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Slow feeders- not nets- for hay?

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  • Slow feeders- not nets- for hay?

    This is sort of a spin-off of my other post (about my horse eating poop and pinetrees!). Someone recommended getting a small hole hay net, but I would rather not use hay nets (safety) plus my horse hasn't quite figured out the small holes (as observed when trailering to shows- he just doesn't get it- mouth full of net and nothing else!). I've been looking online for ideas and I saw these (http://www.grazingbox.com/howitworks.htm, http://thenaturalfeeder.com/) and they look neat but are expensive and/or not available out here. Has anyone built their own similar? Do they work well? I would definitely be interested in trying a slow feeder, I think it might help the boredom and also reduce the wasted hay. Not opposed to building one myself, I just want to have a good design to build! Any recommendations? Pictures of your home-made slow feeders? Thanks!

  • #2
    We bought Rubbermaid 100 gallon water tanks, drilled holes and installed eye hooks in the bottom and then use these bags full of hay, clipped in daily. We have sand turnouts so didn't want horses eating off of the ground, and also wanted as little waste as possible. We put the feeders on rubber mats in the turnouts so it's easy to keep clean. It works wonderfully and is pretty inexpensive.

    http://www.smartpakequine.com/deluxe...FUQw4AodNC8AOQ

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    • #3
      my barn owner has been buying slow feeders (they aren't cheap) with the goal of eventually every horse having one. The ones we have are called "porta grazers" and are essentially a muck bucket size bucket with a lid that goes inside that has holes in it (about 2-3 in diam holes) for hte hay to poke out and get grabbed. They do work, it takes most of the horses about a week to totally figure out how to spin the top around to make it "catch" new pieces of hay. And they do take longer to eat. From that perspective they are great, especially for the ir type horses who should nibble through the day to keep their blood sugar level. BUT from the perspective of someone who has to feed thirty horses in these things, I HATE THEM! Seriously you have to go into stall, wrestle lid out of container, fold the hay properly into container and put lid badk on. While horsey is trying to eat hay out of your hands, and hay flake is falling apart@! It was much easier to just throw the hay into the feeder. But there is definitely less waste this way. For one horse however, it wouldn't be nearly as big a pita as it is for 30. Look up the porta grazer design, it might give you some ideas for a diy project to at least try before you invest big money in one of these.

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      • #4
        There have been several threads with photos of different homemade slow feeders. (Maybe over in Around The Farm instead of here.)

        The one I remember involves either a plywood box or a plastic water trough with bungees attached at the 'floor' and then at the top pulling a wire mesh lid down onto the hay.

        I've also seen one that was a taller box with an angled floor. You fill it from the top and the hay falls down and forward to a grate.
        --
        Wendy
        ... and Patrick

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        • #5
          The search function is your friend.

          Here's a thread of mine from perhaps 2 weeks ago.

          http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...-box-like-this

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by arabiansrock View Post
            my barn owner has been buying slow feeders (they aren't cheap) with the goal of eventually every horse having one. The ones we have are called "porta grazers" and are essentially a muck bucket size bucket with a lid that goes inside that has holes in it (about 2-3 in diam holes) for hte hay to poke out and get grabbed. They do work, it takes most of the horses about a week to totally figure out how to spin the top around to make it "catch" new pieces of hay. And they do take longer to eat. From that perspective they are great, especially for the ir type horses who should nibble through the day to keep their blood sugar level. BUT from the perspective of someone who has to feed thirty horses in these things, I HATE THEM! Seriously you have to go into stall, wrestle lid out of container, fold the hay properly into container and put lid badk on. While horsey is trying to eat hay out of your hands, and hay flake is falling apart@! It was much easier to just throw the hay into the feeder. But there is definitely less waste this way. For one horse however, it wouldn't be nearly as big a pita as it is for 30. Look up the porta grazer design, it might give you some ideas for a diy project to at least try before you invest big money in one of these.
            I bought one of these last winter at a horse expo. There are two models. One is designed for a larger operation - it doesn't have the little tabs and slots - and should be easier to fill.

            My mare didn't like it, never got used to it. She much prefers the small-hole haynet so she can watch over her realm while she eats. Seriously. Sticking her head into a feeder would most certainly allow a cougar, bear and hyena to sneak up on her. No way.

            I sold my porta-grazer to another boarder who has the easiest keeper in the world, who loves his feeder as a giant toy.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the tips! I will be searching and learning from what other people have done

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              • #8
                I am (sort of) a distributor for Natural Feeder. I have them and like them quite a bit. My air ferns can't have access to a round bale feeder and otherwise spend a lot of time with no food in their tummies. This helps in our beastly cold winters. If you have questions about the NF, I would be happy to answer them, although I am a little out of date with the company.

