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Fenceline Forage Feeder
Fenceline Forage Feeder -- Just Another Crazy Idea?
Now that my horses are living in a scaled-back Paddock Paradise, I'm thinking that there has to be an even better method of slow feeding. One that combines the foraging and nibbling of our stationary small-mesh hay nets and Nose-It! feeder toys with horse movement. The biggest challenge to using slow feeders on Paddock Paradise tracks is getting the horses to take a bite and move along. When grazing, horses don't stand in one place for more than a couple of bites.
Now, in an ideal situation -- which I'm starting to think just might be a matter of living on AstroTurf >G<-- our Nose-It!s would not be corralled in plastic troughs or toy boxes to keep their hay cubes from dispensing onto dirt. They are designed to move along slowly as the horses tumble them around. On packed snow, Nose-It!s worked just like grazing, allowing my horses to step forward and actually move as they ate. When we still had grass on the track, I used Amazing Graze feeder toys directly on the ground to dispense alfalfa cubes. That worked almost as well, but Jewel's insulin-resistance demands a grassless turnout track in our situation.
One (probably impractical) option would be a completely clean turnout track floor, perhaps gravel-covered (and do StallSkins work outdoors?), for the horses to roll their hay cubes out onto from the Nose-It! or Amazing Graze, trusting that they wouldn't roll them into the nearest pile of poop (which mine did over the winter).
My latest idea is to build a Fenceline Forage Feeder. Basically a longer version of my Feeder Toy Boxes which will run just inside the fence line, creating a clean space for the Nose-It! to travel. This will also serve to block Jewel's access to the ever-troublesome grass under the fence line. It shouldn't infringe much on their useable space because they walk at least 12 inches away from the electric fence, and the FFF will probably be 12-18 inches wide. I think it will work well at our new home in Alabama because our property is on a gentle slope, so rainwater will run downhill in the FFF like a sluice to a drain hole on the low side. If necessary, we can dig a French drain at its outlet. It will be interesting to see whether the horses will push the toy up the slope as well as rolling it down! But the shape of the Nose-It! will keep it from rolling to the low spot on its own. I'd like to try this at least along one of the fence lines on the east side.
It's an experiment!
By the way, as long as my crazy ideas are surfacing, maybe we should look into the possibility of hanging our small-mesh hay net on a pulley mounted on a high line, zip line, or dog tie-out line inside the PP...
May 26, 2009
Latest page update: made by tangledmanes
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|Wildridge||Fenceline Forage Feeder||4||Oct 17 2009, 8:49 AM EDT by Wildridge|
Thread started: Jun 3 2009, 4:56 PM EDT Watch
Great idea for a fenceline feeder Tangledmanes! I've been pondering your idea for a while now & just can't come up with how to construct this one. Care to share any ideas you may be pondering? I would just love to try one myself & very well may if I can come up with a "how to". If we did one, we'd have to do it along our electric fence & that may be a problem depending on how it is constructed. I've been thinking wood with drainage holes, but there must be a better way! I keep looking around in my travels trying to come up with something some one is discarding that I could reuse for this use (even if I had to collect them for a while...or even add on to the fenceline forage feeder as material became available.
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