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nikelodeon79 03-28-2013 05:33 PM

Round bale feeder vs. net, ponies and horses
We have two horses: 15HH and 14.3HH. Very easy keepers.

We also have two classic American Shetlands.

We may be bringing in a 16HH horse.

We've always fed squares but this year we're running out so a local farmer is bringing over rounds. My dad (the primary caretaker) decided he likes the convenience of rounds, so next winter we might switch to rounds.

With such varied heights in the herd, would you recommend a net or a feeder? I want to make it as easy as possible for my dad, as most of the time he handles everything himself, and he is 65 years old. (I live over an hour away). I'm also concerned with the horses (and ponies) getting fat.

We do not have a tractor capable of handling rounds, but the farmer is going to deliver the hay whenever we need it. (We get hay plus delivery in exchange for letting him use our fields).
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nikelodeon79 03-31-2013 08:20 PM

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Kotori 03-31-2013 08:27 PM

I'd say a net would be your best bet, since it can be accessed from any point on the bale. The point of a net is not to limit access but to limit intake, whereas a feeder limits access.

Nets are also alot easier to move, and doesn't take as much room when not in use.

deserthorsewoman 03-31-2013 08:32 PM

The net definitely, but maybe some type of hay ring or large box to keep the bale off the ground and anybody getting tangled.
Slow Feeding Horses on Paddock Paradise Tracks - Paddock Paradise Wiki ....check the roundbale solutions

Phly 03-31-2013 09:17 PM

We feed round bales without any feeder or net. I honestly can't say I notice a significant amount of waste vs using the many different feeders people we know use. From homemade to top dollar bought. There's waste. But even so we've fed round bales for a while now and if we end up with a 100lbs wasted its still cheaper and better for the horses. IMO.
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nikelodeon79 04-03-2013 03:57 PM

My dad found a couple of used cattle round bale feeders and wants to buy one. I've read posts about mane rubbing... Are there any other potential issues?
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Corporal 04-03-2013 04:02 PM

Please buy a round bale feeder. Bigger horses will eat high and sometimes it falls on ponies that share it. You can find one at any farm supply store.

beau159 04-03-2013 04:15 PM

Do not buy cattle feeders for horses. The bars are too low for a horse to comfortably get their head in there, and it increases heads getting stuck/hit.

Whereas a horse round bale feeder, allows the horse to naturally put their head at a height that is comfortable to them, yet they can still get to the bottom when the bale is running out.

Do not just put the round bale on the ground without a feeder. You are increasing the waste of the bale. Yes, there is going to be more waste feeding round bales instead of squares. But if you put that bale on the ground where the horses can rub on it, tear it apart, and then poop/pee all over it, you've just wasted most of the bale.

Mini's usually don't have a problem getting to the bale with a horse feeder, unless there's not much of the bale left and it's just scraps in the center (which you should have changed the bale and moved the feeder by then.

PaintHorseMares 04-03-2013 04:21 PM

Even using a feeder, put the bale on a couple pallets. Keeping it off the ground keeps the bottom from getting knarly in the wet. Our mares will eat a bale all the way to the pallets with only a handful they can't reach right in the middle.
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nikelodeon79 04-03-2013 04:54 PM

The people selling the feeders are friends of my dad. They said once of them is a "bull feeder" which probably means it doesn't have the top bar. Something like this: Tarter 3 Pc. Horse or Horned Cattle Hay Feeder

Would that work? I'll be going to look at it this weekend.
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