Saturday, January 18, 2014

By George, I Think I've Got It!

DeCato and Starlight are good sharers.
I can’t even remember when I first said I was going to build the perfect slow feeder, custom made especially for the small, round hay bales that we make here at Toad Song Farm.  

Suffice it to say that it has been a LONG time since I first said it.
Well, today the plan became reality and we now have two "new" bale feeders, strategically positioned so no one (read: Hudson) can hog all the hay.  

The design was not quite the perfect one I had in mind, but I think the result is even perfecter, because they came together quickly, with horse-proof containers I already had on hand.   I just had to order some hockey net, custom cut to size, and put it all together. 

Hudson sharing?  This can't last long.
It’s not an original design, exactly.  I have studied so many slow-feeders that I definitely stole this idea from someone, somewhere, or at least something close to it.   

Basically, we have a small-hole hockey net secured inside a 100-gallon water trough.  Drop in a bale, cut and remove the baling twine, and pull tight the draw-string, rope closure. Poof!  A strong, horse-worthy slow hay feeder.
I knew it.
Now there will be no more wasted hay.  Just a clean, dry, little bale for steady noshing.  This should be entertaining for them and provide that steady, small amount of roughage I’m always trying to achieve for their quirky digestive tracts.

And so far, the two feeders I made have passed a critical milestone: The Hudson Destruction Test.  She immediately tried to dismantle them with her usual brute force, so she could get to the hay faster, but she failed!
To each, her own, sort of.

Ha-ha, Hudson!  You’re stuck nibbling tiny amounts of hay through those annoying little holes, instead of throwing the whole bale all over the place, gobbling down the best bits for yourself and peeing on the rest.

I think I'm going to like this!

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