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Treat Toy - Ideas to slow-feed Chaffhaye? How to secure jug in a muck bucket?

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  • Treat Toy - Ideas to slow-feed Chaffhaye? How to secure jug in a muck bucket?

    I am trying to figure out a way to slow-feed Chaffhaye alfalfa.
    I think the AG might work - unless horses can pick them up and move them with their teeth.

    My horse is in dry lot. He is fed his CH in a tub that sits in a medium sized kiddie pool. The kiddie pool catches the dribbles so they don't fall in the dirt.

    I wonder if my horse could roll the AG around in the kiddie pool.

    Any thoughts from those that have used an AG?

    TIA. How much does it hold? If it would work I would buy two.
    Last edited by grayarabs; Sep. 10, 2012, 07:07 PM. Reason: change title

  • #2
    I have an amazing graze and LOVE it. I use it for a horse on stall rest, but the other horses all beg to take a turn with it. I have not had a horse be able to pick it up with his teeth. It holds quite a lot, I could probably put 10 pounds of hay pellets in. I don't know if it would work well with a feed that is sticky. I put only hay pellets, horse cookies in mine.

    Not sure how well it would work in a tub. My horse has to really roll his around and work it to get the feed out.


    • #3
      They cant pick it up with their teeth, but it will get tossed out of a kiddy pool in no time! They will push it up and over the sides with their nose.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks. I would remove the tub and see if he could roll it around the kiddie pool.

        Sounds daft - but one has to be creative.

        He eats the CH so much faster than the cubes he was previously fed.

        Can the horses "up end" it with their noses? I am not quite understand how it works. How all the goodies can get out the end. Probably by the rolling action.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks again. My horse is pretty good about his kiddie pool. Careful, non destructive etc. But who knows - he probably could figure out a way to roll it up and out and onto the dirt.

          Any other ideas for slow-feeding Chaffhaye?

          I think I will edit my title.


          • #6
            You don't have to believe me, but I really think the kiddie pool idea will not work (from trying something similar). I've tried lots of creative things with the grazer, but think of what will happen to the kiddie pool when your horse steps on it and then what might happen to your horse's leg on the freshly broken piece of plastic. Then in the mean time, wonder if it's worth it since the grazer promptly got knocked out of the pool.

            I recommend first getting the grazer so you can see how it works, then devise your contraption.

            Good luck


            • #7
              I bought an Amazing Graze last month for Miss Mare. She loves it. I put about 3 scoops of hay cubes in it. There is room for about 3 more scoops. She will leave a flake of hay to roll the AG around her stall. It's always empty the next time I go out to see her so they all get out somehow. Once it is empty she will kick it into a corner untill I fill it again.


              • Original Poster

                Still researching.

                Dover sells the Likit Snack a Ball.

                I wish I could make something like this work.

                The holes are small - except for one.
                It is made for dry treats but I read on the H&H BB where a gal had put some Chaff in her horse's Snack A Ball.

                Apparently there is a partition inside the SAB that prevents the feed from rolling out all at once.

                I wonder if a SAB would work when placed in a muck bucket.
                For horse just to nose it around that small area. The muck bucket secured to a fence to not be knocked over. And no feed falling in the dirt.

                My horse is not destructive/a pawer. But maybe if he was frustrated enough..

                I am getting desperate here. It's tough when your horse has COPD and possibly IR and you want to slow-feed. And board out.


                • #9
                  Just throwing ideas out here, but I wonder if a higher-sided tub would keep him from being able to roll the toy out? Something like a Rubbermaid water trough, for example.

                  You could also look at the Nose-It, which is another grazing toy. My horse liked the Amazing Graze, but the Nose-It lasted him longer/seemed more engaging because they have to knock it just the right way for the food to fall out--and as the toy gets more and more empty, it takes longer and longer for the food to fall out. With the Amazing Graze, there's a consistent output of food as long as the horse keeps it rolling. They're both good toys, it's just a question of what you need the toy to do. I was using the Nose-It for a boarding situation where my horse wasn't getting as much turnout as I wanted, so the longer I could make the toy last, the happier my horse was.
                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks. Great idea about the water trough. (what sizes do they come in - gallon-wise?)

                    How does one load the Nose-it? How to clean out?

