Animal-controlled Supply Patents (Class 119/54)
  • Patent number: 10064386
    Abstract: A feed chute for dispensing to a first kind of animal but rejecting a larger muzzle and tongue of a second kind of animal. A gate is hinged to a first shorter side wall such that the gate forms one side of a dispenser end of the chute when the gate is fully-open, sufficiently large to accommodate a muzzle of the first kind of animal. The gate detente determines a closed position of the dispenser end. When the second kind of animal attempts to access the feed, its wider muzzle urges the gate towards the fully-closed position, which is sufficiently small to prevent entry of the second kind's muzzle and tongue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Inventor: Shane Winn
  • Patent number: 9675044
    Abstract: An animal enrichment device that includes a support coupled to a base and a mobile member coupled to the support such that the mobile member can move relative to the base and/or the support. The mobile member includes at least one food retaining element, which provides a first mode of food release. The mobile member and/or the support is at least partially hollow for storing food therein. Efforts by the animal to remove food from the at least one food retaining element will cause the mobile member to move relative to the base and intermittently release the food stored within the mobile member and/or the support, which provides a second mode of food release.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Inventor: Mark Glazebrook
  • Patent number: 9572326
    Abstract: A poultry feeder with beak growth control device is provided. In one embodiment, the feeder includes a feeder pan, a feeder tower, and a beak grooming ring. The grooming ring is removably inserted in the feeder and has an annular shape complementary configured to engage a corresponding shape of the feeder pan. Preferably, the grooming ring has a self-supporting structure that retains its complementary shape to the feeder pan independently of the pan when removed therefrom. The grooming ring is insertable and removable from feeder as a separable unit from the feeder and operable to abrade the beak while the birds feed, thereby controlling its growth and length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Valco Companies, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick W. Steudler, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9491928
    Abstract: An illuminated scratch post is disclosed comprising a housing and an integrated lighting device. The housing includes a central lighting support with one or more lighting elements disposed thereon from the integrated lighting device. The central lighting support is encased by a light transmissive substrate also comprising the housing. Further, the housing has an outer surface covered, at least in part, by a light transmissive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Inventor: Jacob C. Mills
  • Patent number: 8997692
    Abstract: A pet feeding system that includes a dish assembly configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish assembly includes a housing and a cooperating food-dispensing receptacle that dispenses food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one feeder port that only permits a paw of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food, while preventing direct access to the food by the head or muzzle of the pet. A lip can be provided adjacent the feeder port that provides an obstacle to free withdrawal of the food out of the feeder port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Betsy M. Lipscomb, Qing He, Stanley L. Suring
  • Patent number: 8997691
    Abstract: A pet feeding system is disclosed that includes a dish configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish has a housing in cooperation with a food-dispensing receptacle that dispense food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one food access port that only permits part of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food. The food-dispensing receptacle can be a bowl that can be integrally formed as part of the housing and can also be a food-holding container that seats in the bowl. A cap is provided that can cover food in the bowl or container preventing a pet from accessing the food.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Stanley L. Suring
  • Patent number: 8955457
    Abstract: A method for feeding farmed fish by using au automatic feeder (20), which supplies a feed to the farmed fish in accordance with a preset feeding schedule, and a feed-demand sensor (22), which detects a demand for the feed by the farmed fish, characterized in that the feed-supply by the automatic feeder (20) is controlled on the basis of the detection results from the feed-demand sensor (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.
    Inventors: Weimin Chen, Toru Mitsuboshi
  • Publication number: 20140130747
    Abstract: A pet feeding system that includes a dish assembly configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish assembly includes a housing and a cooperating food-dispensing receptacle that dispenses food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one feeder port that only permits a paw of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food, while preventing direct access to the food by the head or muzzle of the pet. A lip can be provided adjacent the feeder port that provides an obstacle to free withdrawal of the food out of the feeder port.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 15, 2014
    Applicant: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Betsy M. Lipscomb, Qing He, Stanley L. Suring
  • Publication number: 20140026818
    Abstract: An on-demand animal feed apparatus is provided comprising a receiving chamber, base tube and actuator. The receiving chamber comprises an upper section to connect to a feed supply, a lower section, and an intermediate section disposed between the upper and lower sections. A base tube is connected to the lower section of the receiving chamber and cooperates with the receiving chamber to define the feed reservoir. A lower portion of the base tube defines a discharge opening for dispensing animal feed. An actuator is disposed at least partially within the base tube and is configured to raise and lower in an axial direction in response to movement by an animal, thereby allowing the transfer of animal feed from the feed reservoir through the discharge opening. The lower section of the receiving chamber defines a relief area for the temporary displacement of animal feed when the actuator is raised or lowered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Publication date: January 30, 2014
    Applicant: CTB, INC.
