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Slow feeder for the boarded pony (Or also known as how the heck do I do this?)

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  • Slow feeder for the boarded pony (Or also known as how the heck do I do this?)

    I board. I have to board -- no ifs ands or buts about it. But at the same time, I sometimes wish I could keep my Haffie at home with me, solely for the sake of being able to keep hay in front of him for as long as possible. He's your typical hoover vacuum of a pony, and finishes his hay pretty fast, and since he gets fed twice a day, he's got long hours between when he's got nothing to occupy his smart little mind. He has toys, but doesn't seem particularly inclined to play with them if there's not food associated with it.

    I've long since wanted to get him a slow hay feeder, but haven't yet been able to figure out what the best course of action to do so is. I've done lots of looking on the internetz at all sorts of sites. There's a couple of DIY feeders I like, but haven't the manpower, equipment or knowhow to make something that my pony might not be able to kill himself on. The Slow Down Day Feeder is, in my opinion, expensive-as-all-hello and I can't justify dropping $415 (that's more than my board!) all in one go for something that's basically a large plastic bucket and a plate with holes on it. The Grazer looks too complicated for someone going down the assembly line of feeding, and the Slo-Feeder sticks out in the aisle.

    Based off that, I think a hay bag like the Busy Buffet or Nibble Net would be best. But I just can't figure out how to make it happen. I don't think my barn owners will let me fill the bags myself for the feeders the next day since they would prefer that boarders stay away from the hay barn -- which is understandable. It has to be something easy, and quick to put hay into, preferably something that could stay at the stall.

    Anyone who boards use the Nibble Net or Busy Buffet? How does it work with having someone else feed in the morning and afternoon?
    "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

  • #2
    First, talk to your BO about why you want to use the nibblenet and simply ask them to put your pony's hay in it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I actually had one of my boarders get her horse a NibbleNet. He's been on a diet, so I can't throw him free choice hay, and he INHALES what you put down in front of him and then stands around with nothing to eat. It has helped a lot with the speed in which he consumes his hay and has actually improved his attitude (he was getting pretty grumpy and acting like he was STARVING quite a lot, and now he's cheerful like always and doesn't act so ravenous). It is only slightly more work than just chucking his hay in his stall, and in the few months we've had it, we've slowly worked out the very best and efficent way of stuffing it. Everyone is happy. I don't like boarders making my life more complicated by wanting funky demands for their horses, but this is easy to do and makes for a happier horse.

      We did think about getting just the small hole hay net since they are much cheaper, but I don't love hay nets in stalls and they are a bitch to fill. The NibbleNet is very easy.
      Amanda

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      • #4
        It wouldn't hurt to ask... your barn owner may be willing to do stuff a nibble net without protest! If your barn owner seems reluctant, perhaps adding on another 30 or so dollars a month to your board will make them more willing to take the time.

        As for the slow down feeder, you might be able to hire some handy person to make one for you out of a plastic barrel and some PVC pipe? That might be easier to load.

        I've never used either the nibble net or a home made slow down feeder, but I plan to try them in the future.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hanging hay net are a pain if you hay a lot of horses to feed. I feed hay from a roll so it is a real pain stuffing it in a bag so I made a hay barrel net feeder. The net is made of old hay strings macramed what ever size of squares you want.





          I hang it from a clothes line pulley (about $3) and will hold 120 lbs. using a 5/16" cord with an S hook on the end. It is easy to unhook, drop it down, fill with hay and pull back up and hook.





          Comment


          • #6
            The Freedom Feeder can be hung in the stall and the hay brought to it.

            If not stuffing it full of hay it doesn't take long at all to use:

            http://www.freedomfeeder.com/Instruc...ay_Net_Use.php

            NibbleNets are very nice too, and pretty easy to use.

            Comment


            • #7
              NibbleNets are incredibly easy to 'load'. Nothing like a regular hay net. The large one holds A LOT of hay.

              I use slow feeders (self-made) outdoors, but honestly they take up space in the stall (if they are the on-the-floor type) and get kicked around / pooped in. Last winter I brought them in the stalls for the horses during a bad weather spell, and will never do that again. Outside and in the run-in it's no big deal. Inside I use a NibbleNet.

              If you check into the grazer, I think it has to actually mount to the stall wall which was one reason I didn't pursue it. Otherwise it looked like a really easy design to load.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                It wouldn't hurt to ask... your barn owner may be willing to do stuff a nibble net without protest! If your barn owner seems reluctant, perhaps adding on another 30 or so dollars a month to your board will make them more willing to take the time.
                I already pay $30 extra for grass hay. And they hire someone to come and do the feeding so the BO wouldn't be the one to fill it up. But yes! Definitely asked.

                The Freedom Feeder can be hung in the stall and the hay brought to it.

