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homemade slow feeders

This is a discussion on homemade slow feeders within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Horse homemade slow hay wire feeder
  • Mental wire grate for slow feeders horse

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    09-21-2013, 05:37 PM
  #11
Trained
Not a secret lol. First start by cutting the twine by the knot, I learned that the hard way!.
I searched " how to make a net" on youtube, chose the easiest and went to town. There are several ways, pick what works best for you. After all, material is free, and you can experiment until you find the right kind. I braid a string, put it through the top holes and tie it to the fence. You can make a pillow and attach it to a wall, also.
It will stretch and wear out with time, but hey, it's free
     
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    09-21-2013, 06:20 PM
  #12
Weanling
What kind of wire did you use Tessa? It looks kind of like that deer and rabbit fence. Maybe when you have finished your own stalls you could come and do mine? Haha! Although my husband is a carpenter it is like pulling teeth to try and get him to do any of our own projects! (kind of like the mechanic's car).
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    09-21-2013, 06:27 PM
  #13
Showing
Whenever using slow feeders, be sure to check the horse's mouth daily for inflammation. When I fill a small mesh net, I pull the cord tight then weave it back down to the bottom and tighten again then hang it up as high as I can reach. It sits up there like a big ball but by the time it's empty it's not down on the floor.
     
    09-21-2013, 06:36 PM
  #14
Weanling
Another option I guess is hay racks, but I have heard it is not good for them to reach up for their hay, my farrier said it can sometimes cause neck and back problems, and I have also heard of eye infections from little bits of hay dropping in their eyes, so I pretty much ruled them out. Any other opinions on those (good or bad)? We are still building our stalls so can incorporate pretty much anything at this point.
     
    09-21-2013, 06:43 PM
  #15
Green Broke
I love the box slow feeder idea, but I wouldn't be using any metal fencing or anything like that. There's actually nylon webbing that you can buy and you can just sndwich that between two pieces of wood to use as a net for them to eat out of.

The NIBBLENET Slow Feeder Hay Bags - thenibblenet.com - Official website of The NIBBLENET Slow feeder Hay Bag - Slow Feed Hay Bags for Horses
This is an example of what I'm talking about, but I wouldn't buy from there. Super super expensive. You can find your own nylon webbing and if you have a heavy duty sewing machine, sew it together yourself.

As for me, I use hay bags I bought online. They have the nylon webbing for the front and are backed by canvas material. They're super heavy duty, sit outside 24/7 and haven't shown any signs of wear or tear for the past couple months I've had these. I used to use a different brand, Derby, but the outside of the canvas was a cloth material and it would bleach and crack and the inside would peel after about a month. These new bags are the nylon canvas only and have held up great so far. They hold 2 big flakes(about ten pounds) but I could stuff more in there if I wanted to. I set out 3 bags for my fatties, about 25 pounds of hay, and that will last my two boys twelve hours!

https://www.horseloverz.com/product/...ay-feeder.html

ETA: The hay should at least be at chest level. Just like the reasons you stated Katie, and also for choking hazards. When a horse is eating off the ground or at or below chest level, their throats produce more saliva making things go down the throat easier. Up above chest level, they don't produce as much so things can more easily get stuck in their throat. I feed my boys from buckets on the ground then put their hay bags at chest level.
     
    09-21-2013, 07:14 PM
  #16
Weanling
I used metal fencing. Yes, just like the stuff for deer or rabbit. I thought long and hard about it, there are no sharp spots for the horse to hurt themselves. I don't see how it's any different, safety and functionality-wise, than the 'slow feeder' grate they sell. Other than the fact that its lighter but that's where the 2x4 wood frame adds enough weight to keep it down.
I like it because A) it was free. B) I bet I could fit at least 40 lbs of hay in it. C) it puts the horse in a natural feeding position. D) Horses can't get a tooth caught on it like they can with thin netting. E) There is zero waste. Nothing falls out into the ground. And F) it was still free!
I have made the nets out of baling twine too, DHW! I'm awful at it! I always make like a long tube, lol, not so much a bag. Like a hay hot dog, haha.
     
    09-21-2013, 08:07 PM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessa7707    
I used metal fencing. Yes, just like the stuff for deer or rabbit. I thought long and hard about it, there are no sharp spots for the horse to hurt themselves. I don't see how it's any different, safety and functionality-wise, than the 'slow feeder' grate they sell. Other than the fact that its lighter but that's where the 2x4 wood frame adds enough weight to keep it down.
I like it because A) it was free. B) I bet I could fit at least 40 lbs of hay in it. C) it puts the horse in a natural feeding position. D) Horses can't get a tooth caught on it like they can with thin netting. E) There is zero waste. Nothing falls out into the ground. And F) it was still free!
I have made the nets out of baling twine too, DHW! I'm awful at it! I always make like a long tube, lol, not so much a bag. Like a hay hot dog, haha.
I have hot dogs, dumplings and blobs lol. I like the fact that I can vary the size of the net and the holes as needed. Bigger ones for the grain hay, small for grasshay, even smaller for grassy alfalfa. And, it's free
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    09-21-2013, 08:17 PM
  #18
Weanling
The NIBBLENET Slow Feeder Hay Bags - thenibblenet.com - Official website of The NIBBLENET Slow feeder Hay Bag - Slow Feed Hay Bags for Horses

For a single horse, this has worked great. We have had the previously available 3" deep version of this feeder for just under 2 years and it is still totally functional... So, I think the $55 or so we spent was well worth it.

People cannot believe it when I tell them that we pretty much have NO hay waste and that our aggressive eater hasn't destroyed the item.
     
    09-21-2013, 08:35 PM
  #19
Yearling
OP, I have a similar arrangement with concrete feeders and welded wire panels with 4" squares. I cut a 40" x 72" panel into 3 long rectangles that I lay on top of the hay in the feeders. The 1/4" galvanized wire holds the hay down and the squares slow down the eating.

I had a 4' x 4' box with the same wire on top at my old place. I had a chain and carabiners to latch the wire panel down at each corner. This worked well too. We used this feeder last winter and our horses used 1/3 less hay, even though last winter was much colder than the year before! The only thing I think that would have improved it was to have another feeder to spread the horses out.

Our new house used to be part of a big cattle ranch where they kept all the bulls. We have about 25 concrete feeders along our driveway. They serve as fence and feeder. They look like those concrete highway dividers turned on their sides with a metal rail at the top. We lay the panels onto the hay and it works perfectly so far.
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    09-21-2013, 08:43 PM
  #20
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieQ    
Another option I guess is hay racks, but I have heard it is not good for them to reach up for their hay, my farrier said it can sometimes cause neck and back problems, and I have also heard of eye infections from little bits of hay dropping in their eyes, so I pretty much ruled them out. Any other opinions on those (good or bad)? We are still building our stalls so can incorporate pretty much anything at this point.
I've avoid hay racks for all the concerns you've mentioned. If you're just building your stalls and you want to incorporate a permanent feeder, perhaps you could do a variation of Tessa's: Rather than the rectangular shape go with a triangular shape and have it fixed in a corner; it would not hold as much of course but would free up a bit of space.
     

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