can't you put flakes on pallets? :confused:

mbm
Jan. 7, 2009, 06:47 PM
well.... because they are made of wood, have nails and have large enough spaces for hooves to go thru?

Guin
Jan. 7, 2009, 06:54 PM
The ones I know of have the slats very close together, if not connecting. They're built to hold literally tons of cargo (think 500 bags of sand or limestone) so I wouldn't think a horse would "break" them if they're just eating the hay while standing on the ground. IMO.

WingedPanda
Jan. 7, 2009, 08:53 PM
Just a warning - my TB "got into" a wooden pallet (in an area where he wasn't supposed to be, long story). He stepped into it somehow, got his hoof stuck, went ballistic and absolutely ripped it apart trying to escape. We were very, very lucky - he had about 20 minor cuts all over his belly and legs, but managed to miss everything really important, which was just dumb luck. Horses *can* get stuck in them, so please be careful. Certain pallets may be safer than others.

As for the hay issue, I have two 4x8 rubber mats and a rubbermaid stock tank with many holes drilled in it for drainage. Works pretty well - even if they pull hay out of the tank, it is still on the mats.

mango1612
Jan. 7, 2009, 09:02 PM
We had a neighbor years ago who made a bunch of feeders for the horses in the pasture out of car tires. He cut the inner part of one side out (after reading deltawave's post, I'm assuming its called the sidewall) and if I recall, turned them inside out- but they work either way- and bolted it onto a square piece of plywood. Basically, a big rubber bowl, with the bottom part being the wood base. I'm not sure how anything could get stuck in one of those feeders, as it was open and we didn't have babies around anyway.

He tried to make it round once so it was more flush with the tire, but some of the horses who pawed made them roll and end up in the pond...

MacknCody
Jan. 8, 2009, 02:44 PM
Big, used tractor tires. Cut off the sidewall if you're worried your horse will fall in and get stuck. :) They are FREE from your local John Deere place. Love them: indestructible and perfect for the job. :yes: No metal in ours--just plain old used tractor tires. The horses don't chew them, don't bother them at all except my one mare liked to play frisbee with them until I staked them down. :)

Do you have a picture of yours? I like this idea, but need a visual if I want to re-create it. ;)

Mtn trails
Jan. 8, 2009, 03:24 PM
Someone told me they use small tractor tires. You can check with tire places and see if you can get free used tires and place it in the tires and it help with it blowing aways as well

If you go the tire route, make sure they are turned inside out. There have been incidences of horses getting their heads stuck inside the well of the tire trying to reach those last bits. It isn't pretty. Usually the horse is so injured it's put down.

Bells
Jan. 8, 2009, 05:06 PM
This guy does a nice job w/tractor tires - a bit of work but it looks quite safe:

http://www.axeholmeshires.com/tirefeeder/

deltawave
Jan. 8, 2009, 05:29 PM
Mine are currently buried in snow, :sigh: but they look just like the ones in Bells' photo--only one layer of tire instead of two. Nothing to them, really--just a tire with the sidewall removed. I filled up the bottom sidewall (the part lying on the ground) with big rocks and staked them down with deer-fence stakes so Bonnie wouldn't fling them around for fun. :rolleyes:

Invite
Jan. 8, 2009, 06:44 PM
My horses are all fed in their shelters which are bedded with sawdust and/or shavings. I am lucky in that my horses are all turned out alone, so I don't have to worry about fighting in an enclosed area. The horses do pull a little hay out of the shelters and it gets trampled into the mud. I had thought about using muck buckets tied to the fence, but the in the shelter on shavings has worked thus far.

horsey nurse
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:25 AM
we have hay boxes built out of 2x4's. it is basically a 5 sided box and holds up to a bale of hay. The slats are about 3 inches apart and we dont have any problems with the horses getting caught or injured on them. They are heavy enough as well that the horses don't move them around.