The Indestructible Slow Feeder - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-09-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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The Indestructible Slow Feeder

so... I have been on a journey to build a (nearly) indestructible slow feeder. I wanted to try slow feeding after learning about the horse's natural feeding habits. Since pasture is not available in my area of the desert, slow feeding was the next best thing.
Tried just throwing it out there. Mom's horse was getting too fat and there was an incredible amount of waste.
Tried slow feed nets. They worked, but there was still waste and I was constantly patching them due to my destructive food-mongering mares. And, I was still having to go out and feed at least twice a day.
I'm blessed to be married to a contractor, and he set about building slow feed boxes. My mare has tested his design and frustrated him time and time again, but I think we finally have a nearly indestructible box that holds a full 100# bale.
We used regular slow feed nets and not metal grids for the tops since I'd heard bad things about horses chipping their teeth on the metal slow feeders. We've spent a lot of time patching up and reweaving the nets as the horse's continually tore them, and eventually figured out the nets so well that they were throwing the hay all over, before I finally bit the bullet a few days ago and ordered the nibble nets.
Well, they just came in today, and I am not only extremely impressed with the quality but also second-guessing my decision to cut the nets off the bag (ordered double nibbles)! They're so nice I feel bad about cutting the nets off.
About to go out and hopefully finish this box up and eliminate hay waste for good, or at least to almost nothing. These nets were not cheap, so I'm hoping this is the answer to my prayers!
I will post pictures in the next few days. Wish these nets luck, they are about to go to the test against one of those super destructive mares (you know, the one that's getting into everything all the time, breaking out of her stall, destroying this that and the other thing)
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"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-09-2016, 08:27 PM
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Waiting for pictures.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-09-2016, 10:43 PM
Green Broke
 
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Ha I feel your pain of finding the perfect feeder!!!! I actually just made two out of bunk feeders and I'm really liking them!! I wish they had a roof but oh well they're so lightweight and easy to move. I drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom to help with drainage. I need to take updated pics, I ordered some 10ftx4ft netting off ebay for likeeee $20 and use that on them now and its working great!

I was ghetto at first and put two regular haynets together




Just a 5ft bunk feeder...added screw eyes so I could use double ended snaps to attach netting...and netting from ebay....and I fit a whole bale in! Can't wait to see yours though! I wanted to build something but I'm not great with wood. Let me know if you want the link to the netting from ebay....if the nibblenets don't work :(
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-10-2016, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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evilamc-those look like regular slow feed nets, and I can tell you that my mare would have that feeder apart in about twenty minutes. That's just her, most people don't have so many problems! XD Glad they work for you though!

The nibble net is very promising. My mare tried her 'tearing bite and grab' thing that has allowed her to gobble up tons of hay from regular nets, and she got nowhere with the nibble net! She only tried it once too. Then she started picking the hay out like she was supposed to, then walked away refusing to eat from it. She kept looking at me and neighing, acting like she was on a hunger strike. I'm liking the prospects of this net and my husband is too.
I will get some pictures of the box in action the within the next couple days, but you'll have to wait a few more days for empty box pictures. With the $97 nibble net, the box cost around $200 to build, maybe a bit less than that. Darn thing has gotten very heavy with all the modifications but as one of the stable hands says, the box is practically bulletproof now!

We did at one point have some problems with my mare chewing the wood. We got her a mineral rock and since have had no problems with it. She does occasionaly break off chips of wood from the areas she chewed on before, but it just means that we may have to replace the side panels eventually. The wood has also held up to rain and sitting in mud for a while.

Heard people commenting at the stable about our 'ongoing box project' They are all dry bermuda pellet feeders, so I'm not sure they get it but that's ok!

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-10-2016, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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after rereading my post evila... I didn't mean to put down your feeder! XD I just was trying to say I wish I could get away with doing that, but my mare is difficult. lol

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-10-2016, 01:04 AM
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I think the Nibblenet site sells flat pieces of the webbing for feeder boxes.
The NIBBLENET Slow Feeder Hay Bags - thenibblenet.com - Official website of The NIBBLENET Slow feeder Hay Bag - Slow Feed Hay Bags for Horses

I have the same color haynets (purple and blue) are they the Tough-1 ones? I use them for my mare in her rubber feeder tub. There's a u-bolt on the bottom so I can carabiner it into the tub and it gets carabiner clipped to a ring on the side so it fills the whole tub. She's pretty easy on the nets, only reason why I'm really doing it for her is to keep her occupied by eating longer so she's less likely to crib and to keep her from tossing her hay out and wasting it.

The real reason I slow feed is for my Haflinger gelding. He's deadly to slow feed hay nets. Freedom Feeder ... clobbered. Regular slow feed hay nets ... see ya. The Busy Horse bag ... lasted a bit longer, but eventually, owned. Even had a Nibblenet. It didn't stand a chance after a few months. He's got a porta-grazer now, which was not really cheap, but for the two months he's had it, he hasn't destroyed it because it's made out of super tough plastic.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-10-2016, 01:14 AM
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The nibble nets are cool looking!!! I'm lucky to not have such destructos! Your pics aren't loading on my phone :( I wanted so badly to build a box though like you did!!! My husband isn't much help in that department and I just don't trust myself :( so I have to get creative another way. I'll check on computer in the morning to see your pics :) I love seeing slow feeders people make!! Ideas for me haha!

Californiadreaming yes I think those are tough-1 nets. I bought better nets on eBay though for sooo cheap! I have one big net for my round bale feeder and it's rated for like 400lbs or something? Then ones on my bunk feeders are rated for 280 or so? The horses tear pretty hard into them but no holes yet!
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