The 'grate' of my slow feeder will be vinyl fencing lattice. My back up, if they start chewing in it, is plastic coated chain-link. There are two options for hole sizes, 1.75 inch and 2.75 inch. Because it is rigid, I'm thinking that the 1.75 inch is too small, but I hope the 2.75 inch isn't too big. What size do you/would you use?
Also, at this new place I'll have a decent sized paddock (50x50?) As well as communal turnout in a gelding only herd. We have cold long winters, November-March are well into the negatives and can reach down to -35 Celsius or more. There is no hay put into the field, and you are expected to feed your horses every day. I will be out there every day but my issue lies in that in the winter I want my horses to have 24 hr access to hay, not just what they paw for in the field.
So my question is would you keep your horses in the paddock with the slow feeder 24/7 or in the paddock evening until morning then turn them out or feed then twice daily with free feed hay ( no slow feeder )? If it is extremely cold they will be in the paddock 24/7.