    Inventors: Beau William Brumbaugh, Harry R. Van Horn, II
  • Patent number: 8631763
    Abstract: A pet feeding system that includes a dish assembly configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish assembly includes a housing and a cooperating food-dispensing receptacle that dispenses food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one feeder port that only permits a paw of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food, while preventing direct access to the food by the head or muzzle of the pet. A lip can be provided adjacent the feeder port that provides an obstacle to free withdrawal of the food out of the feeder port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Betsy M. Lipscomb, Qing He, Stanley L. Suring
  • Patent number: 8596218
    Abstract: An on-demand animal feed apparatus is provided comprising a receiving chamber, base tube and actuator. The receiving chamber comprises an upper section to connect to a feed supply, a lower section, and an intermediate section disposed between the upper and lower sections. A base tube is connected to the lower section of the receiving chamber and cooperates with the receiving chamber to define the feed reservoir. A lower portion of the base tube defines a discharge opening for dispensing animal feed. An actuator is disposed at least partially within the base tube and is configured to raise and lower in an axial direction in response to movement by an animal, thereby allowing the transfer of animal feed from the feed reservoir through the discharge opening. The lower section of the receiving chamber defines a relief area for the temporary displacement of animal feed when the actuator is raised or lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: CTB, Inc.
    Inventors: Beau William Brumbaugh, Harry Ronald Van Horn, II
  • Patent number: 8596219
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for feeding a pet in a manner that engages the pet and provides stimulation and exercise. Exemplary apparatus for dispensing animal food include a food hopper for containing animal food operatively connected to a food handler that launches a portion or ration of the animal food away from the unit in response to detecting a triggering action of the animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Inventor: Kevin Miller
  • Publication number: 20130276710
    Abstract: A bird-operated interactive bird feeder is provided. The interactive bird feeder attracts birds and dispenses a substantially predetermined amount of bird feed (e.g. bird seed) when a bird operates a tool. Bird feed is held in storage in a feed hopper (i.e. housing) above a stage. An aperture is provided in the bottom of the housing large enough for the enclosed feed to flow freely from the housing to the stage. However, the aperture is equipped with the tool that causes the feed to bridge. When a bird operates the tool, the tool disrupts the bridged feed causing feed flow for a period of time, and then rebuilds the feed bridge when the bird ceases operation of the tool. Avid bird watchers can therefore enjoy watching birds for extended periods of time since the birds encounter larger amounts of feed at the stage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Publication date: October 24, 2013
    Inventor: Robert Wesley Taber
  • Publication number: 20130276711
    Abstract: A pet feeding system is disclosed that includes a dish configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish has a housing in cooperation with a food-dispensing receptacle that dispense food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one food access port that only permits part of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food. The food-dispensing receptacle can be a bowl that can be integrally formed as part of the housing and can also be a food-holding container that seats in the bowl. A cap is provided that can cover food in the bowl or container preventing a pet from accessing the food.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Publication date: October 24, 2013
    Inventor: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
  • Patent number: 8397674
    Abstract: A pet feeding system that includes a dish configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish has a housing in cooperation with a food-dispensing receptacle that dispense food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one food access port that only permits part of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food. The food-dispensing receptacle can be a bowl that can be integrally formed as part of the housing and can also be a food-holding container that seats in the bowl. A cap is provided that can cover food in the bowl or container preventing a pet from accessing the food.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Pioneer Pet Products, LLC
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Stanley L. Suring
  • Patent number: 8347817
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for feeding a pet in a manner that engages the pet and provides stimulation and exercise. Exemplary apparatus for dispensing animal food include a food hopper for containing animal food operatively connected to a food handler that launches a portion or ration of the animal food away from the unit in response to detecting a triggering action of the animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Kevin Miller
  • Publication number: 20120234248
