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Anyone use the rubbermaid tubs to feed hay

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  • Anyone use the rubbermaid tubs to feed hay

    My turnouts are turning into just muddy messes, and throwing hay out onto that just makes more mud.
    So, I was wondering about getting some of the rubbermaid tanks that are used for watering. The kind that are long, but not very tall.
    By putting the hay in there, I hope to have less waste and the horses have dry and clean hay.
    My other alternative is to put down mats, but thats an awful lot of mats, and well they are heavy.
    My turnouts are close to the barns, with openings to pastures. The areas close to the barn where I feed seems to be the most muddy, so I thought these tanks would be a good option.
    Anyone else use them or have any ideas. thanks
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

  • #2
    Not rubbermaid, but an old metal trough. It works well enough. When the hay is really "tight," I'll actually shake out the flakes for my horse. Otherwise, she'll just end up pulling out the hay and eating it off the ground, anyway.

    I'm not sure how well the shorter rubbermaid things would work (if I'm thinking of the right ones--they're less than 12" tall?) I'd think the horses would just pull the hay out, and I think the wind would be able to blow it out of those shorter ones, too. The tall troughs provide more of a wind break, and most horses seem to leave the hay in them...


    • #3
      I use rubber water tubs, the 40 gallon ones in my stalls. I have 2 U bolts in the edge and eye screws on the wall and clip the tubs there. It keeps the hay from getting stirred around in the bedding.

      I hadn't thought of using them in the pastures. Usually if it is wet enough to make mud, I keep the horses in until it drains. It doesn't happen too often, for instance, they were out in the rain for almost 3 days with minimal mud (they did come in for today's weather), but there is plenty of space and a 3-4% grade on most of the property and I spread the hay flakes all over the pasture.

      I might consider a couple in the pastures for the wind though, not a bad idea. The wind is awful here and I worry about how much hay blows away on some days.


      • #4
        Tried that and I'm afraid it didn't work out too well here at "Hay Tossers R Us"

        HRH, the real Waterwitch, simply must eat her hay from the bottom up, beginning with the shattered alfalfa leaves

        I looked and looked for some sort of heavy "grate" that had big enough holes to eat through but was heavy enough to weigh the hay down and keep the horses from pulling it out of the tub - no luck.
        Ainninn House Stud
        Irish Draughts and Connemaras
        Co. Westmeath, Ireland


        • #5
          I used a rubber trash can. I used an old one that leaked and tied it to a post. Since it was taller when the horse flipped it it just was halfway turned over and I could still twist it to dump the dust and water. The flakes fit in there so they stuck halfway and the hose rarely ever had to put more than his muzzle in.

          Trash can was also tall enough to keep other critters out and roaming dogs from marking the hay!

          Its pretty much 1 horse per trash can, but leaky trash cans are often free

          Of course, as I always remind people we do not ave mud here, but I still didn't want any hay going to waste or blowing away.


          • #6
            Yes, that's exactly what I use - a 50 gallon rubbermaid stock tank. Drilled a whole bunch of 1/2" holes in the bottom for drainage. Works great!
            One of the lessons of history is that Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
            - Will Durant


            • #7
              My barn owner uses those as well. They seem to do a really good job. I second the drainage holes.


              • #8
                Oh, one other idea. I used to board at a barn that took round bale feeders, took them a part and put each 1/4 of the feeder long the fence line with the open side against the fence. It kept hay in one place, spread the horses and the hay out and was easy to fill because she just tossed it over the fence into the feeders.


                • #9
                  I use the small rubbermaid totes because I had a couple extra ones, and they work somewhat. Since I use round bales and then peel off layers, the totes make it much easier to carry hay out to the horses, and they hold onto hay that my mare does not insist on scattering.

                  Of course, mine only like the big stemmy parts of hay, so the smaller pieces end up all over the place. Sometimes they go back and clean that up overnight, or if they are hot or its wet (hay is fed under shelter), and sometimes they poop on it. I try to feed just enough so that there is not enough to poop on, but some days they eat more than others.

                  My run-in is a sand over gravel base, so I leave the smaller pieces that they don't eat. Mine won't eat the hay layer right on top of the sand, and that layer makes it much easier to walk thru the run-in for me. So at least if they refuse to eat it, I get some benefit out of it.


                  • #10
                    I use big rubber tubs, I think they're the 30 gallon ones.
                    They work quite well, although the pony drags hers around and will sometimes dump the hay out.
                    Rebel Without Cash!


