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Author Topic: Barn hacks  (Read 567 times)

KysaSD

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Barn hacks
« on: January 15, 2016, 06:27:20 am »

This is a thread for interesting little things you do or stuff you repurpose around the barn to make life simpler for you.

Kysa's winter feed barn hack.  I do have a water hydrant in my barn.  But for very obvious reasons, it is a self draining hydrant with water down 6 feet.  It takes forever for the water to come up, and the first water is mixed with air and splooshes around.  Not what I want in the winter.  However, I need to wet the alfalfa pellets the horses eat as a carrier for their mineral mix.  I keep a heated 5 gallon bucket of water plugged in next to my freezer feed container.  And I keep a soup ladle next to it.  I ladle the water over the pellets, and I don't have to deal with the water hydrant.  I fill e bucket every 10 to 15 days or so.

Hack number two.  It is frigid here in the winter.  Hardly news.  I have really heavy ski gloves that I wear for chores.  Lovely gloves, but not very good for the tablespoon scoops I need as I mix rations.  My old and/or IR horses get a bunch of stuff the others do not.  Instead of taking the glove off and having a naked hand, I have a thinner gardening glove I keep in the feed freezer.  I put that one for the 5 minutes I am scooping stuff.  No, not as warm as my ski glove, but certainly not as cold as a naked hand.  Then I put the ski glove back on before I go outside.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

slamduncan

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 08:47:20 am »

In our barn all the hay is stored up in the loft.  We have 3 horses, 3 different owners.  Our barn could house 10 horses.  So, we each took a stall to keep our hay in.  Lorna and I keep between 20 and 30 bales at a time.  Usually about once a month we go upstairs and toss down 15 to 20 at a time.  Making it much nicer out.  We also break open and dole out in piles a week at a time.  Makes it really easy.  The 3rd owner does whatever she does.  As long as there is no mess and her horse has his hay available it's up to here.

Everything that is fed out is on lists inside our big wooden grain box.. When you feed in the am you get it all ready for the night feeding.
That's our easy answers here in RI
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OldnOrnery

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 04:15:19 pm »

Organizing daily mineral supplements. I have 2 horses, 2 different weights, ages, energy requirements, each with her own supplement mix. I mix one month's worth of all 12  (blush) minerals+supplements on the same day for both horses. That means I dip into each supplement 2 times in one day and put it away for another month. To prepare, I multiply the daily amount for each horse by 30 days. I put the 30 day total in a feed bucket with a tight lid, and, after mixing it up, weigh the monthly mixture. This total weight I divide by 30 to get the 1/30th to feed each day. I write this number on a piece of masking tape on the bucket with the horse's name.

This means that each day I don't measure out 3 tablespoons of salt, two teaspoons of Vit. E, ΒΌ teaspoon of magnesium oxide, 1 teaspoon of chondroitin, etc. Instead of measuring magnesium oxide 30 times in a month/horse, I measure it once a month for 30 times the daily amount. Repeat for all 12 minerals+supplements I give each horse. To feed, I measure out of the bucket until I use up 30 daily doses. I measure each day, but I don't. About every 10 days I measure out 10 individual daily doses and put each in a baggie or a plastic storage container. I store each horse's daily baggies in a drawer. As feed time, I dump the supplements on the dampened cubes+pellets, mix and feed.

Why this is better. 12 measures initially for the mix + 30 daily dose measurements =  42 measurements a month/horse, for a total of 42 x 2 = 84 measurements per month. If I measured each supplement each day for each horse, it would be 12 each day x 30 days, or 360 measurements/horse x 2 horses = 720 measurements per month.

There's another reason it's better. It's easy to make mistakes measuring. It's hard to measure tiny amounts. This process limits number of measurements and avoids the need to weigh out tiny amounts. It is a lot easier to weigh 30 grams once than 1 gram 30 times. I could make my life easier by giving my mares the same supplement mix, splitting the difference in their weights and nutritional needs.

All this work, of course, is why people use store bought balancers.  :P
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GloriousJourney

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2016, 07:45:51 am »

My two are each on a handful of supplements. Since one is a large TWH, and the other a Shetland, they don't get the same amounts of anything, and the Walker gets an additional supplement since he actually works for a living. I also travel a fair amount, and have a woman that comes to care for my horses twice daily in my absence. Usually twice a month I mix 15 small sandwich size baggies per horse of their respective supplements, and they are stored in a bank of plastic drawers on my "feeding counter" in my little barn. Each has a drawer, and the third drawer has assorted ointments, wound stuff, etc. that are used as needed . This "bag making" takes me maybe a half hour, and makes the evening feeding time a breeze instead of tedious, and mistakes are not made in amounts given per horse.
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Lesley in Jupiter

Petey

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2016, 07:33:27 pm »

I have a question for Kysa - you said you keep your grain in a freezer. I used a freezer years ago & loved it to store my grain. (I never plugged it in because the weather was cool enough) So the question is:  do you plug your freezer in? I now live in AZ, so in the winter it's not a problem. But the summer heat can be a problem for bugs in the feed so I have to buy my feed as I use it. In the winter I can stock up. I was thinking of buying another freezer & possibly plugging it in & setting it on the lowest setting in the summer ??? Has anyone tried this?  Any thoughts???
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KysaSD

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2016, 08:09:22 pm »

No, it is a non functioning freezer...just a be metal square with a tight lid!  Keeps mice and horses out!
But I would think just keeping it closed up would limit bugs.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

Raylin

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 06:39:50 am »

We store our grain in an old freezer also. We use an old upright freezer for medicines, grooming tools, etc

I really don't have any real barn hacks here.

We did just get a heated dog bowl for the chickens instead of spending 40+ bucks on a heated chicken waterer.

Raylin
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kckc

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 12:02:00 pm »

« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 12:08:46 pm by kckc »
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savvyrmh

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 09:07:30 am »

My winter barn hack is to use the extendable hoses that come from Walmart - the pocket hose. It's lightweight and the water self drains, so after using it I just coil it up and pack it back to the garage to stay warm and keep from freezing. I hate frozen hoses with all my being.
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ahmenti

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 06:20:32 am »

We have an old non functioning freezer we use too to store our grain in.  It works great and keeps all the critters out.  This year all our horses are up the hill where before we had 2 down at the barn down the hill where the freezer is.  So this year we have an old metal barrel we put the grain in. 

We have recently bought a tractor trailer box for storage.  As soon as the weather clears up and the ground dries up, which who knows when that will be, the gentleman will bring it to the farm.  It is 42 feet and will hold all of our accumulated junk that we have acquired here at the farm.  Can't wait to get it.  We will move the freezer into it, all of our grain buckets, square bales of hay, a small desk, all of his tools, etc. etc.  It will really be nice.

Kim
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fargos handmaiden

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Re: Barn hacks
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 11:51:28 pm »

Along same lines as freezers, we use our old refrigerators for backroom cabinets for supplements, medicines, etc. Better for keeping mice out than shelves or wood.cabinets. and since no kids around. Guess that could change tbat practice since tbey do pose.a.danger for.small.children.
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