Hay bags vs. hay nets and feed programs - Page 2

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Hay bags vs. hay nets and feed programs

This is a discussion on Hay bags vs. hay nets and feed programs within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-28-2013, 11:11 PM
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
That haybag lasted about a day and a half with my two horses, with extra piles of hay on the ground, so not being abused because it was the only source of hay. Not worth the money, IMO.
I made my own nets, baling twine and a couple of hours work. It's free and I'm the one deciding on which size I want. Important is that the holes are not bigger than 2", so it remains a slow feeder and no BAREFOOT hoof can get caught.
If you have a steady source of hay, it would make sense to get it tested for NSC content. If it doesn't make sense because you buy your hay as you need it, you'll have to guess rather. For horses prone to founder overall NSC shouldn't be higher than 12%. Good grass hay has around 13%. So washing the hay might be necessary to get excess sugar out. It's easy, stuff the net, submerge net for 1 hour in water, discard water, hang up net.
I strongly suggest giving either a vitamin/mineral supplement or a ration balancer. Mineral licks just don't supply enough. A magnesium supplement will help her also, exciting new research about that.
My personal experience with slowfeeder nets is that they self limit hay intake, mine went from 25lbs to 15lbs daily. I weighed what went in and what was left after 24 hours
I have been considering buying hay in bulk but have not made a decision yet. I guess it really is going to depend on how the hay industry is doing and what would be cheaper and/or more convenient. I need to better research this in my area, which is on the checklist :)

Vet recommended to switch to a loose mineral that she supplies. She gave us a sample and the horses loved it but I always wondered if there was a better or cheaper loose mineral because after all she does have a contract with the company to sell it to her customers, so of course she will be biased on this topic and although she is a great vet (so far) I don't know her well enough to know if she will give it to me straight.

A volunteer brought out a mineral tub and all it did was make the horses all really hot. I think but am not sure that it had molasses in it as well.

Due to other boarders taking advantage of the owner, we have all been chipping in and getting whatever we can afford. So we have switched mineral supplements between the 3 depending on what can be afforded and who purchases what. Thankfully legal action is being taken and the bad boarders are on their way out of there.

My mare is barefoot at the moment but depending on how she does on the trails (mostly mountains here) that could change. But either way I see the hay nets and think the worst. Horses are worse than kids when it comes to getting hurt especially on things you would assume are safe

Washing the hay seems super easy and wouldn't be a problem. There is at least one person on the property at all times and everyone is very animal orientated so this extra step would not be an issue at all. Where we are currently boarded though this would not be possible because of the traveling I would have to do and not enough help at the ranch. But luckily right now it`s not a huge concern.

Spring is what worries me because of all of the changes, not only nature (grasses getting richer) but the moving to a new place, and being in a smaller herd. I will be fostering up to two extra horses at a time. I am considering keeping her in a separate paddock but right next to the other horses. My other option I'm also considering is just removing the center panels and letting them have the run of all 3 together.

As far as making your own hay nets, is there a how-to guide on the internet or youtube instructional video? I have tons upon tons of baling twine so this seems the most logical solution to me. I`m not wasting money and if they ruin them it`s easy to replace. Plus baling twine breaks easy so maybe safer?

Please anyone feel free to give me any advice or tip on keeping my horse at home and things that should be on my checklist to buy and research. Thanks!!
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    01-28-2013, 11:32 PM
Instructions will be coming tomorrow, plus pics
For your hay supply: you will always be better off buying a years worth at harvest time straight off the field, if you have storage space for it.
As for vit/min supplements, they are usually fed by the ounce, and if you look at online vet supply catalogs, they have many different ones and tell you also how many servings are in a container, or for how many days it will last.
BBBCrone likes this.
    01-28-2013, 11:49 PM
I found the easiest way to stuff a hay net is to keep an empty muck bucket or trash can in the hay room. Put the hay net down into the bucket or can and fold the top over the rim. Weigh out your hay and drop it in!! Lift the net out of the container with the string and hang as usual!
lmyers52 likes this.
    01-31-2013, 07:28 AM
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
Instructions will be coming tomorrow, plus pics
For your hay supply: you will always be better off buying a years worth at harvest time straight off the field, if you have storage space for it.
As for vit/min supplements, they are usually fed by the ounce, and if you look at online vet supply catalogs, they have many different ones and tell you also how many servings are in a container, or for how many days it will last.
*whistles* ... Don't forget us deserthorsewoman! I don't seem to be talented enough on figuring out the ins and outs of making one myself *sighs*
    01-31-2013, 11:34 AM
It's not easy to explain. Easy to make, tho. I'll look for something on youtube
    01-31-2013, 11:52 AM

Here we go.
You'll have to adjust the width, of course and the size of hole, by adding more strands closer together.
Then fold it in half, mend it bottom and side. Braid a draw string out of three strings, loop it through the top edge, so you can tie it to a post, or attach otherwise where you want to attach.
And don't plan on being very fast and efficient when you have a kittie or two nearby
    01-31-2013, 12:09 PM
Green Broke
I HATE hay nets. They're just so darn hard to fill up. I would literally have to have someone else helping me or hold one end open with my teeth and the other with my free hand. Even if I put in the hay in a feed bag beforehand, I would not be able to fill the hay net up with as much as I could by stuffing it in there by hand. So I got a slow feed hay bag. It's pretty much identical to the ones my vet uses. When Henny had his accident, he ripped into those things 24/7 and they took a beating, but never broke. AND, he can't get a hoof caught in them! With him being only 9 months old, that was a worry with the hay nets as well.

Not only is the hay bag safer, it holds more hay and has him eating longer. It says it hold 2 flakes, but I can seriously stuff like 30 pounds of hay in there. This is the one I bought:

Slow Feed Hay Bag for Horses by Derby Originals
    01-31-2013, 12:27 PM
Pretty good price on these, Kayella!
What material is the (closed) back, nylon?
If it's not anything natural I'd see a problem hanging in the sun with 105 degree temp's.......no more hay smell here.......
My next project will be a large hay"pillow", rectangular, about 4 feet wide, to fasten between fence posts, all four corners, so it doesn't fall down when empty.
    01-31-2013, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
Yeah it's nylon. I've yet to worry about the temps getting bad, and they do get bad in southern Texas! I could see the bag getting bleached by the sun, but it should hold up for quite a while. I was also interested in doing a hay pillow. I could probably use one of those bags and sew on a zipper up top. And boom, they can graze in the most natural position It already has 2 straps up top and on strap on the bottom, so I can always affix it to something if I wanted to.
    01-31-2013, 02:13 PM
This would be the type of controlled feeder I would like for one horse-

Porta-Grazer - Slow Feeder, Slow Hay Feeder, Horse Hay Feeder, Restrictive Feeder, Natural Hay Feeder

Safe, easy to fill and easy to clean.

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