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View Full Version : Feeding Solutions: Pros and cons of buckets/swivel feeders ect...



winter
Jun. 7, 2012, 12:42 PM
I am curious to hear how everyone feeds their stabled horses and what they would change or what they love about their system...

Do you have a feed container permanently attached in each stall? If so, how do you access it? Open space above? Feed door that can open in stall front? Go into stall? Swivel panel with feed pan attached?

Do you mix each horse's feed in small pails then dump into the feeder in their stall or do you roll a feed bin down the alley and dump the feed directly into their feeder?
OR do you mix everyone's feed in a feeder/tub/pail then put that in their stall at each feed then remove it again?

I am planning my stalls in a new barn and really trying to decide what is best. Swivel feeders appeal since you can turn them all out, put all the feed in, then swing them in at any time. The drawback is that they protrude into alley when they're not in the stall. Plus side, super easy for person doing chores.
I like the idea of a hole in the stall wall above a feeder that you just dump the feed through as well.

birdsong
Jun. 7, 2012, 12:47 PM
Permanent corner feeders were too difficult to clean and I have a bucket crusher so the hanging ones were always being replaced... now he has an almost indestructible rubber pan on the floor that can be hosed out and put away to dry!

netg
Jun. 7, 2012, 02:22 PM
Our stalls have what is shown as a water bucket door here. http://www.tritonbarns.com/standard_stalls.php

A standard flat-sided bucket fits in, and my horse would go through multiple a day if that were how we gave them water. However, it's very useful for feeding. There's an attached ring which the bucket sits into so it holds it very securely. You do not want to leave these doors open, as the horses will reach through and grab them and slam them, breaking them. The biggest negative is both girls pull their buckets out, so we removed them, but the ring doesn't feel safe. I'm going to rig up some sort of clip to hold the buckets so the girls can't pull them out so I feel safer.

I much prefer a moveable non-permanent bucket for feed because it makes cleaning easier. If I had multiple horses getting the same thing, I'd prefer mixing it up and just dropping the feed off at each stall. That was very convenient feeding all the horses in college.

Mosey_2003
Jun. 7, 2012, 03:18 PM
I use a pan on the floor for beep/alf/whatnot and it usually stays there full time as I don't always have time to hang around for him to finish. It's not the plain pan though, it's a non-tip like dog food bowls, only bigger. I also have those safety hook things for a bucket if I want to use one instead (usually do this if I lock him in the stall, normally he has free rein into his paddock). Hay is into an overhead bunk, but I'm trying to convince Daddy Dearest to build me a hay box to sit on the floor. But, my stall is really large and open, so I can get away with that. If you want to have swing out doors to feed why don't you just get plain swing outs and attack a bucket holder, then push the feed buckets down the aisle at feeding time and then remove when done? That way there aren't buckets left in the stall and there aren't swing outs left open.

FatCatFarm
Jun. 7, 2012, 03:38 PM
I no longer hang anything for a horse that is going to be spending much time in a stall. They all seem to want to crush them scratching their bums on then. I now use slow feed hay nets that I cinch and then tie the tail to a bottom corner creating a hay biscuit which I toss into the stall. I feed grain either via nosebag or a tub on the ground on top of a rubber mat. Water buckets are now muck buckets, on the ground and clipped to a ring or eye bolt on the stall wall. The horse can't scratch its bum on it and they don't turn over easily, in fact, almost never. Yeah, they sometimes poop in them, but they do that to the hanging ones too. No, not as beautiful as those swivel corner feeders and swing out waterbuckets door which I do like the concept of, but also easily replaced if damaged.

2DogsFarm
Jun. 7, 2012, 05:52 PM
I only have 2 and they are out all day with access to stalls if they want.
They do come in to be fed 2X day and for a Goodnight cookie & bedcheck around 9P.

The swivel feeders do not appeal to me as they look like one more mechanical system prone to breakdown.
Call me old-fashioned... ;)

I prefer to feed grain from a rubber pan on the ground, hay on the ground too.
But now I have a haydunker who also tosses his grain pan so he gets a bucket hung from a hook on his front wall for grain.
Hay is placed - for his convenience - on a rubber mat near his water bucket.

I like to hang the water buckets under the corner opening in the grill to make refilling easier on me.
Just unreel enough hose to reach that opening & even if I'm scrubbing buckets it still feels easier to rinse & refill that way.

Since it's just the 2, I mix grain for each in a separate bucket (re-purposed supplement pails) and then dump into the pan/bucket in the stall.
If I were feeding multiples I'd probably go with a grain cart that had sections & mix from there.

Trevelyan96
Jun. 7, 2012, 07:02 PM
I only have 2 and I do up their feed one meal ahead in the small 8qt buckets and store them in the trashcans that hold their feed, then dump into the round feed tubs in their stalls. I use these hooks in their stalls for the feed tubs: http://www.smartpakequine.com/wall-mount-bucket-hook-2040p.aspx?cm_vc=Search since Rico likes to knock his down, I attach it with a carbiner to the round end of the hook.

I used to have the corner buckets attached to eye hooks with carbiners, and they were a total PITA to take out and clean. The new round buckets with the new hooks are super easy to take down for cleaning or even for mixing up ahead of time if I'm soaking feed for any reason.

Neither of mine are bucket crushers, but they're pretty much out 24/7. I've used the open C hooks for 15 years to hang their water buckets and they've never once knocked them down. Hay is in hay racks.

