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Self-Feeder For Dogs
Tired of multiple dog dishes, twice a day feeding and occasional spills that attracted birds and other pests, Jeff Hoard made a self-feeder for his 3 dogs. Now his dogs decide when and how much to eat with virtually no waste.
  “I saw a self feeder for dogs at a neighboring farm years ago and finally decided to build one,” says Hoard. “I used scrap plywood and a used plastic protein tub.”
  Hoard cut the plywood to match the top of the tub with a 1-in. overhang on the access side. He then cut the plywood in half, added hinges to the 2 sides, and screwed the smaller half to the rim of the tub.
  “The plywood needs to be lightweight, 3/8-in. is about right,” says Hoard. “I added a strip of stiff plastic to the access side and overlapped the fixed side. It provides just enough resistance to keep the lid from flipping clear over when dogs get a little overzealous opening the lid.”
  While the whole project only took about 45 min., teaching the dogs to use it took more than a week. For the first few days, the lid was left open so they learned the food was in the tub. Hoard then used a small piece of 4 by 4 to keep the door partly open. After a few days he replaced the 4 by 4 with a 2 by 2. A few days later it was removed, and the dogs began to push the lid open on their own.
  “Our 3-year old caught on right away, soon followed by the 5-year old,” says Hoard. “The last dog, an 8-year old, seemed like a real ‘cement head’, but finally caught on. After watching their behavior, my wife Karen and I both agreed that the older dog wasn’t dumber than the other two, just more stubborn.”
  Hoard says the food stays much cleaner than in an open dog dish, as rodents and birds can’t get to it. The feeder holds a lot of dog food so it doesn’t have to be filled as often, and the dogs eat a little whenever they are hungry.
  Hoard shares his creative scrounging ideas and projects on his DVD titled Hillbilly Heaven, available on his website.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, HM Ranch, HC 61, Box 6108, Austin, Nevada 89310 (ph 775 217-9264; www.hmranch-hoardmfg.com; hmfgranch@gmail.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5