                    I wonder which one would work the best for Chaffhaye?

                    Last edited by grayarabs; Sep. 6, 2012, 01:12 AM.


                    • #11
                      Okay, you know you buy way too many horse toys when you read a thread like this and own every single toy mentioned thus far! For what you are trying to do, I think the nose it might be the best choice. It is really durable as mine have survived the Samsonite gorilla (if you are old enough to remember those commercials). I use pellets in mine, but have put it in the deep plastic corner hay feeder for my guy to mess with and he hasn't knocked it out, and it kept him pretty busy. Of course, this is the same horse that knows to put his plastic jug full of pellets in the feeder before shaking, so the feeder catches all the pellets, making them easier to hoover up! The nose it just has the one hole to load and same hole distributes. It doesn't come apart for cleaning, but being one piece makes it durable. I will hose mine out, and did drill a couple of small drain holes to help get the water out as it is used out in the paddocks as well, and in the rain.

                      I don't like the Amazing Graze as the hole is too big for slow feeding of pellets or small treats, made it too easy for my horses. And it is so big and rolls too much for being on a hill.

                      The snak a ball is a great pellet feeder, but not as durable. I've had two come apart at the seams (duct taped together now but failing), and the separate lid for the fill hole has these tabs that break off. They give you an extra lid, but they break too easily. Plus having the separate chamber to slow the flow of pellets might make it too hard to get the chaff out. It also has more nooks and crannies inside that chaff would stick in, I expect.


                      • Original Poster

                        Tks HP and all. I am leaning towards the Nose-It.

                        The water trough is a great idea. I found a website where the troughs are used and called "mud boats". Will try to post the link. The troughs shown there are not deep/high sided.

                        HP - I am not sure I understand your corner hay feeder that you use to "contain" your horse's NI. Do you think then that a muck bucket could be used to contain the NI? Perhaps secure it to a fence/whatever by the handles to avoid the horse knocking it over?

                        And yes I am old enough to remember the Samsonite gorilla. Alas.

                        I am becoming horse poor. I keep saying to myself that I am not going to buy one more thing. Then of course there becomes a need and I must buy something.

                        The barn staff will have to stuff the NI for me 2x/day - which I am sure they will not be thrilled about. Any tips for getting something like Chaffhaye easily/quickly through the hole? A funnel of some sort?
                        It will need to be crumbled to go in and I hope it does indeed hold six pounds.

                        Also curious about your plastic jug for pellets. Tks again.


                        • #13
                          Thanks HP for the reviews of the various treat dispensers.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            Thanks HP for the reviews of the various treat dispensers.
                            Thank my horses with their stall rest needs over the past many years, making me try every toy out there!

                            On the feeder, it is a big hay feeder like this: High Country Single Feeder. So the walls are pretty tall and he can't knock the toy out. My Nose Its have some teeth marks on them, so they do try to pick them up, but none successfully.

                            Plastic jugs are just clean containers from stuff like oil (milk ones get crushed too quickly). I just put some pellets in them, leave the cap off, and the horses shake to get the pellets out. They generally only last a few times, then get smashed too much...I'll hose the remains off and recycle them.


                            • Original Poster

                              Before I buy a couple of Nose-Its I want to experiment with jugs.

                              I was thinking about a jug in a muck bucket. Secured with baling twine to the handle with about a foot? of twine to be threaded through a hole in the bottom of a muck bucket and secured there as well. From underneath.

                              I think I read about someone trying this. HP - was it you?

                              I have an empty gallon jug with a handle and pouring hole measuring 1.1/4" wide.
                              Hold probably too small. I got the jug from my sister - it is an Arnold Palmer half tea/lemonade drink - and the jug seems much better/sturdier and less "brittle" than a water jug.

                              If I can make it to the barn tomorrow I will see how much time and effort it would take to crumble/load Chaffhaye through the hole. Then offer it to my horse - just loose - in a muck bucket to see what he does/how it comes out.

                              What other jugs have folks tried - that come with larger holes?



                              • Original Poster

                                I think I can make this work, but need ideas how to secure the jug in the muck bucket. Using something safe for horse lips - ie no snaps or carabiners. Something that the barn staff can easily/safely do/undo to swap out jugs when feeding.

