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Discussion on Anyone tried "the Grazer" hay feeder?

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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 20
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 8:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

HI Gang,

I know there was a discussion on here somewhere about feeders that people are purchasing or making to slow down their horses' hay consumption, but I cannot seem to find it again. So, I started a new discussion.

Has anyone tried the "Grazer" hay feeder? Any thoughts? I was going to put it in his stall to make his hay last longer. Here is the web site: http://www.doublel.com/haygrazer.html


Thanks

Lynn
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 441
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 9:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Lynn,

I just rigged up a slow feeder a few days ago, it's a temporarily solution until hubby finds time to build something bigger. I'll try to remember to get a picture of it, and post it.

I can report that it is a great concept! The horses all seem to enjoy "picking away" at the hay sticking out.

Here's a link to some slow feeders, I can't remember but I think they've changed the plans and gotten away from all of those that had the horses eating from the sides.

http://www.swedishhoofschool.com/feeders.htm

I've never seen the grazer thing, not sure if it looks sturdy or not. It's spring loaded to keep the hay up towards the top? I would be concerned about the spring part, I guess.

One thing I noticed is at a certain level, my horses quit eating in mine, but as I said, it's temp thing I put together and needs tweaking.

Whoever it was that put pictures of one they built, could you do so again please? I'd also like to see what others have done.

If you order one, let us know how it works out for you! Thanks
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 442
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 9:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is the only kind I am interested in, I see on the link above they seem to going with all kinds of hay nets now. I don't like hay nets, but it's an option depending on your situation.

This is from their obsolete feeders page.



I would like hubby to build corner feeders for the stalls using this same idea.
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 21
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Angie,

I actually saw the design you have used but I need a small one and wasn't that keen on him having his nose down into a box with the potential for dust etc. when he gets to the last bit of hay. I also have concerns about the spring mechanism on the Grazer but will ask about warrantee. Will let you all know how it works out. It will take a few weeks to get it in so...stand by!

Cheers

Lynn
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 380
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 1:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lynn, below is a pic of the one we made recently. It worked out so well we ended up making 3 and the horses love it. We have completely eliminated hay waste, and the horses have gone from finishing their hay (wasting half) in 2 hours to always having a tiny bit left over at the next feeding, without really increasing their hay ration much.

We've had some very cold weather the last few days so have been feeding extra, and I love knowing that the extra I'm putting out is going into their bellies instead of getting poo-ed on or trampled.

As far as dust, we haven't had any trouble at all. Since the horses pull one wisp at a time out there isn't a lot of dust released, and even though we are feeding first cutting hay (with a lot of seed heads) I don't find a lot of small particles left in the bottom. Of course we are feeding outside in the open air, so any dust that is released is probably getting blown away...

Overall I am 100% happy with this type of feeder after using them for a month and a half and highly recommend them.feeder box
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 381
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 1:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just looked at the spring loaded grazer .. in my opinion while it would slow horses down compared to a pile of loose hay, I would think they could fairly quickly learn to pull out large amounts. The spacing looks similar to the wall-mounted hay racks to me, and I have a mare that when fed that way pulls all the hay out of the rack in about 15 minutes so she can sort through it =)

I would also worry that the spring loaded part would get stuck or blocked in some way. But not having seen the mechanism they may have already provided a way to prevent that.
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 22
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 1:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for the photo, that was what I had in mind originally. I want one for his stall so it would need to be much smaller.

It looks like the springs for the Grazer are inside the side walls so I assume they should be OK. I was wondering about the hole size too. I figured I could always weld on some cross-bars if the holes are too big.

Cheers

Lynn
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 443
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shannon,

Could you give me some specifics on yours? L,W, and H/depth?

Is it solid on the bottom inside?

What about drainage?

How much hay does one hold?

Does the top piece just lay on top and go down as they eat?

Is that like chicken wire, or chain link fencing like dog kennels are made out of? (I was told chain link would pinch their lips!)

My first attempt, the horses pulled the wire out of the frame. So I had to rebuild it. But I have a very small frame, so I was trying to get the most open space possible, I think my opening is only 30 x 28. Not big enough for 4 horses, but I am using a cage I had. I'll get a picture up.

I also have twine with hooks on the ends to keep them from lifting the whole thing out! Was that a problem with yours?

Thanks for posting the picture, Going to show it to hubby, and see if I can get him to build one, it's really all I want for Christmas, lol!
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 382
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 2:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angie, ours is 4'wide x 4' long x2' tall. The bottom is made if pressure treated 2x6 boards on edge on 16" centers, built like a floor with a 4x4 piece of 3/4" plywood on it. Then the sides are 1/2" plywood nailed around the outside of the pressure treated pieces with some extra 2x4 boards around the rim and on the corners to give it stability. We drilled about ten 3/4" holes in the 'floor' of the box for drainage which works fine.

The wire is chain link and I haven't noticed any lip pinching. I think chicken wire wouldn't be strong enough as the wires are too think and brittle. The frame around it is 2x4 lumber and the boards are bolted together, just screwing or nailing it together wouldn't give you the clamping power you get from the bolts.

