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Sunday, July 15, 2012

DIY: Raised Feeder Trough

We recently added a new member of The Farm... a little miniature mare named Snow. Snow is here to be a permanent companion for my retired mare Pebbles, whose vision is declining slowly as she ages. While Pebbles is a full size horse, Snow is only 36 inches tall. Miniature horses are notorious for putting on weight very easily so Snow for the most part does not need daily grain. Pebbles does though, and since we pasture the two together and want to keep things simple (ie. not have to separate them twice a day at feeding time), we had to come up with a new feeding system.

We took an old 55 gallon plastic barrel that had a crack on the bottom we couldn't repair and sawed it in half.

The Boy then rounded up scrap wood and built a brace around it.

We measured the height so that it was comfortable for Pebbles to eat out of but too high for Snow to access.   Once we got the height right, he then built a lip edge around the barrel that gives it a little extra deterrent for Snow, making it impossible for her to reach any feed inside the barrel.

The Boy also drilled a few holes in the (now) bottom area of the barrel half to allow rain water to escape since this feeder trough will stay out in the pasture.

And here it is in full use last night! They can stay together and they are both happy, but there is no risk of Snow getting into a horse-size meal and getting sick.

(Not pictured): To keep Snow entertained while Pebbles eats, we give her a dog toy that has about 20 pellets of horse feed inside of it. It is made to dispense treats to a dog out of little holes as they play with it. We just throw it into a bucket and she rolls it around to get pellets. If she is just quietly grazing and not concerned about Pebbles eating, I don't bother with it, as shown above.

Total cost of this raised feeder project: About $2 worth of deck screws. We specifically designed this feeder based on what we had available to use... wood from a shipping crate that our new roof metal was delivered in, treated wood from an old scrapped swing set, and a cracked barrel that we couldn't use for rain collection anymore. We could have done the whole thing for free and just used nails and such that we had, but we've learned time and time again that it's worth using good hardware in projects like this.

Help support the restoration efforts of The Farm at Beaman's Fork by visiting www.BeamansFork.com

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