Thursday, May 14, 2009

Feeder 3.0

I have been scheming about building a new hay feeder for months now, and it finally came to pass last weekend with the help of David and Georange.

Those who have been reading FFF since the beginning (i.e. David and maybe my mom) may recall that my feeder design has been through many iterations starting with Feeder 1.0, progressing to Feeder 2.0 and then to Feeder 2.5. The last was definitely the best, but it still had some flaws. First, the frame was made out of wood and subject to rot in our environment. Second, the unit was heavy but not fixed to the ground, so the horses could move it around. And third, it sat directly on the ground so that gunk gathered up inside it and around the edges.

This new design solves all of those problems. The frame is a Behlan 5-foot galvanized hay rack with the legs cut off. This is wedged between two treated posts and held in place with hose clamps. The inside is lined with four panels of 30 inch exercise pen, and the top is made from the two 48 inch panels that I salvaged from Feeder 2.5. So far the horses seem to love it, especially the fact that they can eat from the top. And because it sits about 10 inches off the ground Tonka does not need to scissor his legs to eat from it -- I hope that will help to improve the shape of his right food.

This wasn't cheap to make (slightly over $300 in materials) but it should last forever because everything other than the two posts is made out of plastic or steel. Once I have a little more money saved up I will buy a second feed rack so that we can build another at the south end of the paddock. I am also scheming up something new for feeding in the shelter, but that's another story.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You're very inventive. Looks like a great rack that will last forever.

EvenSong said...

Looks great! That does seem like a pricy way to go, but you've ended up with a really efficient end product. Knowing what they get for those feeders (Behlen, Priefert) maybe we should design and sell a founder-safe alternative!

I'm jealous of your post hole digger! My tax refund is burning a hole in my pocket right now, but I have other priorities. >:-(