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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    370

    Post DIY Large Pasture Hay Slow Feeders

    Ok, I have 4 large pastures I am looking to put up several of large (holds a 50# bale) slow feeders for the horses.
    The fencing is a wooden post and rail with livestock wire mesh.

    I am interested to hear/see from those who have created their own feeder for the fields, and would love details,.....materials used for 'mesh', etc.

    Am thinking about either a freestanding one, with 4 sides, or attaching one to the fencing, with one 'open' side towards the field/horses.

    This design is interesting: http://www.all-natural-horse-care.co...ng-horses.html

    Thank you!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
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    992

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    http://paddockparadise.wikifoundry.c...mparison+Chart

    Be careful of any product with metal that might chip horses' teeth, ditto thin string that can cut their gums and lips.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3

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    I bought plans here and built two of these. We LOVE them, and so do the horses!

    http://www.grazingbox.com/Pricing.htm

    We used a cattle panel, cut to size, for the grate in our two 4x4 boxes. It works just fine for my well behaved geldings. A friend bought the cinch net fabric to build her grates, but she ended up not happy with it after all. She is still using it, but looking for something else. She has some spunky mustangs who are pretty hard on her feeders. My boys actually have decent table manners!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    370

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    Kings Ransom-can you post some pics of yours?

    I have 4 Freedom Feeder hay nets for my stalls; I love them but they are hard to fill sometimes, and my guys empty them in a few hours. I'd like to build some larger ones for our pastures, that can hold a bale or two!

    Do you have any issues or concerns with the metal and their teeth?



  5. #5

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    Mine look exactly like the ones on that site. I am out of town until Sunday, but will be happy to post some photos when I get back.

    We have had NO issues with the metal. Most of these are made with metal, but like I said, my friend wanted to use the fabric mesh. She made a wooden frame for the fabric, and it was quite expensive by the time she was done. The frame is falling apart, and the fabric is stretched out of shape. She is disappointed, but she is still using it.

    I keep an eye on the cattle panel, and if it gets bent, I will replace it for a couple of bucks.

    But I have to add that my boys are very polite and they just eat their hay, they don't fight, try to climb in the box, or otherwise attempt to destroy the box, themselves, or their friends. They just eat their hay.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2012
    Location
    Cranberry, PA
    Posts
    1,019

    Default

    Is the bottom of these spring loaded so when the weight islighter to bottom forces the hay up to the grate? How much waste do you have with these?



  7. #7

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    No, Chachie, the bottom is not spring loaded to bring the hay up. Sort of the reverse, using gravity instead of a spring. The grate follows the hay down.

    You frame the "lid" with a deep lip that keeps the grate from being pulled out the top. Also, you use a paddle bit to drill several large holes in the bottom for drainage.

    I would say we have 0% waste. Really.

    We got these PRIMARILY because our horses were notorious hay wasters. Cleaning up after them was a real PITA -- not to mention that the whole time you're trying to shovel out peed-on, trampled hay, you're thinking about how they just intentionally destroyed money.

    Looking at the site photos, I can see it might be a little confusing. We built the 4x4 boxes with "lids." Ours looks just like this photo, except they are 4x4 instead of 2x4: http://www.grazingbox.com/2x4%20box%...with%20lid.JPG

    I would not build one like this, http://www.grazingbox.com/slow%20fee...%20sharing.JPG because I should think the horses might be able to pull the grid out -- especially if you use a cattle panel like I did. Maybe theirs fits more snugly, but still, I would not build without the lid.


    These things are terrific and not difficult to build. If you are at all skilled, you can probably build one in an hour. I had a friend help with mine and he built two of them in about an hour (but he is a carpenter, so he really went fast!).



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,811

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    I have been coveting a set of Porta-Grazers for my herd for quite some time. However, with prices starting at $229 each, that isn't going to happen anytime soon!

    In the meantime, I stole this idea from Jamie Jackson's Paddock Paradise Facebook page:

    http://s25.photobucket.com/user/tryp...tml?sort=3&o=9

    It's not the 50lb feeder you're looking for, but they do cut down on hoovering and wastage.

    We drilled holes in t-posts and covered the t-posts with capped PVC pipe. We placed an eye bolt through both the PVC and t-post so I can hang small hole hay nets.

