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Barn Owner left the door to the feed room open.....

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  • Original Poster

    That would be a great idea, Cindyg, except I have a mini, who can shimmy through the smallest hole in a fence....heck, he's been known to belly crawl under hot tape....
    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


    • #22
      Oh my goodness, you mini sounds adorable.

      I would get feed bins you can tightly secure and also have a talk with the barn owners. Chances are that if they were nice enough to let you use their property they won't be offended by a little heads up. Just start out by flattering them. "I am so grateful that you're letting me use your beautiful barn and land but...."
      come what may

      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


      • #23
        I suspect that people kind enough to let you use their barn for free would be devastated if they inadvertently did something to harm your animal. I'd (kindly!) explain to them that this is a hazard, and ask if you can do a few things to assure it doesn't happen. There are plenty of suggestions here. Here's another--is there a loft in the barn? You could store your grain there, and then it probably doesn't matter if it gets left open ... well, with ponies ... do they climb stairs?
        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

        Spay and neuter. Please.


        • #24
          If you decide to get a dead freezer, it's a good idea to ask the owner's permission. That can be pretty cumbersome and a hazard to children (don't know if there are any on the property). Animal-proof containers are a great idea. Your best idea was to give them cookies - ALWAYS the right way to go.


          • #25
            Do you NEED to use the utility shed? Are they using the utility shed?

            If they use it for stuff and you have an empty stall I would offer to move my stuff into the empty stall to minimize disruption to their life. And yeah, pony-proof grain containers are a must.

            I "cleverly" avoid that problem by keeping my grain in metal trash cans in my house. Of course, my horses live in a shed and my hay is stored in an old useless horse trailer, but I digress....


            • #26
              Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
              I know OP has already addressed this, but I would not advise giving the neighbors, who are GENEROUSLY letting her use their property free of charge (and no matter where she lives, boarding three horses ain't cheap), a "Come to Jesus" talk.

              Nor would I advise putting signs up.

              MUCH easier to either secure the feed tightly within the shed, or keep it at home, or some other solution VS offending the neighbors and getting asked to leave.
              I totally agree.
              Either keep the feed at home or find some pony proof bins.
              I've had goats remove tops from garbage cans and the lid of a large metal barrel but they've never been able to remove the screw on top barrels that we have.
              Maybe something like that? You can sometimes find the food grade ones for twenty dollars or so.
              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


              • #27
                Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                We keep the grain and the barn-cat dry food in metal trash cans with really tight lids. It's a pain in the butt at times but keeps domestic and wild animals out of the food.
                I can say from experience that trash cans are not very safe, unless they are also placed in some kind of frame that will prevent them from being tipped over. A horse can easily knock them over and that impact (or the horse rolling it around) can easily dislodge even a very tight lid. This JUST happened to me 2 weeks ago. Luckily there was only about 15lb of grain in the can, and three horses shared it, but it was a very scary few days watching for colic or founder.

                I am definitely going the chest freezer route, with a hasp type latch.

                ETA-- my goats can also open trash cans. They just hook a horn under the lip of the lip and pop it right off.


                • #28
                  The good news is, your ponies don't have opposable thumbs. Exploit this advantage, and you'll be good to go. The defunct chest freezer idea is brilliant.
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • #29
                    If you are just unsure socially, how to manage "the talk" with your gracious neighbors- take the blame yourself... say:
                    #1 I have been really lax about my feed storage
                    #2 I got a wakeup call
                    #3 I am taking X, Y and Z measures to fix the problem
                    #4 The reason why this is important is...explain the exact metabolic issues overating or diet change can cause

                    now... back to #2... you can lie- don't even mention the open gate, odds are they won't rememebr it even hapening and you don't need to remind them if you don't want it to feel like a scolding... you can tell them that one of your internet friends just had to put their horse down due to sinking founder that happened after a grain room escapade- the horse suffered horribly and you are really shook up about it. So, it's a little white lie, you don't make them feel guilty or criticised, and I'm sure you will get them on your side in the effort to secure your grain.


                    • #30
                      Nice neighbors won't have a problem with you adding a safe food container.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                        I know OP has already addressed this, but I would not advise giving the neighbors, who are GENEROUSLY letting her use their property free of charge (and no matter where she lives, boarding three horses ain't cheap), a "Come to Jesus" talk.

                        Nor would I advise putting signs up.

                        MUCH easier to either secure the feed tightly within the shed, or keep it at home, or some other solution VS offending the neighbors and getting asked to leave.
                        To clarify - I was just trying to make the point that my own spouse, who loves our critters, just had a very difficult time grasping that THEIR OWN FOOD could be lethal. Because, well, it's completely counter intuitive. He's an engineer, and once he understood WHY it was dangerous - he got it. HE got a CTJ Presentation, b/c sometimes that's what it takes with family members .
                        Nice neighbors should be much easier. My point to OP was that I do think it is important that she communicate to the neighbors how serious the issue is -- in a very nice & friendly way; because I know they would be devastated if their ignorance of the dangers led to a tragedy.

                        There is a post on here about a farm that had hunting leases, and the nice hunter thought he would give the ponies a treat w/ a bag of deer feed corn. Ponies died a painful death as a result. I heard at the feed store about a herd of dead goats - neighbor threw azalea trimmings over the fence to give them a treat. And, I am sure there are grass clipping stories on here. The people responsible were well intentioned, and completely ignorant.

                        As far as signs - as a visual person & teacher, I am a fan of FRIENDLY visual reminders and rely on them myself -- along w/ checklists. When I say sign, I am talking about something printed on a sheet of paper & put in a plastic sheet protector & hung where it would work effectively as a reminder.

                        Lastly, I can also vouch for the vittles vaults. They are very secure.
                        Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                        • Original Poster

                          Ok, just to give y'all a visual: (just ignore the goofy way my pony is standing)


                          The barn is the building just behind the pony. The building behind, and just in front of her head is the big shed. The open door is the one I always use. The horses cannot get to that door. It leads to the smaller room that I use for feed and tack. Its the door leading from my feed/tack room that has been removed, and the door on the other side of the big shed that was left open - and where the ponies do have access too.

                          I didn't see them today, but when I do, I think.I'm going to ask him if I can put a door back on the room I use, and I'll be getting a Chest Freezer. Thanks again!
                          The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                          • #33
                            I think asking about getting a new door for the missing door is a great idea. It will give you the in to explain the issues with horses over eating, etc.


                            • #34
                              Whether I trailer Penny down or not this weekend, I'll bring you that dead chest freezer. It's small enough to fit in that wee feed room, yet with a heavy lid to keep nosy ponies out of
                              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                              • #35
                                I have 4 layers of protection between the horses and the feed -
                                • barn door,
                                • tack room door
                                • Cabinetry for meds/feed
                                • trash can with lid that "slides" into cabinetry

                                bungee cords to hold trash can lid down (I use metal trash cans to keep out varmits), would also work to keep horses out of feed.

                                To leave that many things open would not be a mistake - it would be intentional.
                                Now in Kentucky


                                • #36
                                  I still say, if all you are feeding grain is one of four and already taking beet pulp and other for the rest, why not taking the grain along at the same time from somewhere else and not having to chance anyone ever getting into a larger amount of grain?

                                  If you have many to feed grain to, that would be harder to manage, the volume would be very large.
                                  For just one? Better safe than sorry.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Bluey - I may just go that route, but my Mini is....special....amd can trash up a room faster then you can blink an eye. Heck, I can't even leave a Fly Spray bottle hanging on a fence, and if I put a fly mask on one of "his" girls, he will take it off her, and toss it in the air...

                                    Thanks Chocomare!
                                    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!