The Horse Feeder vs. Rodeo: Picture a Ferris Wheel

| 2/5/2010 4:49:40 PM

A photo of Shirley Rodeo VanScoykHorses love playing with their food. I feed our horses round bales of hay – if you are familiar with previous domestic episodes, you know the nature of those. Anyway, the citizens of our barn love unwrapping the hay from the bale – much like playful kittens with a toliet paper roll. Once they get it unrolled, they roll in it, pee in it, poop in it and make it inedible. I’ve been so thrilled at the cost difference between the round and square bales, this hasn’t really bothered me until lately, when the effects of this long hot dry summer have impacted the cost of the bales negatively.

Horse in the barnNow, like all problems, there is a solution to this situation and it involves tools, a trip to the Farm/Tractor Store and lifting something awkward and heavy all by myself. It’s called a round bale feeder and looks (when put together) a lot like an 8-foot Ferris wheel made out of 16 gauge tubular steel (about as thick as your wrist) welded together that slips over the top of the bale. The idea is that the horses will put their heads through the spaces in the feeder (where the seats would be if it were truly a Ferris wheel) and eat, but be unable to stand on the bale and crush it, strew it and mess it up. This saves you money and hay and according to the people who make bale feeders, enough money to pay for the bale feeder in two or three bales. Oh, the other reason I didn’t buy a bale feeder before was because the guy who sells me the hay said I didn’t need one. Of course. 

So, last night, C. and I went to pick up the feeder which comes in three convenient (if you are 5’10” man) sections, each weighting about 80 pounds. These sections fit easily into the back of the truck and in no time we are on our way to Bob Evan’s to get a nice meal. (It makes us feel good to eat there because it’s the reverse of eating at Pizza Hut – instead of being the oldest we are usually the youngest in the restaurant.) To C.’s credit, he did ask if I would need help getting the bale feeder out of the truck when we got home, and I said, “Oh, no! I don’t think so! I’ll just drag it out.”

Actually that was pretty simple. Once I drove the truck into the pasture, I was able to flip those sections right out on to the ground pretty close to where I thought the feeder would end up. 

I’m excited to notice that the feeder actually has the hardware required to put it together – 6 carriage bolts and nuts – already in the holes. All I have to do is undo them, slide the next section into place and do them back up. Easy! 

The first five go fine. They were only finger tightened. The sixth and last bolt has paint spilled on the threads, and the nut is now fouled with the paint. I need a tool. 

Rodeo Princess
2/9/2010 2:43:28 PM

Lori, It's my turn to laugh! Everybody here has had 'the wet yucky spot' usually the front pocket on a hooded sweatshirt because we had forgotten we put eggs in there! It's gross!

2/9/2010 6:43:32 AM

What a great story! I have a problem with trying to do to many things at once. Back in the fall, I needed to clean off our front porch, and get it ready for winter, (we don't have a roof over our porch). I was walking back from feeding the chickens and gathering the eggs, when I looked at the porch and thought "I'm going to clear that porch off right now"! I walked directly to the porch and went to work. We have a porch swing on a frame, and 4 plastic chairs on the porch. I stacked the chairs on top of each other, and took the swing off of the frame. You know, you wouldn't want to make any unnecessary trips, so I thought "I can take this stuff all at once". I hooked my right arm through the back of the swing, and my left arm through the whole stack of plastic chairs, and away I waddled with my arms full. I'm glad nobody was there to watch. I'm sure my dear hubby would have had a sarcastic comment for me! I finally made it to the basement, and set down my load. It was only then that I remembered I had put all the eggs I collected in my coat pocket. I felt a funny wet spot on my side. Scrambled eggs anyone?

Rodeo Princess
2/7/2010 6:52:55 PM

You are both so kind to comment! Nebraska, it's always good to see that you read my posts! And Oz Girl, I would rather do almost anything than pitch hay!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters