The elusive hay feeder (Slow Feeder Saver Junior Review) and other hay feeders

This post may be a year plus in the making, but also is a testament to my one track mind. Keep reading, I will review the product which is more or less out of stock at ALMOST every retailer in country. Except for one.

Background: When I got Nay Nay, I tried to introduce him to a small hole hay net. He didn’t exactly understand the concept. And proceeded to not eat much (if any) hay in his stall the first night or two he was home. He did eat the flake I put on the ground. But the weekend, I purchased a hay bag with a large opening which worked better except he destroyed it immediately. I then tried a large hole net which worked, sort of, in the beginning. Then Nay’s hay consumption started dwindling. At this point, I didn’t realize that this dwindling was tied to ulcers AND soy allergies. Once he started to feel a little better, he seemed to associate the hay net with his stomach hurting and I could NOT get him to eat from any net in his stall (he did learn to eat from a small net outside — not efficiently — and would eat from other nets/bags outside as well). I tried loose hay but Nay is a hay waster. Put hay out (loose in a pile or even in a muck tub and… his stall looks like the scene of a frat party.

So, last April I scoured the internet for ideas. Non DIY ideas since we were in the middle of quarantine. I was also hoping to allow him to eat with his head down.

Best hay feeder ever

I found the Slow Feeder Saver Junior, the Savvy Feeder, the HelixFeeder, and the PortaGrazer. For the most part, people seemed happy with all of the different feeders. I wasn’t sure how Nay would react to putting his head IN a hay feeder so I ruled out the PortaGrazer. The HelixFeeder was relatively new and I couldn’t find many reviews. I wasn’t sure how much Nay, with his frat boy party style, would trash it. And, considering how much he struggled with the small hole net, I worried that the round circles would be too much. Nay gets orchard/alfalfa AND straight alfalfa (western alfalfa is his preference) in his nets/stall/feeders/what have you and I wanted equal access to the hay.

In the end, I went with the Slow Feeder Saver Junior. The grid was made of nylon vs plastic and I worried about the plastic on his teeth and/or being more difficult to get at the hay. The openings ARE large so maybe it’s not a true slow feeder, but with a thoroughbred, do I need a slow feeder? I need a “Don’t toss your hay around and have frat party” feeder. A review mentioned that the box was sharp, but this has not been the case in my experience. Another few indicated that horses can get their noses through the nylon and scape up their faces. I’d risk a nylon rub to tooth damage from plastic (but I haven’t experienced this in a year of using it).

Nay IMMEDIATELY took to the box. It’s easy to fill, easy to eat from, and hard to toss hay everywhere (but easy to grab mouthfuls to dunk in water). Super flakey western alfalfa does leave a lot of dust that makes the box gross, but this would be an issue with any box, especially if you water bucket is close by and your horse manages to dump water in the box occasionally — clean and empty regularly! But, I loved the think enough that Subi got his own 3 week later and loved it just as much.

Last April/May I bought from SmartPak for $196 plus tax (free shipping). SmartPak no longer carries it.

Jiminy has been using a small hole net because I’m cheap. Except my allergies and asthma have been getting worse. These boxes are SO EASY to fill.

A couple months ago I found a super cheap PortaGrazer locally that I bought for Jiminy. I tried, he tried, but we both HATE IT. HATE IT. HATE IT. He is now using it without the lid. Anyone locally interested in a PortaGrazer? They are great if your horse will use it. I’m willing to try it in the run in as a backup feeder, but I don’t need it.

Hay Hay everywhere

What I found is that not filling hay nets is so much better for my health. So last week I set off on a mission to purchase Jiminy a feeder just like his brothers….only to find that it is out of stock everywhere.

I considered other options but… Obviously the HelixFeeder isn’t one because it is too similar to the PortaGrazer. And I looked at the Savvy Feeder, but I question if what he hates about it is the shape or plastic hay opening (if that makes any sense) and I just couldn’t pull the trigger on buying one.

High Country Plastics (who makes the Slow Feeder Saver Junior) said the grates are out of stock and backlog has led to a 3 month delay (they said August, most distributors have listed a 9/1 ship date). After briefly considering making my own or ordering a box from Germany, I spent a good portion of Friday contacting (or perusing websites) every High Country Plastics in 19 states to see if they had any in stock.

And finally, in Delaware, Ohio. I found hope. Cashman’s had one (well, several) in stock. And the price, even with shipping, wasn’t much more than I paid last year. It’ll be here tomorrow.

While I may find, over time, the grate is too large for Jiminy, it’s easy enough to modify the grates on the feeders. I’m just THRILLED to finally have another.

Morning Snack and Feeder Update


It appears I skipped this gem the other day… Smile! It’s your birthday!

Blog content is slow around here. Honestly? There’s not much.

But, I have my boys and I’m super thankful for them.

A couple of times a week I started morning snack right after I turned Nay Nay and Subi out. A couple times turned into a few which turned into daily. Honestly? It’s the highlight of my day. Snack is usually peppermints. Sometimes hard starlight peppermints but sometimes puff peppermints. Somedays snack is carrots and other times includes apples. If I ever take the nickermakers out of the truck, they’ll also be included in morning snack. Jiminy sometimes partakes but is usually still in his stall. I’m mean! But he also doesn’t need extra sugar… A few times a week he does get a small snack (he also sometimes doesn’t realize snack is happening and gallops off to the hay feeder so there is that too).


