Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Automated Horse Feeders

Presented by:  Larissa Cox, M.Sc. Applied Equine Science

The next few posts will be dedicated to Automated Horse Feeding options.  As a horse owner, I was constantly running home to feed my horse on time.  Ten years ago, there weren’t too many options available to horse owners, but in recent years there have been some new and interesting innovations.

quick

An effective automated grain feeding alternative is the Quick Feed System.  I have personally used this system over the past 10 years, owning 5 of them.  The hopper is filled weekly and accommodates a full bag of horse feed.  Each horse can then be given his special grain and timers can be set up to accommodate each horse.  The feeding time set up is quite simple and very accurate, so much so that my horses walked in from their paddocks before the grain dispensed and waited for their ration.  Feed rations can be adjusted as well, however, if you use a sweet feed pellet, it can clump together and not be dispensed properly.

At a cost of $319 for the standard unit, it stands up to the rigors of horse feed use.  The units I own are either set up above the stall, or on the bars in front of the stall.  Although the original system required electricity, the units now can run off a battery or solar energy.  I purchased two lawnmower batteries and switched them every 2 months and didn’t have any issues with the battery discharging and the units not dispensing as scheduled.

What I liked about this system is that I only needed to fill up the hopper once a week and yet the horses were fed on a very regular basis.  I set the feeding times at every 4 hours and proportioned their daily grain intake accordingly.  Unfortunately, this is only a grain feeding system and cannot accommodate other feed stuffs or supplements.  This is only an indoor use unit and if you have squirrels at your barn, it is not rodent proof and requires you to be creative in keeping those critters away from this unit as they will chew through the plastic.  However, as a side note, my 10 year old unit is still running today despite the duct tape patching!

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