                If not stuffing it full of hay it doesn't take long at all to use:

                http://www.freedomfeeder.com/Instruc...ay_Net_Use.php

                NibbleNets are very nice too, and pretty easy to use.
                I managed to find the link to the Freedom Feeder after a friend and I were googling around trying to find possibilities. The two pictures on the Freedom Feeder's hay net page really interested me. I just liked what they had to say about that.

                http://www.freedomfeeder.com/attachm...as_a_slot_.jpg

                http://www.freedomfeeder.com/attachm...ng_stable_.jpg

                Thanks everyone for the advice. I talked with my barn owners this evening, and went with pictures and printouts from webpages to discuss it. The one they liked the best was the Freedom Feeder based off the two pictures above, so we're going to give that one a try. The pony's in a pipe corral, so we think it's work out well.
                "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Sorry to dig the thread up, but I got the Freedom Feeder a few days ago and set it up so the back part of the net is open to the breezeway of the mare motel. My Haffie loves it, he's really stretching out his feeding times because the feeders stuff it full of grass hay and the last few days I've been getting out at 12 noon and it's almost empty, but there's at least a 1/4 of the bag of hay left.

                  His attitude has started to change too. He's becoming less pushy about diving for grass (and yanking me off balance in the process) while being hand walked. I'm starting to suspect that he was doing that because he saw the grass as food and wanted to get to it. But now that he's eating a lot longer in the paddock, he's started to ignore the grass outside.

                  Here's a couple of pictures. He's barefoot, so I wasn't worried about hooves getting caught up, and it's secured very well on the bottom.

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder1.jpg

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder2.jpg

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder3.jpg

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder4.jpg

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder5.jpg

                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...om-feeder6.jpg

                  And a little video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVSoyaNjH2Q

                  Thanks everyone for your suggestions of slow feeder hay nets. I think my pony will be very happy. My BO and I were watching him eat for a while, and she's satisfied that it'll work out as well.
                  "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have Nibble Nets..........and while they do slow the horses down........mine got good at it and it only takes them just over and hour to eat 5 lbs of hay from them........when I first got them it took them 2 hours.

                    Dalemma

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Could also use a muzzle. slows em down, but he gets to continue to participate in the activity.

                      Personally, I would use a combination of a muzzle, for grain feeding, and a home made barrell thing like above for the hay. With a pony, I personally would keep the grain to a minimum, handful whatever, so it iddn't matter how fast he ate it, and restricted his access to hay with a net or feeder like shown in some of the above posts.
                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dreamswept, glad you could find a way to help your horse. A friend of mine has Haffies and they do tend to overeat... I made her a net and that has helped a lot.
                        If you haven't been there already, here is a site with lots of info. Found a thread on Freedom Feeders on there:
                        http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/...reedom+Feeders
                        "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post
                          Dreamswept, glad you could find a way to help your horse. A friend of mine has Haffies and they do tend to overeat... I made her a net and that has helped a lot.
                          If you haven't been there already, here is a site with lots of info. Found a thread on Freedom Feeders on there:
                          http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/...reedom+Feeders
                          Thanks.

                          Yep, I was the Paddock Paradise wiki at some point. It's probably what got me interested in the concept of slow feeders. It's not so much that the pony overeats, it's that he eats too fast and has nothing left for a long time. I'm glad the Freedom Feeder is letting him spend more time eating. I'm also entertaining the idea of getting a Busy Buffet Snacker (the smallest one) and getting some extra hay (either buying it myself or just getting some from his current slow feed hay net in the afternoon) and putting that out by his waterer so he can go out there to nibble on that too and move around a little more.
                          "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            dreamswept - so glad the Freedom feeder worked out for you! It looks like a perfect fix for your situation!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              my pony also inhales his hay. He also gets ulcery from standing around with nothing to eat. THAT has been really hard to explain to people, as he is also fat. He's been on stall rest due to an injury, and usually is a very clean stall boy, but probably started throwing temper tantrums in the stall at night, yanking hay around and stomping on it. I tried a plain hay net, didn't work.

                              Got a "small hole haynet" from dover, only $15. wanted the nibblenet but couldn't justify the price. so far, the net is working well, he's happier in the morning, less hay wastage. but it is a PITA to fill. can't imagine asking my BO to do that- it works out well that I can only come at night- which is when I am more worried about having something for him to eat all night. she just throws him hay on the ground in the AM.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by murphyluv View Post
                                Got a "small hole haynet" from dover, only $15. wanted the nibblenet but couldn't justify the price. so far, the net is working well, he's happier in the morning, less hay wastage. but it is a PITA to fill. can't imagine asking my BO to do that- it works out well that I can only come at night- which is when I am more worried about having something for him to eat all night. she just throws him hay on the ground in the AM.
                                That's why I got the Freedom Feeder. It was a little cheaper than the Nibble Net at $40, and after I saw pictures where someone had tied the net open along the fence for a boarding set up, I showed them to my BO and they liked it too. It works great, so far. I watched the feeders put hay in today, they just have to slip into the open side, and stuff the hay down. It's set up for morning and evening that way because I knew I couldn't be there for the morning.
                                "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Or if your horse is stalled and there is a way to toss the hay OVER the stall, you can do the net at the bottom of the barrel. Super easy to fill up. The hay net you got from Dover should fit perfectly at the bottom of a 55 gallon plastic drum.
                                  http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/...at%27s+Barrels

                                  and it holds a lot of hay!

                                  (I have it a bit higher now and have done away with the lid)
                                  "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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