ETA: I really, really don't like any type of swing out feeder. Apart from the mechanical maintenance, I am always leery of anything with moving parts around horses. I have this ongoing vision of them breaking it somehow, then getting something caught in it.

whbar158
Jun. 7, 2012, 07:49 PM
How many horses are you talking about? How many types of feed? My friend has 24 stalls in her boarding barn, they have wire fronts with an opening above a corner feeder to get a scoop through. All her horses eat the same grain so it is very easy to roll the feed wheel barrel down the isle and feed everyone as needed. Supplements are either smartpaks or are scooped out into labeled cups that fit in the wheel barrel. This system works great for her, but her horses are pretty low maintenance and are lesson horses and mostly easy keepers. She is more than willing to do anything special that is needed (ie soaking for medications, etc) but is upfront when prospective boarders come that she does not cater to high maintenance horses or horses with special needs. So this basic system really works well for her.

When we kept horses at my house (usually only had 3 or so) we scooped out their feed into pails in the feed room then carried them to their stalls and fed them in rubber pans on the floor. This was easy with 3 horses, but I would not want to do this for 24!

winter
Jun. 7, 2012, 07:59 PM
8 stalls but it will be a few different people doing chores so I wanted to make it simple to do, while still easy to clean, as well as build for longevity and horse safety.

Having the swing or swivel door that I attach/detach a bucket seems like a very good idea! I like that idea a lot. I like the small buckets with the flat back.
So the door could have one of those hooks that Trevelyan linked to on one side, swing into alley, attach pre-filled bucket, swing into horse. Remove all buckets later so no one rubs/destroys their tub.

I do like the pans on the ground as well but it involved opening stall doors which I would like to avoid in case a non-horsey person has to feed in a pinch.


Thank you COTH, very smart.

yellowbritches
Jun. 8, 2012, 10:52 PM
I prefer the big, rubber feeders that hang in the corner, with an opening (preferably) that is big enough to fit the small feed pail through (a lot of these openings just aren't big enough for the job!). I like the feeders because they are rugged and roomy and easy to keep clean.

I HATE feed carts. The farm I now manage was using one when I came on board. Feeding 12-18 horses with that thing, with all their supplements, oils, meds, etc, just made the process take way too long. And you still had to tote a few buckets around for beet pulp, the few horses who ate owner provided grain, who's meds needed to be mixed in ahead of time, etc. Ugh. What a pain. I got rid of it and changed it to my preferred method of a little feed bucket for everyone. I also HATE just tossing supplements and meds on top of the grain (though I seem to be in the minority), and always mix everything in thoroughly (I wouldn't want to bite into a big, powdery bite of my food!), which makes buckets the more practical solution. It also ensures that if I can't feed for some reason ANYONE could go in and grab the buckets and feed, since I make each meal immediately after the last one was fed.

LookmaNohands
Jun. 8, 2012, 11:10 PM
I do not like "feed holes" so you can just stick a feed scoop in and drop grain in. I am a trainer. I want to open the door, ask the horse to move politely away, observe the horse (make sure nothing is wrong) then dump the grain in the feed tub and then go out and shut the door behind me. I also like feed tubs that I can take out regularly and scrub. :yes:

whbar158
Jun. 9, 2012, 01:58 AM
I prefer the big, rubber feeders that hang in the corner, with an opening (preferably) that is big enough to fit the small feed pail through (a lot of these openings just aren't big enough for the job!). I like the feeders because they are rugged and roomy and easy to keep clean.

I HATE feed carts. The farm I now manage was using one when I came on board. Feeding 12-18 horses with that thing, with all their supplements, oils, meds, etc, just made the process take way too long. And you still had to tote a few buckets around for beet pulp, the few horses who ate owner provided grain, who's meds needed to be mixed in ahead of time, etc. Ugh. What a pain. I got rid of it and changed it to my preferred method of a little feed bucket for everyone. I also HATE just tossing supplements and meds on top of the grain (though I seem to be in the minority), and always mix everything in thoroughly (I wouldn't want to bite into a big, powdery bite of my food!), which makes buckets the more practical solution. It also ensures that if I can't feed for some reason ANYONE could go in and grab the buckets and feed, since I make each meal immediately after the last one was fed.

Feed carts/wheel barrels really work best with just one type (or 2 if you have the nice cart with different compartments) of grain. Does also depend on the barn set up and the different types of supplements. My friend only feeds TC Complete, no oil, no beet pulp, supplements are either smartpaks or pre portioned before feeding. There is also a chart in the wheel barrel that has all the feed amounts for the horses and stars next to the ones that get supplements. This works great for her, but I do know it wouldn't for everyone. But if you can read (the chart is laid out like the barn, no searching for names) you would get the horses fed pretty easily.

whbar158
Jun. 9, 2012, 02:00 AM
I do not like "feed holes" so you can just stick a feed scoop in and drop grain in. I am a trainer. I want to open the door, ask the horse to move politely away, observe the horse (make sure nothing is wrong) then dump the grain in the feed tub and then go out and shut the door behind me. I also like feed tubs that I can take out regularly and scrub. :yes:

I totally agree with being able to take out the fed tubs to clean, but depending on your set up going into the stall can be more of a pain. While it doesn't take that long when feeding 25+ horses it really can add up on time, plus in the morning the horses where my horse is are still outside when the morning grain is given. Then in the afternoon kids (age 14+) feed so not going into the stall is much better for this setup and then horses are turned out so everyone gets at least 2 look overs a day.

KristiKGC
Jun. 9, 2012, 11:10 AM
I boarded at a place with the swivel corner feeders and HATED them. I won't put anything in a stall that I can't take out to clean and especially with soaked grain, meds, etc. I feel like feed buckets are right up there with water buckets in the NEEDS to be cleaned category.

Ideally, I would have these: http://www.nelsonmfg.com/horse-feeders/ (the far right picture in the header with the swivel out option). I bought my farm with the barn already in place so my next best solution is the rubber buckets on the ground.

I pre-make the grain in individual buckets, I hate the idea of a feed cart because there is no flexibility should a horse need a different type of grain or for their grain to be soaked.