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Has anyone built a slow feeder box like this?

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  • Has anyone built a slow feeder box like this?

    Blush and Dove are wasting a ton of hay. The barn doesn't seem to mind, but it makes a mess and it makes ME twitch to see them peeing all over perfectly fine hay.

    Right now, they're fed out of large tractor tires. They pitch hay everywhere and a good amount simply blows out.

    Something like a hay bag won't work for a couple reasons: fencing is all electrobraid, so nothing to tie it to and the PITA problem of stuffing the bags. If I ask to change how they're being fed, it's got to be EASY.

    Something like this might work out all right:


    Has anyone ever built one? Any tips/tricks? Or any other suggestions?

  • #2
    Not sure if your question is more about MAKING the box or success with USING it. I have a box from that exact site/maker but I bought it. It is the 4' x 4' one. We are currently using it for six horses. It works wonderfully! This is the second winter we've used them -- they are inside, but the boxes have holes in the bottom so it's possible to have them drain even outside.

    They have a DIY kit which I've contemplated but I think it's just plans and a grille. I don't think I have the tools or skill set. I don't know where one could get the grid/grille material if not in their kit, and I think that would make or break a homemade venture. The stuff that came with my box is lightweight but strong and inflexible.
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


    • #3
      I have, but I made it in aluminium and it has a spring at the bottom to push the hay up. Its great!


      • #4
        I don't anything about them but someone on here posted something about the metal grate damaging their teeth. I guess that was their experience.
        Kanoe Godby
        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


        • #5
          Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
          I have, but I made it in aluminium and it has a spring at the bottom to push the hay up. Its great!
          Awesome! I had this idea in my head, but I'm not enough of an engineer to make it work! (I'm not an engineer at all, actually).

          I heard about damage to their teeth too, but my dentist and vet have not had any negative comments about our horse's teeth. My DH ended up engineering a more vertical gravity-fed feeder, so they don't really press their teeth up against the grid.

          For the grid, we use that welded wire (pretty thick stuff) livestock panel from TSC. We have both 2"x4" holed one as well as 4"x4" holed one. (the 4x4 is ONLY used above wither-level in our first feeder, which is really just a slow-feeder hay rack in the run-in. Down low they could get their feet caught in that) I think with the spring on the bottom pushing up, the horses wouldn't have to push DOWN on the metal grid so much and it would be fine on their teeth.

          Out of curiosity, JoZ, what are the dimensions of the holes in the grid your feeder came with?


          • #6
            I have the bins already and Grandpa's next project is to make me the cover with a net material on 2x4 frames. I assume the netting will be easier on their teeth. I live in a fishing community so netting is easy to come by.


            • #7
              Yes, my Dad built three of them from leftover barn materials, (he's retired I have to keep him out of trouble some how ) they didn't have the DIY version so I just gave him dimensions and some of the pictures and he built them, I invested in the DIY "kit" when it became available because I couldn't find the grill anywhere but was a waste of money they really aren't needed they tend to eat over the box so hay falls back in the box and not on the ground, has really saved a lot in hay, Dad put short "handles" on them (extended the top rails of the box) rounded them over so no sharp edges, really helps if you want to move them.
              "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"


              • #8
                I would avoid anything with metal grates period. We used them for several years with no damage, and then within a few months had several horses with severe tooth damage.

                Our dentist says we are not alone with the damaged teeth, so beware.


                • #9
                  Regarding the damaged teeth: If you were going to build it yourself, couldn't you just use net instead of a wire frame?
                  I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cindyg View Post
                    Regarding the damaged teeth: If you were going to build it yourself, couldn't you just use net instead of a wire frame?


                    • #11
                      But what do you use for netting? I have the AGI feeders, love them, but my horses fling the hay out and mess on it :-) I've been to all the sport stores trying to find netting, but no luck. Did find something when I was at a Canadian Tire while visiting, but they won't ship it to the US. I thought of buying a panel from TSC and having hubby cut it to size, feeders are round. But now I'm worried about their teeth. I think netting tied to the feeders would be great. Any suggestions would be so appreciated


                      • Original Poster

                        I'd be looking to build one, not buy one, and this feedback is very helpful--thank you all! I appreciate the info on problems with the metal grates. If my horses can hurt themselves on something, they will. Sigh.

                        I'm curious how people would propose using netting instead of a metal grate. Just build it in to a wooden frame?

                        I wonder if there are any plastic products out there that might work?


                        • #13
                          Could you take apart a small hole hay net, and attach it to a wooden frame?


                          • #14
                            SCMSL and Oldpony66, would you be able to post pictures (or send me via pm)? I am very interested in making something like this ... like the idea of aluminum and more gravity/less tooth on wire.



                            • #15
                              I would say if you want a small hole effect without metal you could probably stretch some plastic snow fence onto a wooden frame. Don't know whether they would consume the plastic though... Could probably do similar with hockey net, etc.
                              It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                              • #16
                                Noooo! I do not want to hear that the metal is hurting teeth! Dang it. I was pretty excited about this thing.

                                I'd love to figure out how you do it without the grate as well. DIY is best.
                                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                • #17
                                  While I didn't make a box (I made an envelope hanging slow feeder) I used hockey netting. It is super tough and has held up with no issues for a few months (I had a freedom feeder my horse ate through within a year, I think this hockey netting is much sturdier) . I wonder if you could make a frame and then attach the netting to it. The only issue might be horses pulling on it. I got my hockey netting from Arizona Sport Equipment, it comes in certain widths, cut to any length you need.

                                  Here is my hockey net experiment:

                                  I think the boxes look like a great idea, but the metal grate always made me wonder. The paddock paradise site has some good ideas, uses grates and nets.


                                  Good luck, be sure to show us what you build!
                                  "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty



                                  • #18
                                    I am going to try plastic lattice instead of metal grid when I build my slow feeder. I'm not sure how well it will work, but that is the plan. Has anyone tried this? Here's photos I found on google:


                                    There are a couple slow feeders on the market that use plastic instead of metal grid, but they are rather pricey. Might be worth looking at for ideas though:



                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by TheOtherHorse View Post
                                      I am going to try plastic lattice instead of metal grid when I build my slow feeder. I'm not sure how well it will work, but that is the plan. Has anyone tried this? Here's photos I found on google:

                                      Wow. That is a COOL idea. Wonder if I could find a leaky water trough to try that out...


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TheOtherHorse View Post
                                        I am going to try plastic lattice instead of metal grid when I build my slow feeder. I'm not sure how well it will work, but that is the plan. Has anyone tried this? Here's photos I found on google:

                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                        Wow. That is a COOL idea. Wonder if I could find a leaky water trough to try that out...
                                        I wonder if you could do something like this with a heavy duty large rubbermaid bin? Drill some holes in the bottom for drainage... cut a square in the lid (sand down the edge or something) and fit a piece of lattice to the box size. The lid would prevent them from pulling the lattice out and I know there are several boxes out there where the lid doesn't just pop off.
                                        Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com