    Abstract: A dry animal food feeder device that is adapted to provide a quantity of food based on input from a domestic animal. The device comprises a dry food hopper, which funnels downward to a smaller opening having a flapper-type trap door, operably connected to a series of linkages and a slide gate. A paw pedal is provided, which when depressed, operates the linkages to open the hopper trap door and release the slide gate, providing a quantity of food without dispensing the entire hopper upon depression of the pedal. The linkages are spring assisted to return to a first, closed state upon release of the paw pedal. The dispensing end of the device includes a chute or slide to flow food products therefrom and onto a ground surface for consumption. The entire assembly is housed in a waterproof container to prevent spoilage of the dry food products within the funnel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2011
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventor: Anthony Lytle
  • Publication number: 20120037079
    Abstract: An animal feeder having a feed reservoir for storing flowable solid animal feed, a feed zone receiving animal feed from the feed reservoir, and a tray pivotally attached below the feed zone, the tray being pivotable between a first position and a second position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2010
    Publication date: February 16, 2012
    Inventors: MARK RASMUSSEN, Melvin Rasmussen
  • Publication number: 20110297093
    Abstract: A pet food dispenser has a container, a bottom lid and a receiving plate. The bottom lid is covered on a bottom opening of the container and has multiple through holes. The receiving plate is connected to the bottom lid. A gap is formed between the receiving plate and the bottom lid. The pet foods in the container drop out from the through holes of the bottom lid. Because the receiving plate collects dropped pet food, only some pet food is released for the pets to eat. The pets need to push the pet food dispenser to topple and roll so that more and more pet food is released. Therefore, the pet food dispenser efficiently leads the pets to move more by using food to attract the pets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Inventor: CHIH-CHENG LAI
  • Patent number: 7963250
    Abstract: An animal feeder which is adapted to simultaneously dispense feed and liquid onto a feed material receiving member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Inventors: Joey Rey Brehmer, John Philip O'Mara, Jamie Charles Brehmer
  • Publication number: 20100269757
    Abstract: An pet food dispensing device includes a dispenser, an outer case, a pet food container, a slant guide, a driving device, and dispensing spouts. The dispenser includes a shaft, a dispensing disc, a rectangular push-out plate, a semi-circular plate and a stirrer. The dispensing disc includes top and bottom layers, which are positioned adjacently. The top layer of the dispensing disc includes one or more bumps on the top surface. The rectangular foam push out plate turns counter-clockwise dispensing pet food from the upper portion of semi-circular plate towards slant guide. The stirrer of the pet food dispenser includes a first flap extended from the first edge of the bottom layer of the dispensing disc, and the first flap is bent downwardly below the horizontal plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Publication date: October 28, 2010
    Inventor: Sung Ho Park
  • Publication number: 20100122660
    Abstract: An on demand food and water dispenser for pets comprises a base structure, having a base floor and a surrounding substantially vertical base wall structure, capable of holding water; a food bowl, having a bowl floor and a surrounding substantially vertical bowl wall structure attached to the base floor within the base structure but not contacting the base wall structure, the bowl capable of holding food; and a dual-chambered container attached within the base structure but not contacting the base wall structure, capable of receiving, storing and dispensing on demand from a first chamber dry pet food into the food bowl and on demand from a second chamber water into the base structure. The base structure receives dispensed water from the second chamber to create a water-filled moat that inhibits crawling insects from accessing the food bowl or food stored in the first chamber of the dual chambered container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2009
    Publication date: May 20, 2010
    Inventor: Shelley Sue Willett
  • Publication number: 20100077963
    Abstract: A pet feeding system is disclosed that includes a dish configured to regulate intake of food by a pet, such as a cat. The dish has a housing in cooperation with a food-dispensing receptacle that dispense food into a food-receiving chamber within the housing permitting a pet to access food in the chamber through at least one food access port that only permits part of the pet to reach within the housing to get some food. The food-dispensing receptacle can be a bowl that can be integrally formed as part of the housing and can also be a food-holding container that seats in the bowl. A cap is provided that can cover food in the bowl or container preventing a pet from accessing the food.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2009
    Publication date: April 1, 2010
    Inventors: John M. Lipscomb, Stanley L. Suring
  • Patent number: 7650855