    They work well and I've had no safety issues with them. The most difficult part of creating them was drilling through the very hard metal on the ancient t-posts we had on hand! The cost to make them was minimal-- I spent maybe $50 at most for materials for 3 sets of posts, including the nets.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2012
    Location
    Rutland, England, by way of Hawaii
    Posts
    194

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    We built 2 feeders very similar to King's Ransom's lidded one. We saw a video on YouTube a couple of years ago and my handyman built them after I got the grids. They are called gridwall and are available on ebay. They come in 2 feet widths and lengths of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 feet. They are comfortably heavy with 3 inch square openings. We made 4 and 5 feet feeders. We put weldmesh in the bottom and raised ours off the floor about 7 inches. If you go to YouTube and search steksinoly, he's got 2 short videos of his feeder. One is called Slow Grazer loading and the other is Slow Grazer cam. I believe he is now marketing these feeders on the internet. We use them for our donkeys. We also put metal strips on the top of the lid and the corners to prevent our donks from chewing the wood. There is absolutely NO waste! We are going to make more for our Shires. I don't know how we survived without them!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2012
    Posts
    65

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    [QUOTE=Texarkana;7281334]I have been coveting a set of Porta-Grazers for my herd for quite some time. However, with prices starting at $229 each, that isn't going to happen anytime soon!

    These look pretty easy to mimic. two trash cans or a trash can and a muck bucket or two muck buckets. Use a HOLE cutter drill bit and cut the size holes you want in one of the containers- fill other with hay and top with one you just cut the holes in.. You might have an inch or two of hay they cannot get to, but it will be quite similar for a fraction of the cost.

    walmart sells muck buckets for under $10 bucks here and those trash cans are approx $30 each-



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2012
    Posts
    518

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    These ideas are all genius. King's Ransom, once you are back home I would also be interested in seeing pictures of the exact ones you built. Do any of you have piggy air ferns who will demolish the hay in no time flat? If so, do you just keep them in a separate paddock or what? We have 2 air ferns and 2 need-to-eat-24/7s at our barn.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2013
    Posts
    346

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    Dumb question: if/when it rains, are there any issues with the hay, provided that they eat it the same or next day?

    David



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    370

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    Love all of this-thank you! Keep it coming.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,811

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    [QUOTE=tchuki513;7282302]
    Quote Originally Posted by Texarkana View Post
    I have been coveting a set of Porta-Grazers for my herd for quite some time. However, with prices starting at $229 each, that isn't going to happen anytime soon!

    These look pretty easy to mimic. two trash cans or a trash can and a muck bucket or two muck buckets. Use a HOLE cutter drill bit and cut the size holes you want in one of the containers- fill other with hay and top with one you just cut the holes in.. You might have an inch or two of hay they cannot get to, but it will be quite similar for a fraction of the cost.

    walmart sells muck buckets for under $10 bucks here and those trash cans are approx $30 each-
    My husband said the same thing! So we experimented a little, but the results were not good. Muck bucket plastic is way too weak and shatters. The gray rubbermaid trashcans have a "lip" on them and widen at the top.

    You can take any container and make a "pan" by cutting it to shape and drilling holes in it. But it's really hard to create one that will stay inside a freestanding, moveable container!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2012
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    38

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    I purchased netting from this lady on ebay, one of the nets tore and she sent me a new net. The nets are HUGE, we use it on our 1000 lb round bails. Here is a link to one of her listings. I think they are old fishing nets. http://www.ebay.com/itm/14x20-HORSE-...item3f2c6d9b9d

    She was much more reasonable than any other place that sold netting, and so far, this net has lasted a year. Despite the Texas sun.

    www.sahorsesupply.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Posts
    967

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    Quote Originally Posted by csaper58 View Post
    Be careful of any product with metal that might chip horses' teeth, ditto thin string that can cut their gums and lips.
    We went 2 years with the metal grates without issue and then ended up having several horses with pretty severe tooth damage over a very short period.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
    Posts
    992

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    The problem with the cattle panel is that some horses can get it hung on there bottom jaw. doesn't happen often but usually results in a broken jaw when it does. I like the net made of thick string/rope, they make them big enough for a round bale.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    370

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    airhorse-what kind of metal grate did you use?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Posts
    967

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    Gridwall, just like all the pictures. 4x4 inch holes.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    370

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    I have seen the chain link fencing used also-anyone used that with teeth issues?
    Before we sink $ into this, I am very wary about harming teeth. The netting may be the best option, but I wonder how I can get that to work as a 'stand alone' feeder, not hay-bags (which I already use)......
    Possibly stretch the netting around a wooden frame? Mmmmmm,.....



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