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Reviewing the New & Improved Nose-It!
|The time has finally come that we can easily fill a pellet dispenser out on the turnout track. |
That's it in a nutshell! I've been using the original Nose-It! feeder toys for years now, and they entertain the horses, hold up great, and stretch out five minutes worth of pellets to at least half an hour.
I didn't see how it would be possible to improve the performance of this neat little feeder toy. When the designer, Joanie Johnston, told me that she was planning to dish the wall containing the opening, I feared the change would increase the difficulty level too much for my horses. What I don't remember
|her mentioning, was that she had also figured out how to compensate for that, and at the same time make it much easier to use and fill for us, the human side of the feeding equation. |
The hole is bigger! It tops off the "crater" and now allows standard hay cubes or wafers to be loaded and dispensed.
These two changes cancel each other out in terms of how difficult it is for the horse to dispense the contents. In other words, it works exactly like the original! Yay!
My horses don't even notice a difference.
Reviewing the new Nose-It!
The link above will be replaced with the actual video once it shows up in the search wizard! For now, watch the video by clicking the link to YouTube.
|A couple of user notes on the Nose-It!:|
1-In my opinion, they should be inside a feeder box or dry water trough. Unless you have one on hand, that could be an additional expense.
2-There is a ridge just inside the opening which is formed in the molding process. But my testing shows that this ridge doesn't change the speed at which most of the feed is dispensed. It can, however, prevent the horse from extracting the last small handful. So be prepared to wash it out if it gets rained on to avoid the possibility of any mold getting started. The small hole opposite the opening makes this easier.
Another way to make sure the horses can remove ALL the feed each time is to shave off the raised ridge. For this, my husband used a Dremel on our blue Nose-It!
|JoAnn Johnson, October 8, 2012|
Tangledmanes Hay Well
Round Bale Feeder Box located at the far end of a "C"-shaped track paddock.
The tarp roof is stretched across a PVC beam and sandwiched between edge boards and a 2x3. (tightened up after photo was taken)
To load it, I spread the Texas Hay Net across the plywood floor, and use the red "X" in the netting to center it. Then roll the bale off the pickup, and draw the opening together with a 1/4" rope.
The walls have a half-inch gap all the way around the bottom for water run-off. There are four 4x4 skids underneath.
The Texas Hay Net is large enough to surround the largest round bale. I now have a 1600# bale in this feeder box inside a Texas Hay Net.
Because my horses require extra slow hay feeding speed (8 on the 'Snarfometer'), I now also use an Equinet large bale net over the top of this arrangement, clipped to the outside of the box walls.
September 26, 2011
Hockey Goal Netting -- Two Different Brands Compared
It's a one-photograph essay.
July 30, 2011
On the left: Brandi's rope smhn, weighing 7 pounds. On the right: NibbleNet 1.25" Picnic, weighing 5 pounds.
Snarf-o-meter Placement Test Match
Yesterday I compared the NN 1.25 with my Brandi smhn, and at the end of the day there was about half a pound of hay left in Brandi's rope net whereas the 1.25" NibbleNet was empty except for a few partial stalks of hay; less than a mouthful.
|My three horses also had a double-netted Arizona hockey bale bag available to them, with about 20 pounds of hay left in it. |
They ate about half of that, along with emptying the NibbleNet and nearly emptying the Brandi bag.
Jewel was the first to the nets, and she ate from the NibbleNet 1.25" first.
| I think that the protruding knots in the rope net make it less inviting to eat from than the smooth soft webbing of the NibbleNet. |
Rope construc- tion also progressively reduces the size of the openings as the amount of hay within decreases, unlike webbing slow feeders.
I close the top of this small rope smhn with a bucket strap.
The Brandi nets are not currently available, but are a potential arts & crafts project for anyone so inclined...
|Final Snarfometer Scores:|
|NibbleNet 1.25": 8||Brandi's smhn: 9||Doubled hockey net: 9 (subject to verification)|
March 29, 2011
Introducing the "Snarf-o-meter" feeding speed rating!
To illustrate my idea, I added introductory Snarf ratings on a scale of one to ten. "Ten" is the greatest challenge possible (and corresponding slowest eating speed); "one" indicates very little change from loose hay. Most horses use slow feeder netting between 4--7 on the Snarf-o-meter.
Comments appreciated! If we can define hay feeding challenge level this way, we will be able to use the "Snarf-o-meter" to rate expected eating speed across all manner of slow feeders which can otherwise be difficult to compare. Please let me know about any changes you feel should be made to my crazy new system, lol.
I would be very grateful for swatches of any slow-feeding material of which I don't already have samples. Send me a private message or email (tangledmanes @ yahoo.com). I'd like to get a hands-on feel for all the options to help assure fair comparisons and make sure everything seems to be in the right position on the Snarf-o-meter...
(Already on hand: Arizona hockey goal netting [but no barrier netting yet], Nibble Nets, Busy Horse nets, Equinets easy keeper netting, SMHN from Miler's/Smith Brothers/Dover, Roma nets, Chick's "Tough-1" bags, and Brandi's SMHN.)
March 19, 2011
Living LARGE on a Shoestring
This Frankenstein's Monster of a round bale cover was recently our temporary slow feeding cover for Round Bale #2.