                                Velcro comes to mind. What would be ideal (I think) would be a strap about three feet long - but velcro only on the ends. One end to secure around the jug handle and the other end to secure around the muck bucket handle.
                                (after the "strap" has been threaded through a slit to the outside of the muck bucket).

                                Does such a strap exist - from other sports/etc?

                                Anyone have other ideas?

                                Yesterday I put some Chaffhaye in the jug with the 1.1/4" pouring hole and placed it in a muck bucket. In the empty arena I sat on the mounting block and "presented" the bucket to my horse. He did not understand at all what to do. In the past I had done some clicker training with him - and that helped a bit. Meanwhile the barn hen was pecking away at the container of BOSS that I always have with me. Thank you hen for the idea.
                                I emptied the Chaffhaye and replaced it with some BOSS. Then things started happening. Horsie started pushing the jug around. Some BOSS would come out. By this time the ducks, geese and hen were gathered around us as if encouraging my horse to "get it" or else they would.
                                Finally my horse had a lightbulb moment and made the connection between batting the jug around and BOSS coming out. It was wonderful to see that.
                                He was like a transformed horse. He had fun and seemed quite pleased with himself.

                                I then put some Chaffhaye back in the jug and he "got it" again. So he could only eat bits at a time and not mouthfuls. And much less - if any -falling out of his mouth when lifting his head to look around. Like a horse should eat - small amounts - like grazing.

                                All I need now to set this up is a safe/easy jug in bucket securement.
                                So I welcome all ideas. Thanks. (and a larger jug with larger hole)


                                • #17
                                  I'd be a little leery of tying a strap or string if it was long enough to get caught on a foot. I have visions of a horse pawing at the set up, getting the strap on his foot, and then panicking if the whole thing follows him. At least, that is what I'm envisioning, but I may not be understanding what you are describing.

                                  I do have one horse that cannot figure out the jug when loose, but I can tie it up on the wall (so hanging from an eyehook and the rope is such that he can't get it around his head or neck -- the jug ends up about wither height). Then he noses it and stuff comes out and he eats off the ground (this is in his stall, so on mats). Not sure if that helps, but an idea.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Tks HP. I was thinking no double strings for the reasons you describe. Just one string/strap - no loops that could ensnare a hoof.

                                    I am thinking to try a muck bucket bolted via eyescrews and something else to secure the whole thing from being knocked over. ie secured to a 4" x 4" on his shed. I think I can figure that out with eyescrews, twine and doubled headed snaps. Through drilled holes in the muck bucket - one high - one low.

                                    I had hoped to have a not very long connection string/strap attached to the jug handle. Just enough length so the string/twine/strap/whatever can be moved around. Secured/restricted to a certain length at the entrance/slit area.

                                    I want to set this up NOW but many things have to be considered.

                                    I just know this can work - but there are devils in the details.

                                    It would be nice if I knew 100 pct that my horse would not be able to grab the jug and throw it out in the dirt and/or push it up over the side into the dirt.

                                    To add - I had thought that twine through a hole in the center/bottom of the mucket would be the best plan. The twine would not need to very long - and hopefully not long enough to snare a hoof. Then I thought hole through the bottom not a good idea - as dirt could come through the hole.

                                    So thought about a slit on the side of the muck bucket - a couple of inches from the bottom/off the ground.

                                    Or back to the idea of hole in the bottom - when securing the muck bucket to shed - (or fence post) don't have the entire bottom on the ground.
                                    Leave some clearance space - bucket then at a slight tilt.

                                    Please also excuse me - my poor fried brain - from Lyme and the antibiotics I am taking. I am so sick and trying to care for my special needs horse.
                                    Last edited by grayarabs; Sep. 10, 2012, 08:06 PM. Reason: add


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Another idea. A plastic hay feeder with the racks removed. Hole in the bottom to secure the jug with twine. High enough sides so food does not go flying.



                                      This is the best photo I could find.

                                      Perhaps could be easier mounted/hung. Also I would a little bit prefer this height so the horse stands square when eating - not legs splayed when eating (as they should be) at ground level. For those of us with horse that always splay with the same hoof forward. Geez - how many problems can one sweet horse have?

                                      To add: I guess one could hang a muck bucket??
                                      Last edited by grayarabs; Sep. 10, 2012, 10:11 PM. Reason: add