HAY feeders, part 2 - round bales :)
So there's already a thread going about good hay feeders (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk...eeders-139434/) but I thought I'd start another one, just for big round bales.
We had been using cattle ring feeders but I don't like those for a few reasons; we have miniatures, and once the bale has been half eaten it starts to get difficult for them to reach the hay, and I just have this nasty feeling that one of them is going to get tangled up in it someday and really hurt themselves. (And on a completely shallow note I hate how the big horses rub off sections of their manes!)
There are two feeders I've found online that look like they could work, I'm just curious if anybody has experience with either of them - or if there's another good option I haven't considered yet.
The first is the 'NAG bag' - essentially a really big hay net that a whole round bale will fit in. My husband is convinced these will be a pain to work with and we'll spend hours trying to wrestle a bale into it, but the price tag is a lot nicer than option 2!
The second is the 'Ultimate Haysaver' - we'd need the goat feeder for the minis, pretty much the same thing just shorter. There's something about those bars on the side though... for some reason I'm afraid somebody will get their head stuck in there or something. The horse version has vertical bars instead of horizontal and for some reason that sits better with me, and I think the minis would be able to reach it, but when I inquired they told me I would 'definitely' need the goat feeder.
Goat feeder -
Horse feeder -
We just got the first ones at our barn. Took about 3 minutes to get on the bale. Of course we have a tractor with a bale spear to lift the bales up but once up it is really really easy to get on. And the hay is all neat, not peed in, not pooped on and not spread all over the entire paddock.
Lizzy will be on one starting tonight after her shoes come off. It will help with her not getting her face in the roundbale so she will actually be able to be on one.
Oh and Brett's uncle has a horse that will actually jump into those round cattle feeders. Takes the tractor to get him out. Large horse too.
How do they work when the bale gets smaller (as it's been eaten)? Does the excess get tangled up/in the way? Haha I guess you might not know if you just started using them... :P
Lol good question. I've been wondering that myself..... we will find out. I would think you could just tie up the excess at the top?
Now, round bale hay nets really only work well if you have a tractor with a hay spear, that way you can put the net on it while it's on the spear and cinch it up around the spear and tighten when on the ground. Really has slowed the hay eating down (get about two more days a bale) and ALL the hay is cleared up! They used to dig tunnels down into the hay then FLIP it out with their heads onto the ground and walk on it. None of that now they eat ALL the hay :-P and also with their heads no longer buried inside the round bales less chance of any respitory issues. :-P oh and remove the string AFTER you put the net on, just snip them and pull through.
I set it though inside a round hay bale feeder, that way if any of the horses get front shoes (doubt any of them will though) they wont get hung up.
Been holding up great! If I see where they have tore it I whip stich it with nylon hay string. And it was only 50.00. Well not counting the cinch and the rope bag (for the excess when you cinch it up) I bought from Cinch Chix.
A friend tried the net with a large round and put the ring feeder around it. Her horses kept chewing holes in it. The netting needs to be just a little bit thicker.
Failbhe, the net is thrown over the bale while it is up on it's round, the bale rolled about half way then finish with the draw rope to close. Should take two people less than 10 min. Two people because he does the work and you keep him company.
None of my horses have shoes, and (knocks on wood) hopefully it'll stay that way. (Nothing against shoes... but if they don't need them, I'd prefer to stay barefoot)
We DO have a tractor with a bale spear, so that part should work ok. Though we've always removed the twine from the bales before letting the horses eat... when we just plop the bales on the ground, that's not an issue, but if we take off the twine while trying to hold the bale in the air that might not work so well. :P Though I'm wondering maybe we don't need to? I just have these horrific visions of a horse swallowing a piece of plastic twine and choking/colicking/DEATH...
$50, eh? That sounds a LOT more attractive than the $450 for the 'Ultimate Haysaver' or the $230 for the pre-made 'NAG bag'... what kind of a net did you use and where did you get it?
Nope we take twine off while up in air, nothing comes off, they are baled tight. Ours were $177 each.
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