SNACK! Catch a Jimmy eye… 

Snack consists of the thoroughbreds mugging me for treats. Snack consists of me getting coating in licks and slobber. Snack consists of soft thoroughbred noses in my face. Snack is AWESOME.

Yes, people will saw mugging horses is bad, but they are SO HAPPY and they happiness makes me happy. And right now? I need all the happiness and smiles I can get. So snack continues. For a while, I doled out snack from the other side of the fence (Nay standing appropriately far away from the hot fence wire), but I missed those soft noses. So I’m back to bad habits and providing snack from inside the field.


I’m not sure if he’s licking hot wire… Freak. 



In other news, as a hay feeder update, I ordered Nay the Slow Feeder Saver Junior from SmartPak and it should be here by Monday (drop shipped from manufacturer in Iowa). I also spoke to High Country Plastics who makes this feeder as well as the others I was considering and they talked me out of the CF-24 Corner Feeder as they didn’t feel it would be the best for my purpose, but said that if I did want to order the CF-32 Corner Feeder in the future, most of their suppliers can order it WITHOUT the dividers as a special order which was why I wasn’t seriously considering it. Removing the dividers would actually drop the price even though it would be a special order. So, if the Slow Feeder Saver doesn’t work out for Nay, I can transfer that to either Jiminy or Subi and reach back out to High Country Plastics and find a retailer to special order the CF-32.  I can see now in the picture that the compartments are screwed in.


For a cheap horse, he’s VERY expensive. But he’s a good snuggler. And very goofy. 

I also think Nay needs some kind of toy in his stall to play with. He’s so mouthy. I left his halter hanging on Subi’s stall latch (vs on the ground) after morning meds pre-breakfast and where was it when I came to turn out? In his stall. I can’t leave halters on one gate anymore because Nay Nay chewed Subi’s nice halter. So maybe he’d actually like a jolly ball? Or something else? Freak.




Happy (Belated) Birthday Nay Nay! And a question… Stall hay feeders

Ok, yes, he’s a thoroughbred and his birthday is officially January first, but he was born on April 19th so we celebrated Nay Nay’s 9th birthday yesterday. It’s quarantine-time and what else do I have to do with my life? I mean, I “go” to work, meaning my kitchen table, I pick up orders at the feed store dock (Oxford Feed & Lumber, you people are amazing!), and I watch too much NCIS and Rizzoli and Isles. Oh and I bake banana bread. It’s pretty pathetic. Honestly, I could really do all of this for a long time if I could figure out the riding part. I don’t actually miss anything. I mean, going into the feed store would be nice and running into the grocery store would be nice, but other than that? No. I love working from home (though I’m nervous about budget cuts considering universities have lost 40-125+ million this semester and summer and fall aren’t looking good. Impacts will be huge). On that note, I’m celebrating horse birthdays because, why not?


Face is always looking right at the camera! Birthday pictures are no exception.

img_3376Nay Nay celebrated his birthday with carrots, apples, and peppermints for breakfast and peppermints for morning snack. There was a brief incident in the afternoon where a neighbor’s visitor’s dog got stopped by and started chasing the horses around and almost got kicked in the head, but thankfully when I started yelling woah out the window, the horses calmed somewhat down (until the dog started chasing) and the owned arrived as I ran outside — this always happens when I was trying to shower (had to throw clothes back on) — and grabbed his dog apologizing. No one was hurt. Kids got some extra treats and they calmed down.

img_3395Nay is BACK ON GRAIN! And eating out of the hay feeder again though still not as enthusiastically as I’d like. Obviously his ulcers aren’t healed yet (still thinking it’s hind gut crap), but he’s licking his bucket clean. He’s showed his preference for hay on the ground vs in a net, but is a pig and pull only what he wants out and stomps the rest to death when I feed from his muck tub.

I’m debating a hay feeder for his stall. I can’t buy 2 to see which I like better so I need opinions.

First up, High Country Plastics Slow Feeder Saver Jr. Price: $195 shipped

Pros: the size is good for the stall, nylon grate vs metal, holds 1/2 bale, etc. Easy access to hay (until the portagrazer, he doesn’t have to stick his head in something. It’s flat).

Cons: Nay is just not great with slow feeder crap. Is this just another one of those things? Also, would I need to mount this thing? Some reviews indicate that it’s light so could he knock it over? But, it’s also used in pasture situations and surely no one is mounting out there…

Next: CF-32: CORNER FEEDER, 32″ Price: ~$220 plus shipping

Pros: I’m not actually considering this one because I don’t need the 3 compartments, but I I like the design. I’m mostly linking this for the pictures that are included on High Country Plastics’ website so that you can see the feeder next to a horse.

Cons: I don’t have need for separate compartments. Nay is a sloppy eater, he doesn’t always finish his feed. He tosses his grain and then eats wherever. At some point, he may go back to soaked cubes/pulp. Plus, my feed is not stored at the barn so I cart the buckets and it’s just easier to hang their buckets vs dump. I don’t need to have the extra compartments.

Final option (for now), CF-24 Corner Feeder $77 plus shipping

Pros: It APPEARS to be very similar to the above feeder but without the fancy multiple compartments. If that’s the case, the height looks good and it could be a viable option for Nay. I can put a few flakes in the bottoms and let him eat.

Cons: Will he just pull all the hay out and toss on the ground?

I may reach out to the company and ask questions. Any and all advice is appreciated!