Slow Feeders

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Slow Feeders

Post by HorseHippie on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:06 pm

Since I am up to 4 horses now and 2 mini donkeys, I can already see the issue I am going to have this winter. I generally round bale feed everyone. I take the round bale, plunk it into the feeder and everyone is happy...but that was before I had 2 Canadians. I already know that Buster likes to think he is dominant so he pushes Tao and Luke already, and they can push the donkeys around. Plus the fact that Tao and Luke are such easy keepers, I don't want them sitting in front of a round bale all day stuffing their faces.

With that being said, I am thinking slow feeders, but the ones with metal grates on top that go down as the feed is eaten. Great idea, until it is 40 below...then images of a little kid sticking their tongue to the metal fence kick in Shocked ....will this happen to my horses and donkeys too? Question
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Re: Slow Feeders

Post by Cyndi on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:21 pm

I saw a discussion about this in the Canadian Horse yahoo group, and I think that someone used coated pig wire for their grate, so it didn't stick to their tongue. There is one lady in that group (trying hard to think who it is - she recently downsized her horse herd and is into sheep) who has used a slow feeder for a long time using the coated pig wire. I think she might have a video of her feeder on the paddock paradise slow feeder site. She used an old metal water trough and rigged it up as a slow feeder. There are also some other inventive ideas in there too. http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Slow+Feeders
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Re: Slow Feeders

Post by Cyndi on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:43 pm

If you look on YouTube (look up slow feeders for horses) the video I was thinking of is on there. I think it's called "finally, a feeder that works", or something like that. They tried a couple styles and this one works sufficiently for them. At the end of the video they apologize for the sniffling that you can hear, but it was 16 below (I'm guessing Fahrenheit, because she didn't say -16). It was made in Southwestern Ontario - my neck of the woods So I guess they don't have a problem with lips or tongues sticking to the grate. It looks like that grate is the coated one.

Another option instead of a grate is nylon webbing. "Nibble Nets" incorporates nylon webbing with a vinyl bag (or just the webbing for two-sided use). I wonder if a person could buy a large cargo net like they use instead of end gates on trucks, but maybe the holes in that are too big. If you had a cargo net on top, you could attach it to bungee cords that are attached to the bottom of the feeder, so the horses couldn't pull the net up and out. Be careful of those Canadiens, because they will figure it out!!! LOL I also noticed a new feeder on the market that is on the paddock paradise site - the "Natural Feeder". It is not cheap, but since it's patent pending, could a person not copy the design and make it out of wood?

The "Nibble Net" looks like one of those eco-friendly grocery bags that some stores sell, except it's got nylon webbing sewn to the front of it. You could even go to the dollar store and buy nylon duffle bag straps (to put over your shoulder) and lay them out with openings as wide as you like, then "weave" them and sew them in place. I'm thinking that the nylon webbing would be more durable than the plain old hockey net stuff, but I could be wrong.

I would LOVE the opportunity to work on inexpensive homemade feeders and be able to put them to use!!!
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Re: Slow Feeders

Post by HorseHippie on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:15 am

What fantastic ideas Cyndi! Thanks!

I was thinking of the hockey net too but because of the donkeys, I am sure that they would manage to eat it! Lol!

What we have right now is one of those big steel tombstone round bale feeders. What would be ideal is a minature of that.

The nylon webbing would probably be my best bet as it might take a while for the donkeys to chew through that...I also read somewhere about that orange snow fence as the holes in that would be a good size too. Downsize is that it would probably get pretty brittle in -45.

Like I said, main concerns is donkey teeth chewing through it and also, donkey feet getting caught in it and tongues getting stuck.

Off to do more research!
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Re: Slow Feeders

Post by Cyndi on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:01 am

Well, along the lines of slow feeding...

I still have some "me" money to spend, from when I sold my saddle, so I thought I'd go ahead and purchase a Nibble Net to put in Fan's stall this winter. The one I'm looking at has 2" openings on one side and 1.5" openings on the other. Ideally, the 1.5" is best for her, because she's so chunky, but the 2" side would help her get used to the idea of how it works. I had it all figured out, except the size that I'd need, so while at the barn this morning I asked John how many flakes of hay he gives the horses for night during the winter (that is how the size is determined). I explained why I asked him, and then he did the worst thing he could do to me. He laughed at me Sad

First, he commented on how poor Fan would want to eat the hay, but wouldn't be able to. I think he thought I was going to put a muzzle on her. He understood a bit better when I explained that the hay goes into the feeder, but he still laughed and said that I worry too much. He said that if one of the horses is getting too fat, he just gives less hay. I quietly tried to explain that I don't want her to finish up her hay and have an empty stomach for too long, but he kind of just talked over me and said the horses don't stand there and gobble up all the hay at once, that they take a break and come back to it later, etc., and he walked away to do something else.

I am NOT a moron, and I really wish people would stop treating me like one!!! Mad John has Crohns Disease, which I know very little about, because I have not been "touched" by it through personal experience for myself or a friend or family member. He has raised Arabians and Standardbreds in the past, and has never had any experience with founder or laminitis. I, unfortunately, have had to take a crash course in it, so I am always looking for ways to prevent it and so on. I am sure that there are certain foods that John has to avoid, so as not to cause his Crohns to act up. Same goes for Fan! Why can't he understand that?! I bought some specialty supplements for Fan on the weekend, so that she will no longer get grain (combination of oats and (eek!) corn!!) or the sweet feed that John recently purchased for the horses. Maybe he's upset because there is now a tote taking up space in the feed room with Fan's feed, and I wrote a note saying, "no more grain or sweet feed please Surprised)" on it. I don't know. All I know for sure is that I do NOT enjoy being laughed at for looking out for the health of my horse.

Sorry to rant, but this is SO frustrating.
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