Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Want My Fifty Bucks Back

So, the new hook-over feeder was a total waste of time and money.


Seriously.  What's the point of having a feeder if the horse just ends up eating off the ground?  Yay me!  Now I get to deal with colic.

I knew there was some reason why I never bought this style of feeder in the past.  My neighbor who I horse-sat for back in Nevada had this style, so I knew her horses always ended up eating off the ground.  However, that wasn't a problem for her, because the feeders were in stalls that had rubber mats and wood chips.  I've actually had several locals, including my vet, tell me to pile some manure under the feeders, because it's better for the horses to eat off their own poop than it is for them to eat off of sand.  I'll probably shove one of my sheep troughs under it.  Either that or I'll wash it off and exchange it for a full barrel feeder like we had before.

This is the old feeder...

It is cracked in several places...


But the hay never fell out of it.  The full barrels are great for monsoon season where one microburst and blow an entire bale of opened hay down the road.  The only problem with these old barrel feeders, besides the fact that they crack after a while, is the way you have to mount them to the railings...

They came with the two brackets at the top of the picture.  You either need two people, or one person with really long arms to reach through the railing and into the opening of the feeder to hold the bolt still on one side and turn the nut on the other or vice versa.  You also have to tighten them down regularly.  But that is not enough.  My husband had to add the metal band to the bottom, because the horses would pick up the barrels with their teeth and drop them, banging them against the railings all night long, which I'm sure made us very unpopular in the neighborhood.  I don't know why my horses are so musically inclined, but I think the drums are their favorite instrument.

I bought the metal troughs as pictured on the right below when I lived in a colder climate.  They don't hold up in the heat here and leak around the edges of the bottom.  Also, they get quite hot in the summer, so the horses prefer to drink out of the plastic water troughs in order to avoid getting burned.  If you live in a hot climate, thick plastic -- good, metal -- bad.  I recommend Rubbermaid.  I still have the very first one I bought 17 years ago, and it's easy enough nowadays to find replacement plugs should those leak.  Those plugs were a struggle to find many years ago, but since then Rubbermaid has sold replacement plugs, and there are also universal plugs that sometimes work.

Hmmmmm.  Come to think of it, maybe I could use the leaky metal troughs as hay feeders in the cooler months.  I had been using them a trash cans.  They are great for collecting twine.  I keep one next to my hay barn for that purpose, because it saves me from making several trips to the waste can in the tack room.

Here is a picture of the new floorboards my husband installed on our manure wagon...

It's not exactly a wagon, but a 16-foot trailer.  We use it to move all of this crap out of our yard...

Every time I drive my truck after my husband uses it to haul the trailer to the dump, it's full of flies and smells like garbage.  It's so weird how that smell sticks to everything.  I usually drive around with the windows rolled down for a while, and then it smells better.

It is forecasted that we should drop down below 100 degrees this weekend.  What a treat.  I hope we get a breeze with that.

10 comments:

TeresaA said...

I always use slow feed hay nets outside. otherwise the horses just pull it out and eat off the ground. It leads to so much waste.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm sure you'll figure out the feed tubs. I'd take the other one back and get my money back. Glad you're weather is breaking a bit. I couldn't handle that kind of heat dry or not. My grandmother used to say to me all the time when I'd visit them in Phoenix. " It's a dry heat" and I'd say " So's my oven but I'm not sitting in it!"

lytha said...

Rubbermaid is one of the things I miss most about America. The two-wheeled manure carts with one handle so you can actually pull them with one hand (!!) and the troughs, and the storage boxes for people stuff or feed. There is nothing comparable in Germany that I've found. They could make so much money if they started exporting.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I second the slow feed nets, but if your horses are like my tb mare, they will grab the net in their teeth and shake it to get the hay out on the ground and eat it from there. Just for Ponies has them for less than $10 in many colors.

Otherwise I suggest the plastic barrels often seen on CL. The bottoms work great as water tubs and the tops are good for feeders. We dumped their hay and pellets in them and the horses could 'graze' as they are designed to do. Yes they rolled them around and shoved them stall to stall, but if needed they can be secured to the rails like the full barrels.

Mrs Shoes said...

I have similar feeders in the barn, but my gelding had no problem ripping most of a flake through the bars in half a second! Mr Shoes put some extra bars in (both vertical & a couple of horizontal bars too, to make the openings smaller) & it worked a treat, but boy did that horse give Mr Shoes the evil eye over it!

GHM... Not sitting in the oven... HAHAHA

Tina said...

I have hay nets from this company. I used them for my horses and now that I don't have them anymore, I use them for my goats. They are awesome!! I've had them for a few years now and still no damage to them.
https://haychix.com/

appydoesdressage said...

You should be able to easily adjust that feeder to a slow feeder by getting a metal grate to fit behind the hay slats. The hole sizes can be anywhere from 1 inch to 3+ inches, it will prevent them from pulling an entire flake through those slats. Look for hog panel fencing at TSC and cut a piece of it to fit.

Linda said...

What we do is cut a 55 gallon plastic barrel in half, drill two holes vertical on one side, run twine through the holes and around the bars of your fencing. Works great. Most of it stays in, especially if you feed several small meals. If you feed large meals, horses will root around for the best hay parts first and, in so doing, will knock a bunch on the ground. :) It's a cheap food trough and easily replaceable. It doesn't look as pretty as your current one though.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

So, the horses already managed to get into trouble two other ways with this hook-over feeder. At first, I had it hanging over the barn aisle railing, and Gabbrielle got her fly mask caught on it and tore it off her head. I'm sure she found the sharp edges on the hooks and tried to itch her face. I moved the feeder to a less convenient location where the hooks would be safely on the outside of the barn. Later I went to go get the feeder, because I was going to clean it and return it, but Rock managed to pull the plug out and eat it, so now it is no longer in returnable condition. Oh well. For now I'm just using the old barrel. My original goal was to replace the cracked barrels without giving either me or my husband any physical labor because of my leg pain and his back pain. I determined years ago that hay nets and bags are more trouble than they are worth, so they are off my list, but I'm sure they are perfect for other people's horses and barn management routines. I'm not even sure how all that hay wound up on the ground. He could have pulled it out of the top, or it could have just been loose enough fall through the bars, or it could have just fallen out of his mouth since he doesn't have as big a bowl to eat over. I was watching Bombay chew his hay this morning, and he'd slowly move his mouth around, stop, stare off into space, slowly chew a little more... No wonder it takes him all day to eat one slice.

lytha said...

I'm afraid the best solution is the inconvenience of filling up small-mesh hay nets. I hate this task but it's the only way to minimize waste that I've found. Even better is to secure the net to the bottom of a trough, so they cannot step on any hay that falls out. I finally went out and got myself three new nets, one of them was 17Euros because it holds almost an entire small bale. Filling nets sucks, but I hate waste more: )