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The Farm & Stable durabale: All your questions about this horse hay feeder answered!

The Farm & Stable durabale: All your questions about this horse hay feeder answered!

Quick recap: The durable is a heavy-duty plastic tombstone hay feeder that takes large round hay bales.

This Q&A explains all you need to know about the Farm & Stable durabale, from its manufacturing, durability and suitability for your horse.


Plastic vs metal hay feeders?


You may be wondering- if the product is plastic, does it make it a lot weaker than metal hay feeders? No, the durabale is incredibly strong AND shatterproof! It is frost resistant and UV stabilised & protected so the changing seasons will have no effect on the quality, lifespan or durability of this hay feeder. In addition, it won’t rust and unlike metal hay feeders, it won’t be corroded over time by organic acids in hay, grass or muddy ground.


The Farm & Stable durabale is made in a ‘roto mould’ (in the UK), which is the type of moulding that a lot of plastic agricultural equipment or machine parts are made from. This process doesn't require pressurisation, instead, once the polymer is poured into the mould it is continually spun to ensure the plastic is the same thickness all over and ensures there are no bubbles or errors in the moulding. See a roto mild in action below. 


Why is the Farm & Stable durabale made from plastic?


The choice to make this hay feeder out of plastic was very deliberate as it has huge advantages over metal, these include:

  • It will not rust
  • It has no sharp edges so won't cause injury to horses
  • It can flex (see more advantages to this below)
  • It is lightweight and easy to move
  • It has a longer lifespan as it will not deteriorate
  • It is easy to connect together
  • It is versatile and can be set up as a 2-part or 3-part hay feeder


Is the durable made from recyclable plastic?


No - it is not yet recyclable, but it IS made from recycled plastic. Farm & Stable put huge efforts into making greener choices wherever possible, including reducing single-use plastics, increasing recycling on the premises and using recyclable packaging where possible. However, our ambitious plans to go green can sometimes come into conflict with our mission to deliver the goods our customers need and at the high quality that they expect.


In the case of the durable, although it is made from reclaimed plastic, it becomes a non-recyclable polymer. A fully recyclable polymer alternative would simply not be strong enough for the purpose of the product. Nevertheless, we continually lookout for innovative materials and would not shy away from adopting new resources if a suitable recyclable plastic became available.


Can I use this hay feeder for my foal?


Yes- with the exception of very small breeds of horse. Most foals reach about 80% of their mature height at 6 months old. This means if as an adult the horse is 16 hands, at 6-months old they will be 13.2. This hay feeder has been designed to accommodate all horses and ponies with a skirt height of 70cm. So, this feeder should be suitable for your foal, unless your foal is expected to mature into a very small pony. If you have Shetland ponies, this hay feeder might not be the right choice for you.

One more thing to consider is that if there is a small amount of hay in the feeder, your foal is unlikely to reach the hay in the very middle, particularly if they are competing with taller adult field companions. A solution to this is joining two sections of the feeder together to create what we call- the durabale ellipse. This makes the area in the middle much smaller, but it is the perfect size for a rectangular bale of hay.


What happens if my horse gets stuck in the middle of the hay feeder?


Horses are funny creatures that like to get up to mischief, whilst it is highly unlikely that your horse will get into the middle of the durabale, it is always good practice to know what to do in this very unlikely but technically possible situation!


As mentioned above, plastic has some give. This means your horse could possibly get one leg in, or their whole self in. This is technically possible – but highly unlikely, however in the event of this you are very unlikely to see any damage to the feeder or more importantly the horse. Plus, the sections are EVEN quicker to disassemble than they are to put together, so if you do happen to find your horse in the middle of the feeder, they can be very quickly released.


We have seen countless horses trapped in old or damaged metal feeders where the metal has started to corrode or have open bar sections. The durabale has no sharp edges or openings where a horse could catch their leg and all edges are curved to prevent any damage or bruising.


Why choose a tombstone hay feeder?


The tombstone hay feeder design was deliberately chosen to boost safety. If a horse puts its leg in the feeder there is a vastly reduced risk of injury. The durabale design has smooth rounded edges and there is no risk of a limb getting caught in any bars.


This durabale design also reduces the risk of injury as a result of bullying. How many times have you seen horses push each other away from the hay? You will see even the most docile horses have their head deep in the hay one minute, then the next they have their ears flat back and they are chasing their field ‘buddy’ away from the bale. With no bars, the unfortunate horse that is chased off the hay can at least escape with no risk of bashing its head.


Another benefit of the durabale design is the lack of bars means there is less chance a horse will rub out its mane. As a customer with show ponies pointed out, this is particularly useful for those that want their horses to retain their locks to look their best!


Who manufactures the durabale hay feeder?

Farm & Stable have worked with customers to create this bespoke design. The durabale is manufactured by Farm & Stable and is produced in the UK.


How fast will my durable be delivered?


Farm & Stable aim to deliver all larger goods, including the durable, within 2-3 working days across the UK.  


If any of your questions remain unanswered, please do not hesitate to call us on 01730 815800 may just find your question is added to this blog 

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