I am wondering if they hold up as well to horse roughhousing and if there is any disadvantage to them. I would be using them for feed for the two ponies who only get a wee bit of feed so they don't feel left out. I was wondering though if they are tippy or otherwise annoying to maneuver and fill on the ground.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
I have a few. I do think it's easier for the horses to get to all their food, but I haven't found them very durable. One cracked, a second one somehow has a mangled handle, and the rubber caps on the edges of them disappeared in no time. So, eh, they're ok. Nothing amazing.
Don't know about the whole "tapered" sides claim, if it really makes a difference. Bought one for my big headed draft, she can get her face in it better than a round bucket. Have had it for 2 years now it has been knocked off the hook and kicked around the stall overnight by her size 6 dinner plates and has held up really well. You do need to put the handle to the back to keep it balanced when adding liquids, but that is not a big deal you just get in the habit. Its a decent bucket.
"They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier
"They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"
I JUST bought one yesterday for my "dribbler" (he looks like a whale eating algae or whatever, with water pouring out of its mouth). So far (three meals) pretty good. His food is pretty watered down, but what is the connection between this kind of bucket and choke?
I have a few and for my big headed horse it is much easier for her to get her head in the bucket. I haven't had any issues with them breaking but we don't have anyone who is excessively rough on buckets. I got mine from TSC, I don't know if they are cheaper than SmartPak but no shipping
I use the 20qt for my guys, they're hung in their shed and while removable, I rarely do. In the winter their daily ration is wetted for a hot mash which they find reeeeeeealy exciting and slosh and fling their food with great exuberance. These buckets keep the food flinging pretty much contained. Its the reason I bought them.
I've found mine to be very durable - aside from the little rubber caps, lost them in the first week. When I'm late with breakfast, the boys take out their angst on the buckets, one goes so far to stick his foot in the bucket and then bang on it. (fortunately the design allows for him to easily slide his foot back out again). Buckets have held up to this abuse for several years now.
The inside of the bucket is rounded, there are no corners for food to get lodged in and my guys easily can lick the entire bucket clean.
I do find them tippy however - for instance if sitting on the ground and pouring something in - the bottom is flat and the corners rounded, and with the unusual shape they take any excuse to roll forward a bit. Like mentioned you have to keep the handle back for a bit of counterweight, but if you're mindful you can quickly figure the knack for filling without tipping.
Only thing I really hate about the design is that the bottom is completely flat, and again the corners rounded off. There is no ridge or lip like on a regular round bucket, so its near impossible to pick up and pour, there is NOTHING to grip on the bottom. But since mine live hanging on the wall 95% of the time, its a minor issue for me.
Ask yourself: "Can I do anything about this?"
If you can, do it. If you can't... then you can't and leave it at that. Worrying achieves nothing but stress.
We have 2. Got first to use as water bucket in horse trailer. Didn't work well for that. But found the horses seem more comfortable earing from them vs a regular bucket and less loss then from a tub on the ground in a stall. Their heads do "fit" better. As for durabilty they don't seem much different from other buckets made of the same plastic.
I have a 20 qt mounted in the stall for my draft cross, as he has a large head that doesn't fit well in regular buckets. I've been using it for a few months now, and so far, so good. Easy to keep clean and still intact. I did wrap the bottom of the handles (where the connect to the bucket) with duct tape to prevent him from catching an eyelid, but otherwise a decent design. I think it is probably too "open" to make a good water bucket but it is a good feeder.
I have a couple of them. Best for the horses IMO is a big round feeder that has the rithree rings to use with snaps and screw eyes in a corner location.
If you must feed grain in a "bucket" then the Better Bucket does seem to be an improvement.
However, the plastic is a bit more brittle than other brands. I had bought the same bucket hangers from Dover that Paddys Mom mentions above. The hanger makes the bucket really stable on a flat wall but eventually the back lip of the bucket that "hooks" onto the hanger will crack and break off. With a horse that eats quietly and doesn't bump their bucket it will last longer. I had to toss one bucket because it broke badly and left a sharp edge that was hazardous for the horse.
If you skip just hang with a snap to a screw eye the bucket may not break.
it doesn't do much funelling but it does help for one of my horses who has an enormous jaw who can't open her mouth in a small feed bucket and the larger buckets would scrape near her eye with the handle. the other two don't need them