Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
We don't use nets as one mare insists on playing with it, and rips holes in it drags it out of the feeder, etc. When we found her with the net wrapped around her head and forelegs one morning, we got rid of the nets. We just stand round bales on end in the barn and unroll them like cinnamon rolls and fork hay over the fence into a couple of big rubber tanks with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. This way we control how much is fed, and nobody is getting caught in the nets. It doesn't take long to put hay out twice a day, and we control how much is fed-- more in cold weather, etc. We give enough that they are still picking through the wisps when it's time for the next feeding so they're never without food, but not so much they toss it out and walk all over it. Works for us for 3-4 horses and we feed about as much as we did with nets and about half as much as we did when they got a round bale free-choice. It also allows us to see the hay as we feed it-- we've found some noxious weeds, bits of trash or twine on occasion and in one case, a cat that had been unfortunate enough to end up baled in the hay that we may not have found had the horses just been left to their own devices with a round bale. If a bale has any mold, we can catch that and toss that hay aside, too. It only takes about 20 minutes a day to feed the hay, and we like knowing what and how much the horses are getting. If we happen to get square bales rather than rounds, this works the same-- we toss a bale into each tank, break it up, and repeat at the next feeding. When someone else feeds, it's simple for them as well, and if the horses are only fed once daily due to a blizzard or someone else feeding, we just have them feed twice as much since they're only feeding once a day.
Last edited by SilverMaple; 06-17-2019 at 05:23 PM.