The Horse Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The new barn I am at likes people to hang their hay nets. I had previously used a hay box and tied my hay nets in the bottom slat, this worked well for my other horses and Boo found eating hay not an issue especially when he could find the top opening lol. However there was no place I could secure the box so it wouldn't move all over the place (shelter ha concrete not wood pony walls). Therefore I agreed to hang the nets (I have three 1-inch and one 1.5 inch hole nets).

What I found when I came to the barn this morning: the PM net which holds 4 flakes (16 pounds) was only half eaten. The AM net (2 flakes, 8 pounds) wasn't even touched at 10.00AM. Looking at the nets and how they hang, it seems that the 'holes' are smaller or closer together when hung than when on the ground. I grabbed some loose hay and my horse ate instantly.

When I mentioned this to the BO he said, if the horse was hungry enough he'd find a way to eat. But I wonder. Would some just give up because they are frustrated? My old TB stopped eating from a hanging hay net, his neck became so tight.

I didn't like that Boo didn't eat half of his night hay and none of the breakfast hay. I'm looking to change all the nets to 1.5 inch holes and to put them so that they are on the ground but tied from above. He is barefoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,339 Posts
I wonder if you just changed nets and left them hanging, if that would be enough. Like using a hay bag instead. The ones I have for traveling have big areas to eat out of.
 

·
Registered
Horse loving mama
Joined
·
523 Posts
Was the barn using their hay nets are were they your hay nets? Sounds like the hay nets being use at this barn are the slow feeder hay nets and my horses hate those too, I wont use the slow feeder nets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,941 Posts
My horses found slow feed hay nets very frustrating and stressful. I do put my hay in nets, but I use normal 3 inch hay nets. I'd suggest buying a regular sized hay net so your horse can eat freely.

If I were you I would hang them low, but not put them on the ground. The horse is likely to get stuck in the top loop and will break the net. As they empty, they get lower and looser, so having them slightly off the ground when empty will keep the horse from getting hung up, but still allow a lowered head for eating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Knave, I agree, I will pull out my hay bag from the trailer and see. And Salty, they are my own hay nets, and they are slow feeder ones, with a softer rope that isn't so abrasive. But I have never hung them before. I was kind of surprised they looked harder to access.

I mean, he ate out of them no problems when they were lying in the hay box!
 

·
Registered
Horse loving mama
Joined
·
523 Posts
Knave, I agree, I will pull out my hay bag from the trailer and see. And Salty, they are my own hay nets, and they are slow feeder ones, with a softer rope that isn't so abrasive. But I have never hung them before. I was kind of surprised they looked harder to access.

I mean, he ate out of them no problems when they were lying in the hay box!
@livelovelaughride Got'cha, yep when the slow feed hay nets are on the ground they are alot easier on the horses, but hanging they are harder to eat out of, I have slow nets for large square bales and they do eat better while on the ground. The slow feed hay nets that I have to hang, I dont like those.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,827 Posts
Therefore I agreed to hang the nets (I have three 1-inch and one 1.5 inch hole nets).
I would ditch the 1" nets unless this horse is a expert at eating from slow-feed and absolute pig about their hay in how fast they consume.

1.5 - 1.75" inch is what many use for horses...and a slow introduction from a free-for-all gorge to slowdown consuming needs taken into consideration.

The difference between being a grazed from the feeder box to a hanging net that wiggles and moves can also frustrate a horse so much they walk-away.
If you must use hanging nets a way to secure the bottom of the net so when a mouthful is taken the horse not get smacked in the face might entice your horses to eat better.
A screw-eye and double-end snap to hold the bag still at the base... my concern is as the net gets emptier the fall off the wall can invite a leg to get stuck in the now loop made.. :unsure:
Maybe placing the net inside a corner stall hay feeder might work too...
You as owner will have to experiment some to find good combination.
First thing though is as long as its hanging and not inside a ground feeder box is larger size net opening and secure the bottom for stability....watch how the horse does and then as they adapt, if you need to slow down the amount they eat adjust larger or smaller those net opening sizes.

I saw this when looking for some other ideas of ground feeder style that might be acceptable to the barn if your horse really objects to wall hung bag feeders...
The 1 ¼” and 1 ¾” are the most popular mesh sizes; ¼” makes a significant difference in rate of consumption. If you have never used a slow feeder we suggest the 1 ¾”. Smaller mesh sizes do not necessarily equate to your equine eating slower - they may not be able to eat at all. Depending on your equine's personality and experience with slow feeders, there is no “one size fits all equines” mesh size. Horses fed meals are typically anxious when fed and tend to be far less patient with slow feeders.
Great words of wisdom written and shared above...

Some ideas to think about and maybe something similar to make and or use in your situation.
🐴....
jmo...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,637 Posts
My two fatties eat out of hay nets with 1" holes. Harley is not fat, so he gets a trailer net basically - big holes. I'm not trying to slow Harley down, I'm trying to keep hay off the floor. Completely different.

My horses have no problem eating all the hay out of their hay nets every night and mine are hung. It is totally doable, horses just have to figure it out.

To me, it all depends on why you are using hay nets. Are you trying to manage weight? Then so what if they didn't finish? Are you just trying to keep the hay off the ground? Then maybe go with bigger holes.

