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Hay feeder project using Ecoraster.

Hay feeder project using Ecoraster

D.I.Y, Equine

We have property in Florida where we keep two horses who mill around one hay feeder.

PROBLEMS
The manger style hay feeder is set upon level ground with no matting or other protection around the feeder where the horses stand. Within three days, fly-stomping has dug a trench anywhere from 3 inches to 6 inches deep and a foot wide all around the feeder.
When the soft sand is raked in to level it again, the trenches re-appear within a day. The imbalanced posture results in excess weight on the forehand, increasing stress and strain on those front legs.

Watching horses eat hay is comical. They bury their heads, then toss their hay in all directions. That hay lands on the surrounding sandy soil. It gets stomped into the sand. They lightly pick through the fallen hay, but most of it becomes waste. At $14.00 to $18.00 per bale, and the loss of edible hay our feeding costs increase dramatically.
Picking through sand-laden hay strewn over loose sand increases the chance of sand being ingested by the horses which could result in sand colic. Sand colic is very dangerous to the horse which requires Veterinarian treatment which could include surgery and in worse case scenarios, death of the horse.
PROPOSED RESOLUTION TO PROBLEMS

We chose the Ecoraster E40 as our stabilizing base to help solve the problems. Hay feeder was removed, the location was leveled then topped with a 2 inch layer of new sand. Packed the sand using a lawn tractor. We then placed the Ecoraster on top of the new sand. We used a 10 layer Ecoraster layout, resulting in 144 square feet. The grid was filled with new sand to about 2 “ above grid and packed with lawn tractor; scraped off excess sand exposing the Ecoraster grid.

We replaced the feeder in its original spot put hay in and stood back to see the results.
RESULTS AND SUMMARY

Mission accomplished!

Using Ecoraster E40 grid work we:

  1.  STOPPED TRENCHING AROUND FEEDER
  2. REDUCED LEG STRAIN
  3. REDUCED WASTE AND THEREFORE COST OF HAY
  4. MINIMIZED RISK OF SAND COLIC

Submitted by Joe & Carol Steiner

Read more about Ecoraster in equine facilities applications on www.ecorasterhorse.com


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