Hay bags vs. hay nets and feed programs
I wasn't sure where to put this so if its in the wrong spot, sorry, and feel free to move it...
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. Cant ever get too much info :D
Tough-1 Nylon Tote Haybag with Poly Net - 1020571 | Tractor Supply Company
Best of both worlds and so much easier to shove hay in and lots of hay. I use this and I easily shove a good 30-35lbs of hay in it.
Foundered is simple, if it was feed related no grass and low starch nsc feed and limit any sugary treats. Including apples.
She doesn't get treats because she was pushy and disrespectful when I got her due to her last owner giving her lots of treats among other things.
She is dry lotted now and will stay on a dry lot when I move her.
Thanks a bunch for your response!! :D I really appreciate the quick feedback :D
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:-)
Lol Desert, I've had mine for over a month now and other than being dirty it's still in perfect shape. I just can't get the darned hay in the slow feeder nets on my own and certainly not the 30lbs worth either.
I love my slow feeder hay nets. Tough 1 makes one where I can shove about half to two thirds of a bale in one. Take two flip em over each end and cut the strings. Each half goes into one net. These are fairly cheap and have lasted the winter on the ground with my horses beating on them. When I am at home they got filled twice a day when squares were the only source of feed. Sure beat the mess I was used to having. My squares are big. Around 60 -80 lbs. Just to give you an idea of what they hold.
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with the net it takes a little practice. I put an entire flake flat in the bottom first, keeps it open that way.
I have three 15 lb nets, because I have three different hays.
Lol I tried everyway. Didn't matter more hay got down my shirt and up my sleeves than in that stupid net. If that ring comes off I have gorilla duct tape and bailing twine, fixes everything lol. Lizzy isn't exactly nice to it although she eats half the hay out of the top even though its hung so high her darned head is just at the hole. But hardly any waste. I saw one today that had a normal hole opening but bottom was mesh for dust to fall thru.
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BTW to answer the original question. I like hay nets myself.
will do......tomorrow ;-)
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