Manufacturer: Porta-Grazer (View all products by Porta-Grazer)
Model: Porta-Grazer (View all Porta-Grazer reviews)
Category: Barn and Stable Misc
Purchase: I ordered three Porta-Grazers at the MN Horse Expo in spring of 2012. I bought two interlocking-top models (about $259 each) and one drop-in top model (about $229). I also ordered a lid (about $70) for camping / watering. I was looking for a way to save $$$ on hay and keep the horses from eating sand when they dropped hay on the ground. My horses were wasting about 20% of the hay we put out and then standing in the mess and looking hungry.
Likes: The Porta-Grazers definitely work. The horses are occupied with getting the hay out of the feeder and don't pull out huge mouthfuls and drop it on the ground. They spin the inserts to find the 'best' bites. The dirt drops to the bottom (sometimes there's more sand in the bottom of the feeder than I can believe!). There is a drain plug in the bottom that I took out so the rain drains out in the summer. Instead of wasting at least 20% of their hay, they now waste hardly any. With the price of hay in the midwest this past year, that's a lot of hay savings. They almost always have hay available which is important to their health. My Arab (the picky one) eats more hay which he needed to do and my Haflinger (the fat one) is more occupied and has NOT gained weight even with having hay available 24/7. I take one of the Porta-Grazers camping and it's great to keep the tie-line area clean and give the horse constant access to hay.
Dislikes: The drop in insert can be removed by my Haflinger, so I can only put about 2 small flakes in it. He still gets the insert out once in awhile. He can also get the interlocking inserts out, but that only happens rarely. He is a true magician and most normal horses would never have that ability. If you don't put the hay in properly i.e. lay the sections flat, the stems of hay can freeze with the horses saliva and then the insert won't rotate and the horses can't eat all of the hay. The interlocking inserts are tricky to get in and out to refill when it's dark out because the spot to line up is just a little hole in the side of the insert. That spot is not visible when the unit gets a little dirty or it's early morning or evening. We put a piece of duct tape on the side of the unit to mark the spot and that's helped, but it wears off. One of the horses jumped in the feeder and bent the insert just a bit, it's barely noticeable, but it's harder to fit that insert in now. I also worry that our pony will get a hoof caught in the holes in the feeder because she's right at the borderline between 'pony size' insert (smaller holes) and 'horse size'. According to the measurement, she's ok with the horse size, but I don't know how much 'give' there would be in the plastic holes if she jumped in the feeder. Also there would be no way to have a pony size insert and horse size inserts in the same paddock--the horses would have to be separated. The horses have to put their head way down inside the unit when the hay is almost gone--there's just no other way for it to work, and I understand that--but we've had a few skinned heads when a horse higher on the pecking order comes up and the horse with his head in the feeder doesn't notice quick enough and has to scramble out of the way. You have to buy one unit for each horse, which can be expensive.
Quality: The Porta-Grazers are well made. We have to tie them to stationary objects in the paddock otherwise the horses roll them down the incline and I have to drag them back up the hill every feeding time. The horses slam them around a lot and they are holding up well. Even in MN temperatures, they are not cracking or chipping.
Summary: The Porta-Grazers are a good investment. With what we have saved on hay they will have paid for themselves in about a year. I would definitely buy them again and would recommend them for anyone who wants to keep horses eating in a natural position and not scrounging in the dirt for their hay.
Usefulness Rating: 3.7 out of 5.
70 reader(s) voted.
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