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Hay Nets. Whats your opinion?

This is a discussion on Hay Nets. Whats your opinion? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Does using slow feeder hay nets help horses prone to ulcers
  • How many flakes of hay to fill a hay net

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    03-22-2013, 11:47 AM
  #31
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
Yeah, quite possible. But, the slowfeeder net has much smaller openings, 2" diameter max, so, unless you have a tiny mini foal, horse can't get stuck. Shod horse can get hung up, tho. That's why I mentioned the more than knee height container for the net.

Mine have 1 inch holes. And if you hang it up properly there really is no way for a horse to get their big hoof through that and stuck. Unless they are super super tiny. And that would still have to be SUPER tiny
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    03-22-2013, 04:14 PM
  #32
Green Broke
I love slowfeeder nets- my horse will vacuum up a flake of hay in about 15 minutes, so even though he gets hay 3x a day, he goes long stretches without actively eating. When I trailer him to lessons, I put 3 flakes into his slowfeeder net and it lasts him all day. We're usually gone for about 12 hours, and he has access to the net the whole time except the hour that I'm actually riding.

I fill up his net every time I ride, but boy do I wish I could get the barn staff to fill the hay net, too!
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    03-22-2013, 04:45 PM
  #33
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
I love slowfeeder nets- my horse will vacuum up a flake of hay in about 15 minutes, so even though he gets hay 3x a day, he goes long stretches without actively eating. When I trailer him to lessons, I put 3 flakes into his slowfeeder net and it lasts him all day. We're usually gone for about 12 hours, and he has access to the net the whole time except the hour that I'm actually riding.

I fill up his net every time I ride, but boy do I wish I could get the barn staff to fill the hay net, too!
I can pack about a half a square bale into Walter's NAG Bag. Usually have it filled around 730/8, and he has it emptied by morning. He hoovers through his. He loves it.
     
    03-22-2013, 09:32 PM
  #34
Weanling
I can pack about half a bale in my hay nets too!
     
    03-22-2013, 11:27 PM
  #35
Trained
I made mine. Baling twine
I have 6 lb, 12 lb and 20lb nets with different sized holes, bigger one's for the oathay, smaller for orchard/ timothy.
I will make some more to fit in the muck buckets next.
     
    03-22-2013, 11:54 PM
  #36
Yearling
Another slow feeder hay net fan here. I started using them during our drought in 2011 when hay was hard to come by. I too use a muck bucket to fill them. Actually I bought the walmart version of a muck bucket. They have the same thing except they consider them toy tubs or laundry buckets. The plastic is a little thinner than the TSC muck buckets but they only cost about $5 and I only use it for filling hay bags so they work just fine. The only thing I fight with is that the rope handles get caught in the net so I have to unwrap that sometimes when I'm ready to pull the net out. I guess I could cut the handles off. Just haven't made the effort. I also replaced the thin drawstring with heavy duty nylon rope because I hang them up pretty high and they toss those bags around pretty good and have broken several of the thin drawstrings they come with originally. I love mine and will replace them as needed with new ones.
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    03-23-2013, 03:00 PM
  #37
Foal
Likee

I always liked them, we keep them in our horse trailor so when I go to shows he has something to do while we drive there in back
     
    03-23-2013, 03:34 PM
  #38
Showing
I like to put out more nets than horses and toss them in the snow like pillows. I space them as far apart as what works for me as it gets the horses moving as they check each one out. Even if the horse is in a box stall, hanging in opposite corners will get it moving. A horse will eat from one then it just has to check out the other, then back to the first.
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    03-24-2013, 02:22 AM
  #39
Foal
I use the "Freedom Feeder" brand of slow feeder hay net. I fill it by putting it empty into a laundry basket, folding the edges over and loading up the basket with about 5 or 6 flakes of hay. Then I use metal clips to hold the edges together having multiple sections of the feeder into the clip so it all stays together. I have a low solid loop in her barn about chest high. I clip a seperate clip onto that and clip it to the clip at the top of the slow feeder. The feeder will still reach the ground. I then put a huge high rimmed bucket underneath it so if she does manage to break one of the clips and it falls down it goes into the high sided tub and won't get caught on her at all. I have a regular hay bag outside in her corral for her as well. It only holds about 2 flakes and I also have a tub under that one as well.

The latest thing I got for her is the "Amazing Grace" toy. It is a huge tough plastic toy thing that gets a cup or so of hay bites in it and she has to roll it around the ground to get the bites out.

Just some of the things I do to keep my horse with ulcers happy.
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    03-25-2013, 04:54 PM
  #40
Foal
I use a cinch chix net on my roundbales and have a couple 1inch mini nets from them that I will fill up in the summer and throw out for them to eat on if they choose. There is no way they can get stuck in there, and having a big round small hole net filled with hay is entertainment for them if nothing else. I also use the nets from chicks saddlery, but I hang those up on the barn on tying rings. I fill 3 up for my 2 horses, around 10lbs a piece, and they'll last all night and still usually have some left over in the morning.

I did learn the hard way to use a ring feeder in addition to the big bale net on a round. Once the bale collapses it starts to go flat and the horses are able to step on the hay and soil it. I also now put the round on a pallet to allow some airflow, otherwise the bottom gets wet and moldy and is just a big pain in the butt to get out of the net. Other than that, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cinch chix nets, my air fern is at a healthy weight, even though he has hay in front of him at all times, and my filly is also at a healthy weight. Both are eating more naturally and my gelding isn't showing feed time anxiety anymore. You know, "FOOOOOOOOODDDD I WANT MY FOOOD NOW!" Type behavior. They are both calm and happy.

As far as nets injuring teeth, I feel the benefits of feeding this way FAR outweigh the risks of NOT feeding with a slow feeder, net or otherwise. Lower incidence of colic from gorging on hay (hoover) or sand colic from feeding on the ground, less chance of founder/laminitis because of being overweight, is absolutely critical for an ulcer prone horse who needs hay in front of them at all times and to be eating at natural rate, constant small quantities. It also helps with boredom and other destructive and/or dangerous behaviors that are almost eliminated when using a slow feeding system such as feed aggression and possessiveness, because they eat all their hay and have to wait hours and hours for their next meal. Horses are accident prone creatures and will find ways to injure themselves doing almost anything.
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