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Author Topic: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!  (Read 2191 times)

melissah

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Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:35:29 am »

Had them now for a couple of weeks and I can't say one bad thing about them. It took the horses a couple of days to "get it" and while they were learning kept their tub feeders in there as well until they got comfortable with the grazers. They've knocked them over but have learned to get them back upright. They have access to grass 24/7 and I am loving it. Not a typical thing in Socal. Believe it or not they are eating LESS hay and staying fat and happy. Mercy actually was getting chunky so I cut back a bit in the evenings in her grazer but enough she still can munch all night. I made the mistake of not reading the complete Porta Grazer website and what holes to get. Got all three 3.5 inch holes (for 14-15 hh horses) but realized Reggie was having a hard time. He has a parrot mouth (husband calls him Homer Simpson)and had a hard time getting the hay out. Husband used a sander to open them up to the 4" holes and now he has no issue.

I go out every morning and clean stalls, feed at 7 AM.....then I open the stalls so all three gates are open and grazers are kept in the back under the shelter. They get too darn hot (the plastic) in this 100 degree weather. Got to burn their lips if they burn my hands. They can mosey in and out of their stalls all day eating. Sometimes they end up in each others stalls but for the most part they know what stall is theirs and end up there. They eat then come out for napping and play time then go back and munch. About 7 PM we refill the grazers with what they need. We keep them full all the time. Drag them to the front of the stall next to their water and shut them overnight. Just feel safe with them in their stalls. In fact, when we go out in the evening and walk through the gate, all three run inside their stalls. Funny animals, very smart.

Here they are now. Weds. is trash/dumpster day so we keep them in the stalls until the trash truck has entered the turn out and left. They get let back out somewhere between 11-12.

It sure beats looking out the kitchen window at 7 AM when we fed in the tubs to see all 3 pacing their stalls restlessly and hungry. Will avoid ulcers for sure. Nice to look out the window and see content horses.

Of course I had the camera so they had to stop and look! All 3 heads were in the grazers.


Then they went back to eating but Storm seen me. lol
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

loneelk

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 03:02:29 pm »

You already know that I'm a huge fan of Porta-grazers.  The HOT is my least favorite part of these--we've pretty much changed over to putting their feeders in under their run-in sheds to feed a snack or two during the day.  For now, they're turned out w/ their feeders 'til about 10 a.m., then they stay "out" for an hour or three w/o feeders, then they get to finish their morning feed about mid-day.  We're riding EARLY a.m.'s only for an hour or two.  If somebody could invent a suitable material that would NOT absorb heat, that would, IMHO, result in a perfect feeder, at least for how we're set up.  I know that not everybody would be able to do this the way we do it, but for us (and more importantly, our horses) it works.
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
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kckc

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 07:52:43 pm »

I think those grazers are great ideas... I could never leave my stall doors open though - someone would get cornered especially if food were involved and wwIII could happen.   glad yours are doing well
 
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loneelk

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 07:59:51 pm »

Same here==we never leave the gates open into their individual "houses".  When they're "out" they're "out".  On our to-do list is to figure out an economical shade structure in the turnout, big enough that both boys can stand under it for shade if they want to, and even hopefully big enough that if we build it open on all four sides they can have their porta-grazers under shade during the day.  In winter it's not such a big deal if we just leave them out w/ the grazers for several hours if we need to go out of town, but on 100+ degree days, we want them to have access to shade. 
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain"--Joseph Campbell
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kckc

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 10:50:24 pm »

ok, so I have a question = tall shade trees do not naturally grow in your areas?   Not sure how I could live without my shade.  :-)     I bought several trees years ago to put in front of my house since the oaks etc were not in the right place for my shade -- these trees were incredibly fast growing.  Like over my house in 7 years fast.   one was eaten by ants even though they are not supposed to susceptible to insects (carpenter ants).   the others are doing ok.  they were a hybrid tree - I thought I remembered it to be aussie hybrid - this site has some familiar pictures but when I ordered there were choices on the shade tree (yellow leaves and some other type)   but this might give you an idea of what to look at   - also if they actually are Australian trees then they should be used to heat & sun - right?

