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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    1,944

    Default Hay feeder in stalls - which one?

    My new barn is almost done. I want something that is easy to fill, tough, keeps the hay contained, and cheap. Any ideas?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2011
    Location
    My Little Bit of Heaven
    Posts
    244

    Default

    A couple of small mesh hay nets. Safer than a hay feeder and very cheap. Mine last for a couple of years.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,936

    Default

    Our horses voted for hay on the ground.
    We had feeders, horses pulled the hay out and then ate off the ground.
    Keep a corner clean for feeding on the ground, see how that works first.
    If that doesn't work for you, then start trying other.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    So far, two are being neat, and one is being a total pig. She's also dumped her water bucket twice. She's the one we call Goober.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,936

    Default

    Well, our hay feeders made good butt scratching spots, until we finally took them down.
    They do have their uses.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    At the back of the line
    Posts
    4,016

    Default

    BO put a diagonil wall in front of the corner so like this
    _____
    | / Well shoot the spacing isnt right but make a triangle.
    | /
    | /
    | /

    Made a floor inside the triangle to hold hay about 1.5 feet inside it voila idiothorse proof easy cheap & take down if horse doesnt like it, another idea is get some large rubber sheets or belts (mine belts or big machine belts) & go across the corner staple to the 2 stall walls in a u shape but a bit easier to put a foot in if desired.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    I love Freedom Feeders because they are really easy for me to use. Smartpak also makes a good small hole hay net but for less money.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,902

    Default

    I use this one and am very happy with it:

    http://www.highcountryplastics.com/products/cf24.html

    One horse does toss his hay out, but it keeps things neat and tidy for the most part--better than hay nets for me. One of my horses and hay nets would not mix well....I can only imagine the carnage to horse, net and barn!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,999

    Default

    If I can, I feed on the ground, as others mentioned - just sweep a corner free and feed there. But if you have a horse (such as all 3 of mine right now) that hoovers it up too quickly, the small mesh hay nets are cheap and easy to use, and slows them down. I have some nets that I bought when my guy was diagnosed as EMS/IR that are still going strong 2+ years later, and they get used daily. I wasn't a fan of nets in the past, but they've grown on me.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2013
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    500

    Default

    we feed hay on the ground in a corner of the stall - front corner underneath their grain bins. I don't think i've ever seen a horse poop there, and we have 12 to 16 horses at any given time. It's great. plus, they usually don't drag it out into the rest of their stalls, as long as we don't over feed them. Most of ours are great vacuum cleaners.



  11. #11

    Default

    I had wooden hay feeders built into a corner of each stall. They are about waist-high off the floor (my waist high), solid bottom, about a 3-inch lip, triangular across the corner. They were cheap cheap and easy to build. They work great, and keep the stalls so much cleaner with less waste. Elijah still pulls his out, immediately, and tosses it on the ground. He then becomes extremely picky, like "Do you expect me to eat this? It's been on the ground!" But he is a diva. My other two use the feeder as expected and it's all good.

    Elijah previously destroyed a store-bought feeder I had mounted in his stall by rubbing his 1,650-lb self against it. So far, though he does not use the feeder as intended, he has not destroyed it ... so I put that in the "win" column.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,769

    Default

    We built wood bins out of 2x4s. They run the length of the front wall of the stall from the corner under the feeder to near the doorway. They are big enough to put a whole bale in (I'm big on free choice hay, especially if kept in).

    For the dingdong who likes to pull his hay out and spread it all over, I nailed two 2x4s across the top, evenly spaced so he could get his head through comfortably, but the amount of hay he could pull out and fling everywhere (to be trampled into the bedding and peed/pooped on) was limited.

    We used 2x4s because we had a bunch lying around, but you could do just a heavy duty plastic or metal bin of some kind. These are heavy enough to not tip over easily. The horses still get to eat at a natural near ground level (the bins were on a 2x4 so they were 2" off the ground).

    A friend of mine built an outdoor feeder using 2x4s and that white plastic grid fencing. She used it for the sides and then made a sliding top for it as well. The top is more of the grid in a wood frame so as the horses pull the hay through, the top tray just moves down with it. Its big enough to hold 3 2 string bales if you break them open. When full, they can eat out of all sides and the top.

    Next go around for stalls, I will combine the two ideas, building a solid bin with the "slow down" top like the outdoor feeder has.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    592

    Default

    I have free-standing slow feeders, basically plastic barrels with holes in the lids. I like'em because horses can roll them around and use them as toys, very little hay is wasted, and they sift out a lot of the dust and dirt. Also I can move them out to the paddock or into the barn as needed. They're not attached to anything so any attempts at butt-rubbing merely knock'em over. They can also be used to soak hay, as they have little drains at the bottom.

    The downside is that they're a pain to fill up, they only hold 2 flakes of hay, they're a little heavy (for a spindly old crone) and they're expensive. Also, when used in a stall, sometimes an overly exuberant horse will roll them into a pile of poop, which is sort of gross. View the thrilling photo here.
    Last edited by The Crone of Cottonmouth County; Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM. Reason: clarity
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Photo of corner hay feeder

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDeere View Post
    BO put a diagonil wall in front of the corner so like this
    _____
    | / Well shoot the spacing isnt right but make a triangle.
    | /
    | /
    | /

    Made a floor inside the triangle to hold hay about 1.5 feet inside...
    Like this? This view is from opening the dedicated, external door through which you put the hay. A shorter one doesn't need a door.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
    Posts
    3,147

    Default

    Hay off the ground. Better for the respiratory system. NOT operating from myth or misinformation as has been said on here before. I keep a corner of the stall swept clean - we have rubber mats - and that's where the hay goes. If I HAD to have a feeder it would be the corner manger type that would simulate grazing position as closely as possible.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2012
    Location
    Coastal NC
    Posts
    982

    Default

    Nibble Nets have worked well for me and eliminates waste. Otherwise, I use the corner of the stall and sweep regularly.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2013
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    500

    Default

    lots of great suggestions here! I know a place that had built hay mangers up high, and the horses were forever getting eye infections from getting the hay in their eyes, like chaff and stuff. :/



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,999

    Default

    For the horse fed on the ground that drags the hay around, I figured out if I broke up the flakes when feeding, he was less likely to make a mess. That way, they grab a mouthful and can move around without dragging the whole flake with them.

    With the nets that I use now, I don't tie them up high so haven't had issues with stuff in eyes or respiratory issues. But that's why I would only use them here at home and not anywhere I boarded as I'm pretty particular about how stuff gets tied/hung/etc. and couldn't trust barn workers to be as careful.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
    Posts
    3,147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horsepoor View Post
    For the horse fed on the ground that drags the hay around, I figured out if I broke up the flakes when feeding, he was less likely to make a mess. That way, they grab a mouthful and can move around without dragging the whole flake with them.
    We do this, too....though I'm not 100% on it. Definitely does make a big difference with mine. We keep our horses out w/run in sheds as much as possible but right now I've got 3 of them in the barn at night...one of whom is a HUGE mess maker w/the hay.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    So far, they are doing pretty well with hay on the ground. The biggest issue seems to be that I have to STOP overfeeding. I like the corner feeder on the ground idea, but my stalls only have one solid wall, so it isn't really workable. My mare, Jet, has allergies, as does my son (and stall cleaner), so we have it as open as is possible. I'm surprised by who is being messiest and neatest so far. It's an interesting experience.



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