    Abstract: An automatic pet feeder is provided for feeding pets predetermined quantity of food or medication at predetermined times while the owner is absent or otherwise engaged. The pet feeder comprises a base, a feeding bowl with pie shaped divisions, a timer module, a bowl cover, handle to bowl cover and locking mechanism to hold the entire unit in place. A timer is provided with voice recording facility and also initiates programmed feeding schedules. The programming of the timer determines when the feeder cover is indexed so that the pet may have access to the food provided in it. This programming can be done through the timer interface RF or IR remotes and or through an USB port interface to a computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Inventor: Sundararajan Krishnamurthy
  • Patent number: 7631614
    Abstract: A feeder for animals which includes a feed storage tank equipped with at least one chute at its base, through which the feed falls due to the force of gravity. The feeder also includes a distribution tray arranged beneath the chute of the tank to collect the feed coming from the feed storage tank. The feeder further includes a supporting body for supporting the distribution tray, an operating lever for moving the distribution tray and an articulated joint for joining the operating lever to the supporting body. The operating lever is arranged beneath the distribution tray, where the operating lever may be easily moved by an animal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Rotecna S.A.
    Inventor: Gener Romeu Guardia
  • Patent number: 7549393
    Abstract: A two sided feeder for feeding animals as they grow from a first smaller size to a larger size includes a trough with a shelf mounted above the base of the trough with a feed hopper positioned for depositing feed onto the shelf and a water pipe formed from a rectangular tube and extending along the trough at a position underneath the shelf with a plurality of water nipples at spaced positions along the water pipe. A plurality of divider members are clamped on the pipe each between two of the water nipples such that the divider members together act to separate one side of the trough from the other side to prevent the passage therebetween of the animals when at the smaller size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Crystal Spring Colony Farms Ltd.
    Inventor: Jonathan Kleinsasser
  • Publication number: 20090126640
    Abstract: An animal feeder comprising a hopper for storing pieces of food is provided. The hopper includes an opening and a gate movable with respect to the hopper between an open position rendering the opening at least partially accessible to an animal and a closed position at least partially preventing access to the opening by an animal. A switch is coupled for activation by movement of the gate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2006
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Applicant: RESEARCH DIETS, INC.
    Inventors: Edward A. Ulman, Jaroslaw Kockanek, Douglas S. Compton, Matthew R. Williams
  • Patent number: 7395783
    Abstract: A wildlife feeder is provided, including a wildlife feeder that may be used for squirrels. The wildlife feeder includes a frame and an axle. The axle is rotatably attached to the frame and has a cage wheel and a feed dispensing wheel attached thereto, such that rotation of the cage wheel such as will occur when an animal is running therein, will cause rotation of the feed wheel. The feed wheel is adjacent a container having a container opening, which container contains a multiplicity of food particles gravity fed to the opening. As the feed wheel, which has cutouts therein, rotates, it dispenses particular wildlife feed therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: Kaspar Wire Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Jack Wooley, Patrick Benes, Helen Knebel, legal representative, Linda G. Armstrong, Eric Knebel
  • Publication number: 20080127901
    Abstract: A feeder for feeding animals at the weanling stage has a trough with two opposed outwardly inclined front walls over which the animals can reach for taking feed from the trough and a feed hopper for discharging feed downwardly onto a shelf above the trough. Water is supplied into the trough so that the animals may take the feed dry on the shelf or wet from the trough. Water is normally supplied through a first water supply line which has a series of nipples controlled by the animals. However, while the weanlings are very young the first water supply line is closed off and water is supplied from a second supply line which is managed by a timer and water level sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventor: Jonathan Kleinsasser
  • Publication number: 20080060583
    Abstract: The biscuit dispensing machine is activated by the dog or pet. The machine sits on a base. Affixed to the base is the body of the machine which has and upper compartment that stores the biscuits. Lower part of the body that the pedal mounted into creates the chute. When the pedal is pressed down on by the dog or pet it releases a biscuit down the chute to the to the dog or pet. The pedal is repositioned by a spring or rubber band thus putting the biscuit in the ready position. The machine can be locked in the down position by moving a pin to hold the pedal down, thus deactivating the machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Publication date: March 13, 2008
    Inventor: Peter Leo Liberto
  • Patent number: 7243611