http://www.aussiewillow.com/SHADE_TREES.html
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loneelk

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 05:21:43 am »

In our little corner of the desert southwest, the only place "tall" trees occur naturally is near the river.  Used to be more places, many years back, but we're currently in a long term drought that has pretty much killed trees that don't get supplemental watering from human hands.  In the washes (where rain would run off, if/when we get a real rain) there will be bigger mesquites that could be called "trees" that might get as much as 20' tall, as well as "desert willow" which is a lovely flowering "tree", that can get about that tall, but more often is a "shrub". 
We've tried to plant trees adjacent to our turnout, in two different locations, to provide shade for our boys, but none of our efforts have been successful  :(
ETA:  Our "issues" with growing here, besides a lack of precipitation, is that most of our soil is high alkaline and high clay content.  Afghan pine trees grow well on most but not all of our land.  We have also had success with Chinese pistache trees, which seem to tolerate low water conditions and also do reasonably well in our soil.  However, they don't really grow hugely tall. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 05:55:27 am by loneelk »
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
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Kalli

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 11:37:23 am »

My friend and I have had great success with the 2 we bought.  Haven't been using them much this summer but will go back to using them in a few months.

-Kalli
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GloriousJourney

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 07:53:42 am »

I was looking at the website drooling over them. Which size Grazers did you buy, the larger or the smaller? Do you know how many pounds of hay the ones you bought hold at one time? Thanks
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Lesley in Jupiter

melissah

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 09:05:27 am »

I was looking at the website drooling over them. Which size Grazers did you buy, the larger or the smaller? Do you know how many pounds of hay the ones you bought hold at one time? Thanks

We bought the XL Grazers. The website says they hold 30 lbs. I put 2 flakes in the morning and 2 in the evening. Our rectangular bales are about 100 lbs and have about 12-15 flakes per bale.

Learning curve.....About 2 weeks ago I started turning them out at 7 am with the PG's. I usually would keep them in their own stalls until about 11 am  or noon then turn out. Then I noticed they were all gaining weight (Reggie and Storm could use a little) but Mercy was a house! She was getting way too heavy. Went back to turn out at 11 or 12 and she is slimming down. She must have been going from grazer to grazer while all 3 were out. So I will turn them out later so she eats only her own hay.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

kckc

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 10:50:37 am »

hey, turn out early am, close the stall doors then let back in when it gets hot.... some exercise, maybe a few horse toys then lunch while the sun is beating down  :-)
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melissah

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 11:25:19 am »

hey, turn out early am, close the stall doors then let back in when it gets hot.... some exercise, maybe a few horse toys then lunch while the sun is beating down  :-)

Now that's a good idea!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

luckedra

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 09:29:09 am »

Interesting.  Just posted a thread about feeding my three.  If anyone has one that is used and wants to sell it let me know.  I couldn't afford to purchase several of these new.
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loneelk

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2014, 11:00:32 am »

Ginger--you'll need to advertise for them close to you.  Shipping them any distance at all is expensive.  We paid (best I remember) about $40 each for shipping PLUS the cost of the porta-grazers themselves.
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain"--Joseph Campbell
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ponymare

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2014, 02:24:06 pm »

Melissa, where did you get your 3 stall shelter?  On the new property we purchased in TN (for retirement) there will not be much room to put a shelter without eating up all their pasture. I've been trying to figure out what we would do.  Ideally we would be able to purchase the property next to us, but can't count on that!

and KCKC, those Aussie trees sound interesting, too. For use as livestock feed, does that mean they would just eat the leaves off the trees???
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kckc

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Re: Porta Grazers! Worth every penny!
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2014, 03:06:19 pm »

that's what I took it to mean, that the horses would eat them.... did you look them up?   I was going to order some to plant along the fence line for privacy and possibly food but just have not done it.   I bought the shade trees years ago.
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