Hay Nets as Slow Feeders

At my previous location, I had the horses set up with their own slow-feeders and it was a perfect system! I loved the feeders for the ease of filling, and how they kept hay off the ground. At our current location, however, the noise they made by kicking the feeders as they ate caused a problem. So, we switched to a hay net!

I looked at different hay net options, and decided to reach out to Hay Chix to select the perfect net for our needs (You can get 20% if you go through this link). I can't get out everyday, and need to fill the nets myself. The horses get alfalfa fed loose twice a day, but if I want them to have 24/7 access to grass hay I need to supply it myself. Because of this, I wanted to be able to feed an entire bale at once. Hay Chix had a hay net for this purpose! I went with a smaller hole opening, since Trubee is such an aggressive eater. I hope that he regulates his eating, and in time eats only what he needs. But for starters, he definitely will be gorging himself.

Horses eating from hay net

I also don't know how durable the net will be! Trubee paws at it, and Tucker will start as well I'm sure. They will probably drag the net all over the place, so I'll need to see if that is a problem. I also don't know how empty it needs to be before I refill it, or how many days a bale will last them. But if this works and they can have grass hay whenever they want, I will be so happy!

The Road to Self-Regulation

Here is what the net looked like after the first 20 hours! I have a feeling Trubee is hitting it hard - but when I was there, they both were happy to ignore the hay and hangout with me which was great.

After finding the hay net was dragged from one spot to another on the 3rd day, dangerously close to where they pee, I decided to try tying the net to a post! I think this will be the preferred way. The first bale lasted 3 days.

The 2nd bale still has about 75% left after 3 days! Hopefully they have reached some peace with the fact that the hay is sticking around for awhile 😉

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