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What is a Creep Feeder and Building Your Own

There are a large number of creep feeders that may be purchased ready-made. Yet some horse owners prefer to build their own, especially when they seek to accommodate a certain number of foals.
While it is immaterial if the actual design results in a round or square feeder, it is generally advisable to use lumber or pipe materials when crafting your very own creep feeder.

Of high importance is the actual perimeter of the feeder which ensures that there will be adequate room for the animals to eat. For example, if you are thinking of building a creep feeder for only one foal, you will most likely need to size it at about eight feet by 12 feet. On the other hand, if you are designing a feeder for three foals, you will need to

increase the dimensions to 12 by 12 feet. A larger number of foals will also call for an increase in size of the creep feeder.

It is advisable to plan the layout of the creep feeder in such a manner that the foals will be able to gain access – and also leave – from at least two sides. The actual size of the opening as well as the measurable height of the creep itself depends in large part on the foals’ ages as well as sizes. Since these vary, many horse owners who are designing and building their own feeders have chosen to make these parameters adjustable to fit the needs of their animals. If you are uncertain, the general rule of thumb dictates that four feet are considered a normal opening. To prevent the mares from reaching the feed tub, it is considered a good idea to place it either in the very middle or in the far away corner. To further prevent the mare from gaining access to the feed tub, many a horse owner who constructs her or his own creep feeder has taken to also installing a gate on the feeder as an added security measure.

Seasoned horse owners will check their creep regularly to find out how much of the feed is actually being eaten. Additionally, they will be sure to examine the whole feeder structure to prevent loose boards or pipes from coming off or presenting injury hazards to the animals.

If you are ready to try your hand at building your own creep feeder, you may wish to discuss the matter with your veterinarian who will be able to give you a lot of input. In addition to the foregoing, there are several foal care books on the market that also contain plans for the construction of a proper creep feeder. If you want to take a look at a working feeder, you may want to visit your local breeding farm for some ideas.

Read the next horse breeding article on First Time Foaling.
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