What I like about the chain link is that it flexes somewhat, allowing it to 'pillow' up around the hay, giving a greater surface area for the horses to nibble.

The 2x4's give the whole thing enough heavyness that the horses are not able to pull it out. But don't give them any ideas, I don't know if they've tried yet or not!
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 444
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 4:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Shannon!

Another thing I've been wondering about, do you shake the hay up? Or does it work to just put the hay flakes on end? I've been shaking it up a flake at a time, which is a pain because I have lug the bale out there, and a fork. I would think that the bale on the side, they'd be able to start pullng the hay out?

I have been pulling some hay through the holes to get it started. My horses still get some hay put on the ground though because I can't get a whole bale in the feeder, and it's really cold now too.

I didn't think your picture showed chicken wire, that would be flimsy.

I used some wire leftover from when hubby put the garden fence up, it's the kind with rectangular openings. I think I like the idea of chain link, it's also got more weight.

I'll show your post to hubby, so he's got an actual blueprint, that might speed this project up! He loves to build things, just busy with his garage right now.

Oh, how many horses are you feeding? Do find you are using less hay, and getting more eating time?
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 383
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 4:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't shake the hay out (would take up too much space that way) and have been putting flakes in flat on their sides, I can fit 4 flakes flat on the bottom of the box. We get big dense 100 lb bales and each flake weighs about 10 pounds, so twice a day I put 4 flakes per box and two horses share each box. (would feed way less in the summer when the grass and weather are good).

They have had some left over at each feeding doing it that way. I could easily fit double that amount in the boxes and just do it once per day but I prefer to check the horses over twice a day anyway. But nice thing is I don't need to worry about feeding on time since they always still have hay left. Now if I could just teach the baby to sleep later then 6am I could sleep in on weekends!

We are feeding 6 horses with 3 boxes, another nice thing is that they are constantly moving from one box to the other to check and make sure their buddies don't have something better in one of the other boxes! And they practice beautiful turns on the forehand with their noses in the box moving their buts around the outside corners :-)

We actually started feeding more hay when we started using the boxes because of the weather, but in normal circumstances I could certainly feed less this way. The horses do spend a LOT more time eating! We have finally reached that plateau point where they will walk away when they have had enough.

The biggest benefit aside from the health benefits for the horses is that there is no wasted hay -- the savings in that respect alone makes them more than worth it to me!

I hope you get what you want for Christmas!
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1514
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I saw one of these (the grazer) at a big equestrian event a few years ago and there was a big name veterinarian/author who uses these in her barn and absolutely loves them.
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, Dec 11, 2009 - 7:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Vicki, should be interesting to give it a go. I was going to make a home-made one but this one is selling for $129 US, which is pretty darn cheap as far as these things go.

Lynn
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1516
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Dec 11, 2009 - 8:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lynn,

After looking more closely at this it appears that there is a "grazer" and a "stable grazer," and the stable grazer is the one that I saw, which was highly recommended and here is the information about it:

http://www.stablegrazer.com/

Sorry about the confusion.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 502
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, Dec 11, 2009 - 8:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Vicki Z,

This is a great idea, however the price is a bit much. When I hit the lottery, I will be sure to put one in every stall. I like this because you can also feed grain at the same time.

Rachelle
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 458
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Monday, Dec 14, 2009 - 7:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shannon,

Thanks so much for your pictures and specs on your slow feeders. I am still working on us finding time (hubby finding time!) to get at least one built. My attempt is pretty much destroyed for the 2nd time, they got it out of the cage thingy, and the wires were breaking again...sigh..

'Nways, Brian was wondering if the horses have done any chewing on the wood, or are they pretty content with having all that hay there and don't need to be little beavers? He's been thinking on the best way to build one, wondering if he needs metal.

Thanks again!
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Vicki
Member
Username: kpaint

Post Number: 495
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Monday, Dec 14, 2009 - 7:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Least he's thinking Angie! My Haffie beavers would definitely chew the wood. They are relentless.
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 384
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, Dec 14, 2009 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angie, I thought for sure my beavers would destroy the wood in short order, but they haven't chewed it at all except for a couple exploratory bites right at the beginning (knock wood!!). I bet if I left it sitting empty however they would eat it right up though.
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Anna-Marie (Fame)
Member
Username: npo33901

Post Number: 83
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009 - 5:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wonder if I can put wet hay into a slow hay feeder .
The mash will be horizontal and water can drip out through the bottom . The bottom part will be made from a pallet or a mash .
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 395
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 30, 2009 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lynn,

Just wanted to post an update on this, I was just talking to a fellow horse person who bought 'the grazer' to try to slow down her founder-prone mare and keep her from wasting hay. She said the openings in the top were too large and didn't slow her mare down at all, and she was still able to pull out large chunks of hay and spread it around the stall and waste a lot.

I would be interested to hear your experience if you ended up trying it.
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Good Lind
Member
Username: mrgood

Post Number: 15
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Thursday, Dec 31, 2009 - 3:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This was a sales pitch so removed.

