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Spilling Feed

i have an 18 yo gelding who is spilling his feed. He was recently treated for choke and so is now on a soaked feed diet. He is taking his teeth and grabbing the bucket and tossing it about and spilling half of his feed all over the floor. Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep him from doing this? I have tied the bucket to the stall with two bucket straps one that the bucket is hanging from at floor level and another pulling it against the wall but this has little effect. I have tried placing a salt rock in the bucket and he still tosses the bucket. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. He is on the same feed as he has always had we are just soaking it until it is a soupy consistency.

Get his teeth checked. Teeth problems make horses do weird things when eating. When was last time he was floated?

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What if you put the feed tub, and you need a deep one, like 20 bucks at tsc, in a tire? Thata what my old boarding barn did out in the fields, and for horses that needed to not flip their feed in the stall. Either that, or install a corner feeder? Yes it would have to get cleaned more, but when he is done eating just take your hand if its pretty empty, or a quick towel over it if its really gross, rinse n wring the towel out with his leftover water bucket, and hang it to dry by his stall.


Install three eye hooks in the corner of the stall and clip the bucket to that. The horse cannot move it.

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Yup, the rubber tub shoved inside an old tire will CURE the tipping feed bucket problem. Easy fix.

There used to be a mat with a feed pan all one piece.
Horse had to step on the mat to eat and could not flip the feed pan.
You could make one such with a light small mat.

Last spring.

Not quite the same but similar – old gelding dribbled food out of his mouth, and the walked away (I suspect he was senile and forgot what the bucket was there for) --anyway, I put a nose bag on him. Problem solved. He can walk all over in his stall or pasture, but that food is right where it needs to be. I soak his extruded “grain” so it is a thick paste --he licks it all up. Find them on Amazon for under $20.

Quoting because this is all getting REALLY weird.


Thanks for the replies. His teeth were checked in November and checked out fine. It’s almost like he is tossing the bucket around on purpose, he will grab the lip of the bucket with his teeth and sling it to the side like he was throwing it to someone. Don’t know but it’s getting to be pretty routine with him. I haven’t been giving him any more feed to replace what he spills so he doesn’t think “ if I spill it I’ll just get more anyway” and (felt pretty dumb) gave him a good talking to (like he understood what I was saying) and told him he wouldn’t get any more than that and he could eat it off the floor…I’m just concerned that he’s not getting enough feed now and it could get rather costly if I have to start feeding him more or more often.

My boy was a feed tub destroyer! Ripped up buckets and even the corner feeder bolted in. :uhoh: Now he gets his food one of two ways: The area under the feed drop window is matted and is swept clean when stall is done. His dry grain is jut dropped there. When he gets something soaked, we use those shallow rubber feed pans. Much less tossing until it is empty. He has kicked it around his stall, but it survives and he seems to eat first.

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It sounds like he doesn’t like soup. Can you reduce the water from soupy to very damp?


As others said above, the corner feed tub with a clean, swept mat under it works for my messy guys right now. Once I had a mare who was such a nut I fed her with a feed bag, like the kind the carriage horses use. It worked for her.

Did the spilling start when you went to the soaked grain? It’s possible he just doesn’t like it that wet. You can try making it a little less soupy to see if that helps.

Thanks for all the responses. He did toss the bucket a little bit before he choked but now it’s every feed time. Unfortunately the vet said soupy from now on she even has us soaking any regular hay if we give him that. I’m not exactly sure what we are going to do once he’s turned back out in the big pasture and is grazing in the spring either, but I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. I will try the bucket in the old tire and see if that works. Thanks for all the suggestions.