    Abstract: A drinking trough having a drinking valve assigned to a water-supply line, the drinking valve having a valve pin that moves in order to discharge water; a water-collecting bowl assigned to the respective drinking valve; an actuating means or elongated actuating end of the valve pin extending from the valve pin to a water-accommodating hollow of the water-collecting bowl, the actuating means being movable between an actuated position to an unactuated position; and a starter body assigned to the respective water-collecting bowl, in which the starter body actuates the actuating means by moving the actuating means to the actuated position when water in the water-collecting bowl reaches a certain lower level, whereby the moving of the actuating means to the actuated position actuates the valve pin so as to allow water to flow from the drinking valve into the water-collecting bowl, and when the water in the water-collecting bowl reaches a certain higher level, the actuating means moves to the unactuated position, w
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: Lubing Maschinenfabrik Ludwig
    Inventors: Egon Schumacher, Wolfgang Meyer
  • Patent number: 7096822
    Abstract: A feeding apparatus comprises a frame being arranged to be supported to a suitable support structure, a stationary bowl member having an open bottom end being arranged to hold feed and a rotatable plate at the open bottom end of the bowl member. An adjustment mechanism being arranged for spacing the plate from the bottom end of the bowl member such that rotation of the plate releases the feed onto the plate for feeding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Inventor: Gilbert Hofer
  • Patent number: 7055459
    Abstract: An animal feed dispenser is disclosed with a cabinet mounted feed support shelf pivots between a feed support and discharge positions. A release member can engage and disengage the feed support shelf to hold the feed support shelf in the feed support position and release the shelf to move to the feed discharge position. A frame mounts the shelf for movement between a substantially horizontal feed loading position and a substantially upright operative position. The shelves can be pivoted up from the feed discharge positions during loading with the frame in the feed loading position. In another aspect, plural shelves are mounted within the cabinet in an elevational array and are supported one against another until release members move to allow movement of each to the feed discharge position. A further aspect includes a manger that can be selectively mounted to the cabinet to face different directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Inventors: Ed Fehringer, Dan Fehringer
  • Patent number: 6959664
    Abstract: A swine feeder for use in feeding individually housed gestating swine. The feeder includes a hollow tube containing feed. The tube controls the amount of feed by having its lower, angled end contained within a feeding tube that is moveable by the individual sow to discharge the feed only when the sow applies a force to the feeding tube. The feeder may be connected to a supply of feed, and typically, the feeder is attached to the individual crate of each sow such that a limited amount of feed is dispersed into the sow's feeding area, usually a trough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Inventors: Karl Keuter, Arlin Karsten
  • Patent number: 6938578
    Abstract: Known drinking troughs with drinking valves (21), which are assigned to a water-supply line (20), and water-collecting bowls (24) assigned to said drinking valves are problematic when it comes to supplying young chicks automatically with water. Known drinking troughs have proven unsuitable for young turkey chicks. The invention proposes a drinking trough which is also suitable for young turkey chicks. This drinking trough is distinguished in that valve pins for opening the drinking valves (21) are assigned elongate, tubular actuating levers (25). The actuating levers (25) facilitate the opening of the drinking valves (21). Moreover, by way of the tubular actuating levers (25) extending into the water-collecting bowls (24), the water passing out of the drinking valves (21) is directed specifically into he water-collecting bowls (24), as a result of which splashing of water is avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Lubing Maschinenfabrik Ludwig Bening GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Egon Schumacher
  • Publication number: 20040194714
    Abstract: The present invention provides an integrated type Internet pet food feeder for use at home and an Internet pet food feeding system using the same, which can monitor a pet using a wire/wireless Internet and controlling an automatic supply of food at a remote location while monitoring the pet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2004
    Publication date: October 7, 2004
    Inventor: Ji-Hong Lee
  • Patent number: 6748898
    Abstract: An animal feeder has a hopper for storing pieces of food. The bottom of the hopper has an opening accessible by an animal. The opening is smaller than a piece of food, but large enough for the animal to gnaw the food through the opening. The hopper has a surface adjacent the opening, to receive fallen gnawed food and hold the fallen gnawed food in a position accessible by the animal for eating. The hopper engages a mounting bracket. The bracket has a lip which partially covers the receiving surface of the hopper to physically limit the animal from leaning on the hopper and to prevent the hopper from tipping back so far that it falls off the conical mount. A conical mount transmits a downward force from the conical bottom surface to a sensor, but does not transmit an upward force or moment to the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Research Diets, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Ulman, Barrie Hopewell, Nathan B. Price, Dominic Sarica, Frederick E. Jackson, Daniel E. Shapiro