                PKN

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by arabiansrock View Post
                  my barn owner has been buying slow feeders (they aren't cheap) with the goal of eventually every horse having one. The ones we have are called "porta grazers" and are essentially a muck bucket size bucket with a lid that goes inside that has holes in it (about 2-3 in diam holes) for hte hay to poke out and get grabbed. They do work, it takes most of the horses about a week to totally figure out how to spin the top around to make it "catch" new pieces of hay. And they do take longer to eat. From that perspective they are great, especially for the ir type horses who should nibble through the day to keep their blood sugar level. BUT from the perspective of someone who has to feed thirty horses in these things, I HATE THEM! Seriously you have to go into stall, wrestle lid out of container, fold the hay properly into container and put lid badk on. While horsey is trying to eat hay out of your hands, and hay flake is falling apart@! It was much easier to just throw the hay into the feeder. But there is definitely less waste this way. For one horse however, it wouldn't be nearly as big a pita as it is for 30. Look up the porta grazer design, it might give you some ideas for a diy project to at least try before you invest big money in one of these.
                  I think they're awesome! But I'm not feeding I think with one or two horses it would be manageable. And the design is brilliant. Here's a link:

                  http://www.porta-grazer.com/

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                  • #10
                    http://www.ripoffreport.com/the-natu...iowa-390a4.htm

                    yikes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by She's Pure Gold View Post
                      This is sort of a spin-off of my other post (about my horse eating poop and pinetrees!). Someone recommended getting a small hole hay net, but I would rather not use hay nets (safety) plus my horse hasn't quite figured out the small holes (as observed when trailering to shows- he just doesn't get it- mouth full of net and nothing else!). I've been looking online for ideas and I saw these (http://www.grazingbox.com/howitworks.htm, http://thenaturalfeeder.com/) and they look neat but are expensive and/or not available out here. Has anyone built their own similar? Do they work well? I would definitely be interested in trying a slow feeder, I think it might help the boredom and also reduce the wasted hay. Not opposed to building one myself, I just want to have a good design to build! Any recommendations? Pictures of your home-made slow feeders? Thanks!
                      Bolded parts mine. I would suggest giving the small hole hay net a second thought because it baffles your horse. What better way to reduce boredom than challenge them with a puzzle? If you really feel your horse is struggling with grasping the concept, you can pull a few stems out hay out of the holes for them to bite and pull.

                      Unless your horse isn't very interested in its hay to begin with, I can't image it not figuring it out. For an added bonus, you can hide large treats inside the hay bag, they can smell them but not quite get to them (until the hay is eaten of course) and it keeps them very interested.

                      And you don't have to put its entire hay ration in bags all of a sudden. Start small, put 70% out the normal way, and 30% in a bag so it has a puzzle to play with.

                      I have found that my own and most of my friend's horses actually prefer eating from small hole bags. Its a challenge and it slows them down to a more normal 'grazing' intake which they seem to really prefer.
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would avoid anything with metal grates. We have several horses that ended up with severe tooth damage. Our dentist says he has seen similar issues with the grates at other barns.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with Buck. Give the small hole hay nets a chance. The whole point is to keep them busy and working to get their hay.

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                          • #14
                            I love my hay nets, and the horses figure them out pretty quickly. They can also be found in a wide range of prices, so get a couple of cheap ones and give it a try. My horses are barefoot, so I often wrap the excess rope and stuff it in the net and toss it on the ground. In nasty weather I hang them from the metal hay racks in the shed. That's about the only thing those hay racks have been good for. I

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                            • #15
                              Just to clarify on the NF, I have the original models. None of those problems have been experienced by me or any of my customers. I have not re-ordered for more than a year but I am aware of the problems with the redesign. I understand this was done by someone who left the company. I believe they are attempting to fix these problems. They have proven to stand up to my geldings and get the job done. I cannot speak to what is happening now.

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                              • #16
                                http://www.happygrazers.com/

                                These look interesting.

                                I was really interested in the NF until I saw that report...

                                is it worth contacting the company about concerns and issues? Or just keep looking? Pheasantknoll do you still have them for sale?

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                                • #17
                                  Those buckets with lids..my horses would roll those things around and get them out...I have NO doubt of that. I tried the Cinch chic nets and while they do slow them down a little bit and reduce waste, my horses learned how to eat nearly as fast with them as without. They were still eating about 30lbs of hay a day per horse versus the 15 they actually need. So I fork hay off of round bales in one serving sizes for each horse. It keeps me from burning through so much hay and limits their intake.

                                  I do wish someone would invent a slow feeder for cattle that works though. You have no idea how fast they can eat until you put out a bale. They make horses look like light eaters.

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                                  • #18
                                    http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/st...-grazer-silver

                                    http://www.horse.com/item/double-l-hay-grazer/BRX02/

                                    You could go with these. Spring loaded at the bottom to keep hay up to the top.

                                    Here's an older thread on them:

                                    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...zer-Hay-Feeder

                                    Seems like they got good reviews.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      LMH:
                                      I am sorry I have sold all of mine and am waiting to reorder until I see what is going on with the company. I have to order at least 6 at a time, so I don't want to be stuck with 6 duds.
                                      PKN

                                      LMH: you could call the company and ask to speak with Mark. They were always very good about answering questions and helping me. I am sure he could tell you whether they restored the original design or what happened.
                                      PKN
                                      Last edited by pheasantknoll; Dec. 20, 2012, 02:44 PM. Reason: add more info

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                                      • #20
                                        http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblen...lenetframe.htm

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