A canvas throw cloth was tucked into one side of the 4' x 4' feeder box before we rolled the bale onto the box from the back of our pickup truck. Then it was pulled up to cover as much of the bale as possible. I used a hole punch to make holes to sew the canvas to the hockey net material. The bottom edge of the hockey netting is laced to a ratchet strap (which doesn't last long; the ratchet strap was soon pulled up off the top edge of the box).
Overall, it functioned all right, until the horses simply tore large gaping holes to eat freely through this apparently dry-rotted canvas!
I have ordered an easy-keeper round bale net from Equinets, and am looking forward to using the new net to cover Round Bale #3 next week.
Check back for my review.
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The view from Ally's feeding alley.
The hockey nets were taken from the doubled hay tree hockey net feeder.
I will again use this plywood feeder box as a round bale stand once the Equinet arrives.
Although the ratchet strap around the top saved it from complete destruction under the first two round bales, the first one had landed flat-side down instead of nestling into the box with a rounded side down. We heard a loud crack when it landed, so obviously (audiously?) there was some damage done to the screwed-together feeder box. But now I also want to find out how long we can make it last...
Even before the netting was added, this project was doomed by a hole in the canvas.
But the ratchet strap worked wonders to keep the feeder box from flying apart when the bale descended upon it.
The switch to round bales happened here because suddenly, it became the only hay available. This was a homemade stop-gap measure to help me evaluate our need for a round bale slow feeder.
And a closeup of the actual shoestring! Or rather, survival cord being laced through the canvas and hockey goal netting.
Lacing along the side of the dropcloth with a hem seemed sturdy enough, and I believe this would hold up with a decent piece of canvas.
This setup worked for us about three days, with repair to the holes on the canvas side of the bale a couple of times. I mistakenly had thought the horses would leave it alone if they couldn't see the hay through the canvas, but I was wrong! So if you try this concept, be sure the canvas is sound.
March 5, 2011
Loving the Newer Spreader! http://www.newerspreader.com/ Trying to find time to do a proper blog entry... Also had to buy a round bale before I decided on which netting to use around it -- what a mess! Jewel is in hog heaven with free access to her hay, for now.
Has anyone tried adding a milk cow to their paddock paradise setup? I know someone has a goat in with their horse. A cow would need so much more grass (especially since my version is essentially a dry lot loop). And can they even eat from SMHN? Brandi once said something about her nets being tough enough to be used with her calves, but would a grown cow even bother using one? I was thinking about how it would work to put the cow on grass in the center field during the day, and in with the horses on the track at night. Possibly next year... Well, what I need to do is find time to READ (ha ha) I already bought a book on keeping a family cow, so some of the answers will probably be found there, too.
Earlier blog entries are linked beneath "JoAnn's Blog" in the navigation outline on the upper left side of your screen.
"Satisfeeding" -- Multiple SMHN slow feeders used to encourage track movement.
"Hockey Hay Trough" - Hard-sided water trough keeps hockey hay net out of the dirt, and allows easy soaking to remove sugars.
See our initial Nibble Net and doubled SMHN review at "Hay, Challenge Me."
Installing pea gravel blog entry and more gravel examples
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|Luckybells||material for building track||2||Nov 15 2010, 2:41 PM EST by SpottedTApps|
Thread started: Nov 5 2010, 11:25 PM EDT Watch
I was wondering if you could give some specifics for constructing the track. i have perimeter fencing so would just need to run one side of tape/rope. I have very limited funds and was wondering what materials at a minimum would probably be necessary ( spacing, electrified or not, kind of stakes) I have been using some 5 ft green metal garden stakes from Lowe's with plain rope to keep my draft a safe distance from low overhang on the back of the barn with some raw metal roof edges. That seems to have been enough. don't know if that would be enough once grass starts to grow in the rest of the pasture. Thanks
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Keyword tags: track materials
|tangledmanes||Shrinking SMHN hockey netting||1||Oct 28 2010, 11:58 PM EDT by xiaofang04|
Thread started: Feb 10 2010, 1:52 PM EST Watch
If you're interested in the continuing search for right-sized SMHN holes, check my blog for an update on the shrunken hockey net slow feeders. I posted a photo of my two empty bale-sized nets side by side with a ruler across the top to show how a trip through the washer and dryer can shrink this material by an eighth of an inch. It is holding its size after being used for a month for soaking and feeding hay in a large box.
|tangledmanes||I finally got some pea gravel down on my track!||2||Jan 30 2010, 11:08 AM EST by LizLamb|
Thread started: Jan 29 2010, 10:04 PM EST Watch
Pictures are posted on my blog http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/JoAnn%27s+Blog Unfortunately, it's difficult to see where the sides of the track are, with the grass on either side being dormant for the winter. On the other hand, it feels like cheating to have 60-degree days in the middle of winter after having spent a few years in central New York. I also posted an entry about the new gravel spot on the wiki's Pea Gravel page: http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Pea+Gravel
Before we could bring in the pea gravel, we had to fix the road, gravel the driveway, install the hay storage container, etc.... So glad to finally have a nice gravel spot for the horses! I put it on the highest point along the track, where they usually stand first thing in the morning. Their water tank is there as well. Their pattern hasn't seemed to change since adding the gravel. One other reason I wanted to put it there is because -- so far -- they've kept that area a poop-free zone. Let's hope *that* continues, too! ;-)
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