Horse flinging feed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Horse flinging feed

Hello guys,

Andy's got into a bad habit. When I feed him, he'll put his face in the feed bucket and toss it over violently with his nose, flinging feed all over the ground. Then he'll use his nose to right the bucket again, then start eating what's left in it. He's wasting a lot of feed this way, and it's driving me nuts because he's a skinny TB and is beginning to lose his winter weight.

I've tried putting his bucket in a tyre, but he still manages to tip feed all over the place. He can't move the bucket but he can lever the feed out of the bucket and into the air. I've bought him a fence feeder that looks like this, and it's helping, but he still attempts to toss his feed out. Plus it's impractical because I have to take him to the fence to feed him after our ride, and I'd much prefer him to eat at the tie-ups while I groom and blanket him. For right now, I've pretty much given up and feed him only on grass, so that when he tips the feed out, he won't be eating dirt. Once the feed in his bucket has come out, he'll alternate between eating it off the ground and eating it from the bucket.

He does enjoy his feed! He gets copra, beta beet, lucerne/meadow chaff mix, and maxim-low GI. He will eat it all if I let him. So that's not the issue.

I wonder if he's claustrophobic having his head in a bucket, so he solves that problem by throwing his feed out and eating it off the ground, where he can see all around him. I'm thinking about using a wider, shallow tray-type bucket, but I'm wary of spending more money, that fence feeder cost me more than I was willing to pay.

I know you guys can't give me guarantees that it'll work, but do any of you have experiences with horses that play with their food like this? What helped you?

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post #2 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 07:26 AM
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Sadly, I think it's trial and error with messy eaters. Our messy eater does best with a deeper, rubber feed pan.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 12:22 PM
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It does sound like your guy wants to be able to see all around him while eating.
He could also just prefer eating with his head down as that is natural for horses. A wider tray- type bucket might work. If you place it on the ground is there anywhere you can tie or bungee strap it to a fence or wall? If so you could also lay an old stall mat or even a small tarp under the bucket so if he flings the food on the ground it lands on the mat and not the ground. This keeps him from eating dirt and helps keep pests away as you can clean the mat or tarp off, unlike dirt.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 12:48 PM
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See if you can find a bucket with a lip, like this one: Super Feed Saver Lip | Dover Saddlery
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 12:49 PM
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Have you tried a feed bag? The type that goes over his nose and his held there by a strap behind the ears.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-13-2014, 01:29 PM
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My horse dumps his feed on purpose also, he does better with a shallow rubber feed pan, though still manages to some feed out. He is fed in his stall, so I just make sure he has some hay underneath his feed pan so he won't ingest any of his bedding.

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-19-2014, 01:22 AM
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My TB went through a phase of doing the same thing shortly after I got him. I just gave up for a while and swept a corner of his stall mat clean and dumped his feed there.

Now, six months later he's much more at ease in his surroundings and will eat out of a shallow rubber feed pan.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-19-2014, 01:28 AM
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I'd dump the feed on the grass altogether and let him eat it off the there, i've had to do that with one of mine.

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-29-2014, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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He still wastes a lot of it on the grass. That's the problem.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will finally know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-29-2014, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
See if you can find a bucket with a lip, like this one: Super Feed Saver Lip | Dover Saddlery
Verona's right-this kind of bucket helps.

2 of my horses do this at every meal and I've found that this kind of bucket also helps a bit. It's permanent mount rather than snap-on:
High Country Wall Corner Feeder -

There's really no way to permanent way to stop them from doing it though!
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