How to Convert a Deer Feeder for Horses

Deer feeders can be converted to dispense horse feed.
Deer feeders can be converted to dispense horse feed. (Image: horse image by Tony Fortunato from

Deer feeders are used by landowners to draw deer onto their property. A deer feeder has a large hopper at the top that holds grain and dispenses it at measured intervals to a trough built into the base of the feeder. Deer often migrate thousands of miles in a breeding season, and owners are often left with a useless deer feeder. Obsolete deer feeders can be placed in your horse pasture and converted to dispense horse feed.

Things You'll Need

  • Deer feeder
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Hose
  • Scrub brush
  • Horse feed

Enlarge the holes in the base of the feeder with a pair of pliers. Grasp the edge of the hole with the pliers, bending the metal outward. Hammer the bent metal flat against the outside of the hopper to prevent the horses from injuring themselves on the exposed metal. The holes in most standard deer feeders are not large enough to allow horse grain to filter down from the hopper, so they need to be enlarged to keep the feed from getting stuck.

Turn the deer feeder on to clean it out. Remove the top of the feeder and turn it upside down, shaking gently to loosen any remaining food inside the hopper.

Insert a hose into the hopper and turn on the water to clean the feeder. Reach inside the hopper and scrub the feeder, allowing the water to flow into the troughs. Turn the feeder over and allow it to air-dry for 24 hours.

Place the feeder in the center of the pasture. Fill each trough on the feeder with horse feed, and pour the remaining feed in the hopper. Turn the timer on the hopper to dispense feed every twelve hours. Scatter a few flakes of hay around the pasture to encourage the horses to walk around as they eat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Horses are grazing animals and the majority of their diet should consist of hay and fresh grasses. They should only be supplemented by the feeder.

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