  • Patent number: 6666167
    Abstract: A dry particulate food dispenser provides food to pets in response to a scratching action upon a scratching surface. The scratching action operates an adjustable valve located inside a food hopper and limits the amount of food dropped into a supporting bowl. The adjustable valve allows the user to control the amount of food provided in each actuation of the valve and accommodates different shapes and sizes of dry food.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Inventor: Gerard Joseph Carlson
  • Patent number: 6578517
    Abstract: An autonomus, weatherproof device is capable of providing dry feed material to game animals. This device provides minimal feed “on demand” as the target animal makes contact with the device actuator. Vents in the device alert animals to the presence of the food by releasing continuous scent. A key feature of the device is an internal baffle that mitigates the gravity-fed pressure of a large feed column upon the actuator. The device can be sized to contain any suitable feed material and physically located to encourage or discourage nontarget animals from foraging. While the present invention is designed for hunters to attract game animals, domestic animals could also be fed using such a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Inventor: Samuel Douglas Borries
  • Patent number: 6405678
    Abstract: An absorbent material for house pet animals, includes pulp fibers containing a natural or synthetic polymer and formed in a granular shape; and a solution of an amphoteric polymer having an acidic pH. The solution is added to the pulp fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Uni-Heartous Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Ikegami, Kengo Ochi
  • Patent number: 6367418
    Abstract: An animal feeder has a hopper for storing pieces of food. The bottom of the hopper has an opening accessible by an animal. The opening is smaller than a piece of food, but large enough for the animal to gnaw the food through the opening. The hopper has a surface adjacent the opening, to receive fallen gnawed food and hold the fallen gnawed food in a position accessible by the animal for eating. The hopper engages a mounting bracket. The bracket is directly attachable to the animal's cage. The bracket has a lip which partially covers the receiving surface of the hopper to physically limit the animal from leaning on the hopper and to prevent the hopper from tipping back so far that it falls off the conical mount. A conical bottom surface is attached to the hopper. The conical bottom surface seats on a conical mount. The conical mount transmits a downward force from the conical bottom surface to a sensor, but does not transmit an upward force or moment to the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Research Diets, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Ulman, Barrie Hopewell, Nathan B. Price, Frederick E. Jackson, Daniel E. Shapiro
  • Patent number: 6293225
    Abstract: An automatic dispenser capable of delivering accurate quantities of fodder and minimizing waste is disclosed, which dispenser includes a closing mechanism having a plate that scrapes against a wall of the dispenser as the closing mechanism is actuated to reduce the build-up of fodder on the wall of the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Inventor: Christian Dahl
  • Patent number: 6234111
    Abstract: An animal feeder has a hopper for storing pieces of food. The bottom of the hopper has an opening accessible by an animal. The opening is smaller than a piece of food, but large enough for the animal to gnaw the food through the opening. The hopper has a surface adjacent the opening, to receive fallen gnawed food and hold the fallen gnawed food in a position accessible by the animal for eating. The hopper engages a mounting bracket. The bracket is directly attachable to the animal's cage. The bracket has a lip which partially covers the receiving surface of the hopper to physically limit the animal from leaning on the hopper and to prevent the hopper from tipping back so far that it falls off the conical mount. A conical bottom surface is attached to the hopper. The conical bottom surface seats on a conical mount. The conical mount transmits a downward force from the conical bottom surface to a sensor, but does not transmit an upward force or moment to the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Research Diets, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Ulman, Barrie Hopewell, Nathan B. Price, Dominic Sarica, Frederick E. Jackson, Daniel E. Shapiro
  • Patent number: 6182607
    Abstract: An animal feeder is comprised of a feed hopper for the containment of animal feed and having feed discharge drums located in a lower section of the hopper. The drums are provided with feed transport cavities to transport feed from the hopper to a feed trough disposed below the hopper. The drum is maintained at a predetermined inoperative position by means of a weighted bar element which is actuated by an animal to displace the drum and transfer feed from the hopper to the feed trough. A feed arresting bar is horizontally secured at a predetermined location in each feed transport cavity to obstruct free flow of feed when the drum is in motion to a discharge position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Les Industries G. Dumas Inc.
