Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Eating Iron

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When I originally designed our slow feeding hay boxes, I wanted to make them robust enough to handle the tenacious jaws of always curious horses. I’d seen how much wood horses can chew off fence boards and didn’t want the boxes to come apart whenever hay runs out and they turn their attention to the structures themselves.

For that reason, I chose cast iron corner pieces as stops to prevent the grate from being lifted out when the horses yank up on it. On the other end, I used a metal chain like the ones that secure our fence gates. This allows quick and easy access to remove the grate, and I figured the familiarity of the chain for them would be a good thing.

I didn’t expect they would chew the iron to bits.

So far, they have only abused one of the two boxes, so I am using the other box to show how it looked with the cast iron corner pieces in place.

And this is what was left when I removed the fragments from the abused box yesterday:

Do you think they are getting enough iron in their diet?

Meanwhile, they have hardly chewed a scratch into the wood of either box.

Based on that, and because wood is easier to replace, I’ve resorted to a much less elegant stop, using two small pieces of scrap plywood.

Seems to me to be easy fodder for their teeth to grab, but we’ll see how this goes. Wont’ be the first time they surprise me if they end up leaving them intact.

Just when I think I might be outsmarting them…

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

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