I have a big, beautiful Andalusian/TB cross who, I'm pretty sure, thinks it's funny to poop in his feed bucket. Usually it's about 3 times a month, but so far this week it's been every day! He leans over my shoulder looking proud as a Peacock as I clean his bucket. I'm pretty sure he thinks it takes extraordinary talent to get his big fat ass lined up perfectly to fill up that little feed bucket. He thinks he's a riot Alice!
Does anybody have any suggestions to discourage this comedy act?.
For one of the chronic bucket poopers at my barn, they finally just dumped his feed right in on top of the poop. Made him eat one meal that way, cleaned the bucket out again, and he has been relatively incident-free since then.
It's not like they don't know they're doing it, particularly if the bucket is attached to the wall....
Hang the bucket outside the stall, to access the feed in it, he hangs his head over the door. You need a stall door that is open to heads coming out, of course, not a solid door. I've had a few at the track who did this pooping in buckets (feed and water) too, and this foiled the attempt no problem. Easy access for humans for feeding and watering off too.
Pooping in water and feed buckets has to be the most annoying stall habit. Try moving the bucket over, to a different wall, raising it higher, hanging it lower... Using a feed pan works. I like the idea of having it hung outside the stall if that set-up works for you. But it's so freaking annoying to have a horse who likes using a bucket for a toilet.
Just for laughs: I had a horse who occasionally pooped in the bucket, but not all the time. Now, the local ground squirrels were bold as brass and used to come into his stall, scurry along the boards and pop into his feed bucket and steal with both hands (paws). One day, as I watched, my horse lined him self up and pooped on a squirrel that was in the bucket stealing his food. Squirrel arose with poop on his head, screaming bloody murder. I just about fell over laughing.
(my present horse appears to have stall-trained himself. Unless it is a raging storm, he travels to the end of his paddock to poop and pee - always. I told the barn owners they should lower my board: The barn hand never needs to clean his stall and he uses less bedding - his stall is always clean)
We have automatic waterers that we really don't need the horses to sit on, break off and flood the barn with. To keep horsey bums off the waterers, we put a bar across one corner of the stalls, making a little triangular spot to keep the waterers safe. I bet the same thing would work to keep a bum away from a bucket.
The stallion at our farm poops in those rubber water tub things on the ground. We just put a couple extra ones in his stall. Makes cleaning easy. We just dump them out, and he drinks from a bucket hung on the wall. His son, my horse, apparently inherited the trait. He does the same thing, but in his smaller feed pans. We once walked into his stall, and the small (12" diameter) feed pan was filled with pee. He would have had to line himself up and aim. We solved the problem by not feeding grain But they're easy keeping Haflingers. I just feed his vitamins by hand.
Small change, what a good idea! Do you have pics? What are they made of? Could I cut a 2x4?
Ours are a sturdy metal bar, but there's no reason a 2x4 wouldn't work. You just need to make a triangular space big enough to keep him slightly away from his bucket. A 2x4 would be easy to remove as well, if you decided he didn't need it any more later on.
Really? That is all you can come up with?
Maybe because the farm his is at doesn't offer 24/7 turn-out? Or maybe he only comes in to eat, be ridden and get turned out. Maybe the farm doesn't have enough pasture to not be over grazed with 24 hour turn-out. Maybe he is clipped and being in when it is cold at night is better for him. Maybe he is one of those horses that doesn't like being turned out a lot or when it is buggy or hot or too cold.
24/7 turn-out is not Nirvana for all horses and all cases. Having a horse be comfortable in a stall is a good thing. My horse just had hock injections and needed to be in his stall for a couple of days before he could go out. Last horse was on stall rest for months due a suspensory.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
My boy poops in his automatic waterer, so the BO built a plywood "poop rim" that extends about 8" all around the water bowl. Now his poop ends up on the rim and not in his water. He does it much less now, too. When he started it I thought it happened accidentally because he likes to stand with his head in the corner, lining his butt up with the waterer...until we went to our first show and he pooped in his bucket there, too!