View Full Version : Solution for a messy eater

Jan. 18, 2010, 02:56 PM
My new guy - Sam - is, to put it mildy...a S-L-O-B.
He LOFFS his food but makes a mess with it.

If I feed grain from a pan on the ground, in his enthusiasm to Make All Gone he paws and flips the pan.

I tried an over-the-fence feeder but it did not fit over my stall boards. :(
I have repurposed that to serve him warm mash in - the depth makes a good shield for me to hold while he shlurps...and he does shlurp!

Right now I'm using the old Horseshow trick of using baling twine to tie a bucket to the stall wall.
This is working, but he is giving the bucket a working over & I don't like him having to put his big ol' head down past the bail every time he eats.

I don't want to switch to a corner feeder that can be bolted in place, as it makes it easier for me to water when the water bucket is in the corner that has the grill opening.

I priced the Mowl - pan attached to a mat - but $65 seems a bit steep to me.

Anyone else have a sloppy eater?
How did you work around the problem?

Oh - he is also a haydunker.
I have to dump,scrub and refill his water bucket daily.
poor me....:cry:

Good thing he's such a lover, otherwise I'd be tempted to feed him from a trough like a pig!

And No, donkeyman - you can't have him back : P

Jan. 18, 2010, 03:02 PM
Make your own Mowl:

Get a piece of an old stall mat. Drill matching holes through a Ground Feeder Pan (maybe even one of the deep ones) and the mat. Bolt together! :D

OR, get a Flexible Bucket (aka Tub Trug). Horse.com has 'em for cheap: http://www.horse.com/Tubtrug-Flexible-Tub-BSA71.html

You can hook the handle over a hook or use a double-ended snap hook. This way he can fling to his heart's content, the bucket won't break (I have four of them and they're going strong after 3 years) and they're easy to carry/switch out/clean.

Jan. 18, 2010, 03:13 PM
Thanks ChocoMare!
I may try making my own mowl as I really prefer feeding off the ground.

But the Tubtrug is a good idea too - I had no idea they were so sturdy!

Jan. 18, 2010, 03:16 PM
Glad to help!

I couldn't get over how tough those buckets are either. I love them and will never use regular buckets again!

They're easy to carry by squeezing it (two buckets per hand, if needed), you can pour and then fling them if you want! I've had them stepped on by my 2,000 lb Percheron, run over by the tractor (don't ask :rolleyes:) and used/abused. No cracks or splits!

Jan. 18, 2010, 03:16 PM
Well probably not the solution you're looking for but its a thought. I too feed feed from the ground and my overly enthusiastic gelding loves to flip his feeder over and eat everything from the ground. Last year I started feeding him beet pulp mixed in with his pellets. Wah Lah! No more feeder tipping. I don't really know why it is I guess because it's kind of soupy and doesn't spill out as easily. But anytime his just gets pellets, he immediately reverts back to tipping it. Silly thing.

Before that the only other success I had was a corner feeder which worked great. But that feeder on the Mowl idea sounds great. I might have to try that.

Jan. 18, 2010, 03:22 PM
Sillymoose - my old TB went through a phase where his oats had to be wet, or he'd toss his bucket, sillyoldhorse!

The last thing NewGuy needs is more calories - he's as fat as a tick under his blanket on 50/50 whole oats and 12% pellets!

The trugs sure are inexpensive on horse.com.
I'm going to price them locally and add shipping to see if they compare.

Jan. 18, 2010, 04:33 PM
OR, get a Flexible Bucket (aka Tub Trug). Horse.com has 'em for cheap: http://www.horse.com/Tubtrug-Flexible-Tub-BSA71.html


But, I attach a heavy duty elastic legstrap to the handles and put it over their poll like a feedbag. Easy cleanup, great for keeping the food contained and you can feed wet stuff in them.
I use it for my food flinger, and it works great. She even polishes it clean for me. :)

Just watch the weight of the feed, especially if you arent feeding him in a confined area, or in a group he may try to run away from! LOL.

Jan. 18, 2010, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the vote for the Tub Trug, Tracy
As for your feedbag method, I am wanting to save steps.

He gets fed in a stall - otherwise he's out 24/7 with free access to the stall. He knows when meals are served and is always inside waiting for me.

Currently he's the only horse on the farm, so unless he flees the barncat no problem there :winkgrin:

Jan. 18, 2010, 05:20 PM
One of mine does that every now and then, so what I do is sweep an area in his stall down to the mats, and just dump his breakfast on the mat. That generally stops him for awhile :lol:.

Jan. 18, 2010, 06:25 PM
I do that, too, does it make me a lazy horsekeeper?

Jan. 18, 2010, 07:10 PM
I was going to suggest to feed him on his pan on clean rubber mats and so whatever he spills he can eat off the mats, no problem.
That is what I do with our old man, but he is not messy, he just has to look around and dribbles it as he chews it, then eats it off the mats.

You may want to be sure his teeth are always in tip top shape, so he can chew properly.

Jan. 18, 2010, 10:11 PM
My old guy, Romeo, is a master feed thrower. I've had him for 21 years, and have done feed bags, huge feed tubs, those rim thingies, the big rubbermaid one he cannot (usually) flip, etc.

But, in addition to flipping, he takes HUGE bites and then flings...or shares.

What works 100%. Stand there and hold his bucket.

Next best, feed him a thin layer of feed in his bucket, and give him 5 or 6 servings.

He isn't spoiled, nope. Not at all.

For the young one, I just flip her bucket onto the clean mat, and she eats it all up. Romeo feeds the dogs & wildlife with is flung food. Rarely deigning to eat it once it has touched a mat or the ground.

Jan. 18, 2010, 10:16 PM
Feed the larger sized pellets that are designed for feeding to outside horses and just kick some shavings to the side, dump them on the floor and let him hunt for them. I forget what the feed stores call the larger pellets, which is silly because I have fed them before. Ovals maybe?

Jan. 19, 2010, 12:39 AM
Masterfeeds makes them BIG.

Jan. 19, 2010, 01:08 AM
Is there not another corner you put a corner feeder in? Mine is not bolted, but attached to the wall with eye screws and snaps so I can clean it daily.

Jan. 19, 2010, 08:38 AM
Thanks again to all.

Teeth checked out A-OK in December.
He is just a messy eater.

Latest thing is to grab a mouthful of grain, then dip his muzzle in the water - so now we have floating oats & dissolved pellets in the bucket.
It's a heated bucket so it "cooks" all night & by morning it must be dumped & scrubbed - it reeks!
I have started adding a scant capful of bleach to the refill water which helps.

dmalbone: not really another available corner - stall door is on the same side as the water bucket, then the dutch door on the opposite side.
The only possible free corner is diagonal from the water bucket and that's his Hangout Corner as he can see out the dutch door from there.
anyhting hung in a corner there would be in peril from his WideLoad butt!

saddlefitter: that's how he gets his mash - hand-served.
I just do not have time to handfeed 2X daily. He's messy, but he does not bolt his grain.

For those who suggested pouring grain directly onto a mat:
He has a piece of rubber roofing (a placemat) underneath the grain bucket & always licks up spills from that. But it is thin and grain would be everywhere - not fair to him to have to pick oats/pellets out of bedding.

The homemade mowl is sounding like a better idea all the time. I just need a pice of thicker mat & some bolts.
I am not at all handy, but think I could manage that job.