Good Lind we are not here to promote your products. To the degree you have something factual to contribute we welcome it but please stop with the sales pitch on these boards. Put it on the Ad section, even put it in your profile but not here on these boards.
DrO
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 29
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Dec 31, 2009 - 7:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Shannon and "good lind",

I haven't yet purchased the feeder...looks like Christmas kind of took over my life.

Thanks for the update on the Grazer Shannon. The holes do look a little big but I will ask if the grate is steel and if so I can just weld on some cross bars. My "bubble-gum" welds might come in handy here.

"Good Lind", I'm not particularly comfortable with my horse having to constantly reach up for his hay (I can only imagine that would result in some sore neck and shoulder muscles) and would rather not be concerned about dust and small hay bits falling down into his eyes and nose. It does seem that plenty of people use them and are happy with it. I just wonder if any stiffness is showing up in the horses' work.

Cheers

Lynn
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Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 1165
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Dec 31, 2009 - 10:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lynn, I was thinking the same thing about the horse constantly having to reach up. Certainly a very unnatural position for a horse to eat from on a continuous basis.
Another major factor with this type of feeder is having a place to hang it.

I am trying to figure out how I can somehow adapt the grate idea to my round bale feeder.
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Good Lind
Member
Username: mrgood

Post Number: 16
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Friday, Jan 1, 2010 - 5:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't understand why you think the horse needs to reach up? I hang my nets down to a couple of inches from the ground and the horses usually eat down low.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 546
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, Jan 1, 2010 - 8:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good Lind,

Most people hang their hay bags high because they do not want to have their horses legs get hung up in them, the SMHB do away with this because the diameter of the holes is much smaller than a regular hay bag. However, if your horse wears shoes, he/she can still get tangled up, if the back edge of the shoes gets caught in the mesh.

However, I have used regular hay bags for years, I do not hang them high, I hang them so the bottom of the bag is at chest level so as the hay bag empties its still off the floor by about 1 1/2 feet. I do not have any problems with stuff getting in eyes, or neck and back problems or respiratory problems due to the hay bags. In fact, I've found the opposite, the horses stay occupied longer (not as long as SMHB), as they eat, the loose hay and dust particles fall to the floor, as if the hay is being shaken out, but the horses do it themselves. Also, if you time it right, you know how much your horses eat in a given period of time so they do not spend time with an empty stomach or an empty hay bag. That's what my experiment taught me this week. Adding 1 extra flake of hay to his normal ration gave him enough to occupy him for the entire day with some left over and him not acting like a lunatic at feed time.

Don't get me wrong he still wants to eat but he's behaving himself as I feed him. I attribute this to having a full belly from the hay.
Rachelle
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Anna-Marie (Fame)
Member
Username: npo33901

Post Number: 99
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, Jan 1, 2010 - 11:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Rachell, I like your comment about the dust / unwelcome stuff in dry hay feeding . I made up my own temporary slow hay feeder . The metal grid is 5 cm x 5 cm.
I see the holes are to small - . I have to push some hay out - they love pulling and eating it but it comes to a stage, when the hay is "compact" against the grid and they cannot get it out.....

Now I'll try to make the permanent feeder with square holes of 7.5 cm or only vertical bars 7.5. cm apart and no horizontals .

It is and will be a vertical feeder .
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Anna-Marie (Fame)
Member
Username: npo33901

Post Number: 100
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, Jan 1, 2010 - 5:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

here are the photos of my " Prototype" feeder, hoping my husband does not want to look at the underside of one of his wrecks!prototype feederPrototype feeder
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Michelle
Member
Username: mleeb

Post Number: 168
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 3:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shannon, if you're still following this post, I'm wondering how your feeder has held up over the last few months, and if there is anything you would change about it. I'm going to build one as well, but I would like it to be able to hold a full square bale at a time.
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 599
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 8:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Michelle,

Ours has held up great. A couple tips I could offer: on the 2x4's that wrap around the outside, on the first round we used nails and a couple did work loose once when I dropped the box while moving it. Using screws as we did on the others was a better idea.

We have two types: one that we built with a frame on a piece of chain link fence. That has held up great, though the horses find it easier to eat through than the other which has a rigid metal grid in it. The hay always goes first out of the chain link feeders.

When feeding very long stemmed rigid stalked hay like alfalfa the rigid grate is almost too hard for them to get hay out of so we have to shake out the flakes. The chain link kind works well with all types of hay. Our horses have gotten the rigid grate out once or twice but never with the chain link grate.

You could probably fit a small square bale (50-60lbs) in one the size we made as long as you don't shake the flakes out.

Overall I am totally happy with these feeders. We had zero waste this past winter when normally half our hay ends up tramped into mud. We also had less mud because of not having hay mess everywhere. Our horses don't stress at feeding time any more either because they have hay available almost all day.

If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them .. there is another post that has a few more pics and more instructions I think. Search for 'slow hay feeder'.

Good luck with your project!
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