I do hang mine quite low. My horses don't wear shoes, and don't paw at them. But hanging high is bad for their necks so mine are just a little bit off the ground. My horses eat the hay with their head below the withers.

Your horse may just take some time to figure out a technique to get the hay out of a hung net, but if he's eating, and just not finishing, and if you're trying to control weight, then I don't think it's an issue. Nets in a box area easier because they can push down to use the bottom as a way to push the hay out of the net. But they are perfectly capable of getting hay out of a hung net even with 1" holes. Mine are actually quite good at it!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,797 Posts
I did try the small hole nets for a while, as a weight control thing.

Several of the horses soon chewed holes in the nets overnight so I gave up and bought slow feeders that sit on the ground
 

·
Registered
Horse loving mama
Joined
·
523 Posts
The only hay nets I use are the normal size holes, I hang all of mine never had a problem. I did buy a few of the slow feeders for the larger square bales to feed in a old water trough to try to save hay threw the drought we had a few years back but just not to crazy about those and my horses did eat out of them since they were on the ground, but the slow feeders to hang never liked them. I just use the old school hay nets, happy horses and happy me!!! :giggle:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,209 Posts
I use the 1.5 inch slow feed net and I hang it. Also I clip bottom of hay net to fence. Or if in stall I have a eye hook lower down to clip net to.

Makes it way easier for them to eat hay if net isn't swinging around. Also my horse prefers hay in a net. Amazing enough he didn't have any holes chewed in net. Nets still like new after being in used 24/7 for going on 7 months.

I'd be Leary hanging a regular net low the possibility of horse getting tangled is high. Cinder got tangled up in a regular net,good thing he knew not to panic or it wouldn't of ended well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,281 Posts
All horses are different.

My Red should really have an EXTRA slow feed net. He can empty a regular slow feed net like it's not even slow feed. :rolleyes:

Dexter is where a normal horse should be, LOL. He easily can eat from the slow feed net but it's not gone instantly. So it's a perfect fit for him.

Lilly I have had the shortest amount of time (1 year) and I have discovered she just doesn't "thrive" on a slow feed net. She might actually have some TMJ issues so I truly think it's harder for her to eat from it. So I have switched her hay bag to an (expensive) professionals choice bag that still has the holes to control waste but it's not slow feed and she can easily get better bits from it. She is also NOT an easy keeper so this is a good switch for her.

Now I will also add that my experiences are referring to hay bags that I give my horses when they are tied to the trailer. On their own, they are on pasture 24/7 and don't need hay bags out there. I do, however, use a Hay Chix net on my round bales in the winter. They all fared pretty well but I think next winter, I will give Lilly some extra forage on her own over the winter, because I will finally have a run in shelter that I can do that. I can "lock" her in there to feed extra, then Red and Dexter can't to it because they do not need extra forage, LOL. They are both easy keepers!!

But yes to the above comment, you have to hang the hay nets high enough if your horse's wear shoes. You do NOT want them to catch a shoe on the net. If your horse does not have shoes then it's not really an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
I compromise. I give a dinner net with large holes, barely holding it together and then a smaller holed net to last longer if desperate - but within reason. I then would tighten the haynet at the fattest part with twine (make sure solid knot). I also sometimes loop the string through the bottom of the net and flip it so its more squashed. You can also install another tie ring then hang between them so its stretched.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50,781 Posts
Is 6 flakes of hay a day normal? it seems a lot to me, but I admit to being not very experienced in different feeding situations. does horse have turnout to graze at all?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,827 Posts
@tinyliny....as with anything else horse, "it depends..."
Hay as you know is fed by weight, not mass. If your flakes are very thick, dense hay then 6 flakes for a animal roughly 1000 pounds is about accurate.
Remember it is about 2% of their body gross weight to feed in forage for the average keeper, then if they not thrive is when feed can and should be offered if upping the hay amount or quality not give enough of what the animal can eat in a reasonable amount of time.
Slow eaters don't eat as much as fast so sometimes offering higher quality offsets the slow chew and swallow to get enough nutrition in the animals.

A 50 pound bale by me averages 14 flakes of hay. If all flakes are even each is about 3.5 pounds, then multiply that by 6 flakes fed over the course of the day = 21.5 pounds of hay consumed. Now if your bale weight is "off" that then throws off the equation of how much to feed whether more or less being needed.
For a horse who would weigh in at 1,000 pounds that "technically" should be enough hay.
Variables always need taken into consideration when a horse eats faster or wastes and why do they waste.
If a horse is in training and working hard they probably will require more fed in as they are burning more calories during the day too.

So, to answer your question, "Is 6 flakes of hay a day normal? ".... :unsure:
For a horse who weighs 1,000 pounds and fed off of 50 pound bales of hay....and is a average keeper...
It should be. But taking into consideration all the variables..."it depends" and is so animal specific to what they get fed, eat and how much if any they waste.
When I worked in the barns our 15 - 16 hand horses were fed between 8 - 10 flakes a day very dependent to bale weight and if the horse cleaned up all before more would be given. Our hay was a 50/50 of timothy & alfalfa, nice hay but these were working horses ridden daily and in training for showing as were their riders...

Hope that answered the question and a bit of understanding of how to figure out is it enough, to much or to little....then of course watching the animal for changes is always a must!!
🐴.... jmo...
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top