    Inventors: Gilles Dumas, Raymond Lemelin, Bruno Leclerc
  • Patent number: 6142100
    Abstract: A water and/or liquid foodstuff dispenser for small pets which comprises a container having, at a bottom thereof, a dispensing device which is constituted by a tubular element arranged at an obtuse angle with respect to a longitudinal extension of the container, with a flanged tang which is hermetically connected to the container, and is provided with a free end which is perimetrically folded inwards and internally provided with a flow control element which is pushed closed by a spring, a stem of the control element protruding outside the free end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Marchioro S.p.A. Stampaggio Materie Plastiche
    Inventor: Domenico Marchioro
  • Patent number: 6116471
    Abstract: Improved apparatus and method are provided for the dispensing of particulate material from the gravitationally bottom discharge mouth of a hopper. In a presently preferred form, the particulate material moves downwardly first through a conically sided zone to a toroidally-configured aperture, and, after passage therethrough, moves downwardly through a cavity that preferably has a cross-sectionally circular perimeter. Centrally upstanding in the cavity is a body with preferably conically diverging sides over which the particulate material moves downwardly to a cover plate or deck which has a circumferentially extending discharge opening through which the particulate material is discharged. Most preferably, the body also extends upwardly through the aperture and through the conically sided zone. Particulate material downward movement and discharge is produced by shaking, preferably vibration, of the deck. A presently preferred particulate material is fish feed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Inventor: Gary E. Miller
  • Patent number: 6101975
    Abstract: Feed hopper for a sow has opening at bottom surrounded by a seat upon which a ball check is adapted to rest, thereby to seal the opening and prevent the discharge of feed therethrough. A sow can nudge upwardly the ball check, unsealing the opening and permitting the discharge of feed from the hopper. Vertically adjustable means limit upward movement of the ball check so as to limit the maximum extent to which the opening can be unsealed. A water button, operatively connected to a source of water, can be nudged by the sow to discharge water for her.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Inventors: Keith Berry, Brian Berry
  • Patent number: 5992349
    Abstract: The present invention provides an animal feeder comprising a hopper and a feed tray into which feed is gravity fed from the hopper. The hopper has an inverse funnel shape to prevent feed jams. The feeder is formed from two halves with a metering gate that meters the feed fed from the hopper to the tray. The metering gate has a limited swing with pegs mounted thereon to further agitate jammed feed inside the hopper as the animal feeds from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Inventor: Thomas D. Sachs
  • Patent number: 5957082
    Abstract: A drum-shaped feed dispenser has a hollow body in the shape of a generally prolate spheroid with truncated longitudinal ends. The hollow body is made of a lightweight material such as plastic, and granular feed can be poured into the hollow body through one end. A circumferential band of the hollow body at the longitudinal center of the drum has an annual shape defining a central portion of the drum. The hollow body includes a plurality of longitudinal recessed channels extending from the end walls of the drum to the edges of the central portion. The end of each recessed channel adjacent the central portion of the drum is defined by a transverse side wall. A feed dispensing aperture through which the granular feed can pass is formed in at least one of the side walls. When an animal engages the drum to impart rotation, feed drops out of the apertures as they pass through the downward-facing direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Horseballs, Ltd.
    Inventors: Sandra Budman, James Cotter
  • Patent number: D508758
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: RJ Product Development Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph M. Jarke, Keith H. Gausmann, Jeffrey W. Mulhausen, Paul D. Kramer