Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
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!!