                    • #11
                      Waterwitch and my guys are long-lost twins.

                      Plus, when it's raining and there's a little hay left in the tub, it becomes hay soup, and if you don't dump it...ewww. Taking the drain plug out helps a little, but not much.
                      Apparently you can’t set the bar too low for people to crawl underneath.


                      • #12
                        I use one. Like them better than the worn out metal water trough I also use. The only thing I don't like is that the horses move them around--which I could fix by bolting them to the fence if I weren't so lazy. My feeding areas are covered, so I don't have mud right there--just everywhere else.

                        They toss the metal trough around, too.

                        eta: What works best are the big fruit packing boxes that are about 4 x 4 by 3ft high. The old fashioned ones are made of 3/4 inch reinforced plywood, with all edges covered with metal flashing. They can fling hay till their hearts are content and get very little out of the feeder; and they're too heavy for the horses to move them around much. (A bitch to move, as you might imagine.)
                        Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi


                        • #13
                          Every old water tank under 8' we have replaced, a friend gets first dibbs at it, to use for feed in her small pastures.
                          Beats feeding on the ground.

                          Try it, I bet that it will work fine. I would get the regular water tank size, not the shorter ones, that are for pigs and such.
                          If it is very windy where you are, you may have to chase it down some days.


                          • Original Poster

                            Ok, back to report how things worked out.

                            I have three herds, so...
                            One got a the low 50 gallon rubbermaid tank. One pony is doing fine with it, but her colt is making a racket, since he is a pawer. It may work out.

                            second herd...forget it, they have joined the group of horse tossers r us. Arghh...and they are the ones that need this the most. I used behlen's hay bunk, not good for them, too easy to toss. Also, used a low 50 gallon tank, and one horse ate like a queen while the others just worked at tossing hay out of the hay bunk, as if it was a new game I have introduced.

                            Third group, saddlebreds and TB, they did ok, they will get the hay bunk and a 50 gallon tank.

                            So, a lot depends on your horses. I have decided to put rubber mats underneath, since no matter what, horses are slobs and will drop hay as they gaze out munching.

                            I am going to try a very large, I think 300 gallon rubbermaid tank. Its about 2' tall and 5' wide. Its a circular tank. I think this may work, since hay tossers won't have as much luck. Since its for the drafts, they have big heads and can probably reach into the center.

                            I hope I can find something that works.
                            save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                            • #15
                              I tried the water tubs without success. I bolted them to the fence and took out the drain plug and filled with hay. The horses put their heads in and flung each and every flake of hay onto the ground and ate from there. So now I have 4 tubs that are sitting in the barn collecting drips from the leaky roof.
                              It sounded like a good idea at the time.
                              Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary...


                              • #16
                                For the muddy days - could you hang hay nets? the nets with real small holes - or double them - and hang on something right height and secure? We did this before - hay nets on trees ie where limb met tree - was secure - worked well.


                                • #17
                                  Okay, so it is time to use our ingenuity and think of a product that works here. I am so sick of wasting so much hay. There must be something that we can put together that works. I just had to pull my invention out of the paddock tonight because my fresh little pony got his leg stuck in it trying to paw his precious hay out. Come on guys, let's get those brains working so we can become independently wealthy and buy a bunch of new horsies!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by 2boys View Post
                                    Okay, so it is time to use our ingenuity and think of a product that works here. I am so sick of wasting so much hay. There must be something that we can put together that works. I just had to pull my invention out of the paddock tonight because my fresh little pony got his leg stuck in it trying to paw his precious hay out. Come on guys, let's get those brains working so we can become independently wealthy and buy a bunch of new horsies!

                                    I suggest something like that. THat's what my mare eats out of at the boarding barn, well not that exact one but similar. Works well, and very little hay ends up on the ground.
                                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sublimequine View Post

                                      I suggest something like that. THat's what my mare eats out of at the boarding barn, well not that exact one but similar. Works well, and very little hay ends up on the ground.
                                      Can a small pony reach??


                                      • Original Poster

                                        The farm store sells those, but encouraged me not to buy it. It rusts, and with metal and drafts, well, it could get ugly.

                                        I am still working on it.
                                        I am thinking of large tractor tires...anyone use anything like that?

                                        I remember years ago a photo circulating the internet of a horse that got stuck in the tire and died. Was that urban legend or are they dangerous?
                                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld