I am going to be moving my mare from a boarding situation to my own property in March or April at the latest so I am stocking up on supplies and making sure everything is ready and set up for when I finally bring her home to live with me. My question is which is better hay bags (with the single whole in the front) or hay nets. To me it seems like it would be user preference but I could also see the hay nets being easy for them to tear apart or get stuck in. I`m a worry wart so I could see the worst even if the chances are 1 in a million.
I have thought about many feeding options and due to my mare I think a slow feeder would be the best situation for her. It is suspected she has foundered in the past so we decided the safest bet is to provide her hay in a slow feeder to avoid possible founder in the future but to keep the constant forage still in front of her. She will have a large paddock where she will have 24/7 turnout w/ shelter but is kept as a dry lot to avoid her getting rich grasses.
Her current feed program is free feed blue grass 24/7 in a 5 acre dry lotted pasture with 8 - 10 other mares (all are rotated to a 20 acre pasture unless a possible founder case like my mare who then stays on the dry lot). She has done fine without having the worry of founder but once she is by herself (or at maximum 2 other horses) I worry that she will be getting too much feed if I continue to free feed the large bales like we do where she is boarded. Part of this reason is she is the bottom of the totem pole right now and the others keep her off the feed so I haven't been concerned with founder. Of course I do make sure she is getting enough feed and we add an extra pile or two so that when she does get run off, she still has hay to go to, plus its winter and often below freezing here, so the extra feed isn't hurting her right now but come spring everything changes and I am going to have to change her feed program. She does not need or get anything else but hay and a free choice mineral/selenium block. She is a healthy younger horse and a very easy keeper.
1) Hay bag vs. hay net?
2) other slow feed solutions?
3) recommended feed programs for foundered horses?
I am also going to call and ask my vet what she thinks but I am curious what others here have to say as well. Can't ever get too much info