It's trash-can city here, feed in all manner of containers and seemingly thousands of buckets, scoops, bags, vitamin thingies... it's like a packaging convention, or a horse deli.
We have about 50 boarders, and we allow one metal trash can or other rodent-resistant feed container per customer in our designated feed areas. But the cans are multiplying and it's a mess!
I am not comfortable requiring SmartPaks (most of our folks feed their own supplements) and these are fairly sedentary/retired/light use horses for the most part.
Yes, we have lots of varmints and then we have bin hogs who need three cans for Ponykin's three essential feeds that sit there 1/3 full for months because they don't feed grain or supplements on a regular basis and it gets moldy.
We feed lots of hay as is the norm in our area; the horses are for the most part fat and thriving unless they are poor doers, new to our place, etc. Again in our area (SoCalifornia) the norm is hay/forage only and no grain supplied by the stable.
Lots of these people (who are actually a really wonderful bunch of boarders- I do loff them!) seem to equate feeding their horse a bunch of stuff with responsible horse ownership- but they are not equine nutritionists nor do they play them on TV. Did you know horses eat bananas? Part of a standard horse fruit salad around here. I never knew...
How do other BO's establish limits to individual feed storage,spillage, etc? And what magic inexpensive, rat proof, attractive, airtight, space-conscious thing have you found ideal for storing feed... besides the owner's garage?
Last edited by Miss Motivation; Apr. 18, 2010 at 09:06 PM.
I'm not a BO, but a boarder. I keep my feed in 1 garbage can with a flat lid and a 66 qt. bin for the baggies with the feed set up on top. With a regular plastic can I can easily keep 2 - 50 lb bags with some room at the top for supplements, extra baggies, etc. The bin holds 8 days of grain for my hard keeper. An easy keeper could easily have a bin that holds 2-3 weeks or more.
So I would say if 1 garbage can is not enough, have them get a bin that can sit on top so it takes up the same floor space as 1 can.
With 50 boarders I would keep the one can per boarder rule because that is crazy!
If they have five different supplements and grains to feed their horse, ask them to pre-bag the meals (AM and PM) and store the bags in their bin. The leftover sacks of feeds and supplements need to go home with them. Period.
No one wants rats in their stuff or scurrying around their feet, so I can't imagine anyone would complain about you enforcing your rule.
Perhaps you could have a nutrition seminar so a vet can tell them what their horses might need and how to get them what they need without spending hundreds of dollars on extra feeds and supplements. I'm sure any feed rep (use one that lots of your boarders use -- Purina, LMF, etc.) will be happy to sell some product.
I pretty much feed Strategy to all my boarders, with the exception of a few horses that get Senior feed. Anyone who has supplements has a smart-pak like drawer & their pre-bagged supplements or smartpaks are stacked on shelves in my feedroom. I buy ultimate Finish & BOSS and anyone who wants them fed pays the cost of those & I give feed them at the rate of a cup/feeding.
I have one trash can for beet pulp, one for bran, one for alfalfa cubes and one for mineral salts. Boarders can pay for those that they use.
Anything else they keep at home or in their trailers or tack trunks.
They stack really well and hold one 50lb bag of feed. We feed about 15 different kinds of feed. I usually stack 3 of them. It really cuts down on clutter and opens up space. They are only about $10.00 each.
I predict this is the disaster of the future. The sheer variety of feeds and supps out there plus owners who are all about that and barns (understandably) not wanting to comply all create the perfect storm.
I'd keep the 1 can, or 1 can-shaped space rule. If Buglet's solution doesn't work, then the owners will have to mix up their 3 feeds in proportion, one can's worth at a time. They can store the rest at their own place and refill at the barn as needed. Perhaps that required involvement will cut down on the rotting feed problem. (Who bothers to buy so many feeds and then lets them mold?)
Unfortunately, the BO may have to initially rule with a bit of an iron fist on this at first. But boarders will adjust. I'd rather do this than have a barn that told me I had to feed what they did regardless of my horse's needs. That has been a deal-breaker for me in the recent past. It wasn't previously a problem, so maybe I'm bumping into a new trend.