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KPF
Dec. 16, 2009, 02:26 PM
I have a 25 y.o. TB that never finishes the hay that I throw out in the pasture for him. He's not turned out with anyone else so whatever he wastes I have to pick up or it kills what little grass I have. There is not much grass right now so I'm not sure why he doesn't eat his hay (the hay is fine, he gobbles it up in his stall at night).

Hubby keeps fussing at me telling me to quit throwing hay in the field for him but I can't leave him with nothing to eat all day. I have one of those big metal hay feeder things with a plastic pan at the bottom but am hesitant to put it out there because I worry about him rubbing on it. So, wwyd? Try a hay bag or nibble net so he wastes less hay?

manyspots
Dec. 16, 2009, 02:31 PM
The never ending battle!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure others will chime in here.... :lol:

I HATE hay waste. It is my biggest pet peeve. I have two who eat with gusty when I put the hay out, but inevitibly they spread it around, use it as a toilet, and ignore the rest. I have tried a variety of things in the past year:

1) Nibble nets: hang long enough so they are eating at chest height, but can't get a hoof caught when empty. Also, secure the bottom so it cannot be flipped. I use these in the stalls (horses have 24/7 access to stalls and paddock)

2) Hay feeders (homemade): I have one made from a muck bucket and the other from half a barrel. They are mounted on 2 x 4s so they sit off the ground and have holes so they drain. Still trying to find a solution to the "top" that forces them to pull hay through holes. Plywood not durable enough so may move onto cutting boards.

3) Limit hay: I cannot do this because I work full time, otherwise I would feed a little at a time.

Bottom line, try to find a way to make them eat it as they want it, and not be able to scatter the rest. Look up slow feeders or something like it to get feeder ideas!

KPF
Dec. 16, 2009, 02:33 PM
Forgot to add, I also work full time so cannot distribute hay throughout the day. Horses are out all day and in at night.

Phaxxton
Dec. 16, 2009, 02:43 PM
Is he generally playful and destructive? I have one that is NOT and feeding him hay in a muck bucket worked great. Luckily, however, he never tried to dump it over or play with it... My other two aren't so kind. One used to save half his hay outside so he could make a bed out of it. If you gave him less hay, he'd still save some for a bed. If you gave him more hay, he'd eat much more and still save some for a bed. He, of course, peed on it first before laying on it. Just for good measure.

ChocoMare
Dec. 16, 2009, 02:57 PM
Buy small-mesh hay nets (http://millerharness.com/Product.aspx?p=X4-27286)from Millers.

Get a plastic barrel.

Make and mount slow feeder as shown here (Bearcat's feeder...top right) http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Barrel+Feeders

;)

SLNELSON25
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:21 PM
I feed hay year round, as I have 3 horses on a small pasture, so it stays mostly overgrazed.

Anyway, I find that they waste hay worst in the winter. It always gets muddy about now, and when they paw at it or shove it with their noses, welln some goes in the icky areas, they tromple it, etc.

They also seem to have more of a desire to have a cozy warm place to nap in the sunshine in these wet, cold months.

They next to never waste hay on me in summer and fall!

Sue

buck22
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:35 PM
nibble net... I hate hay waste, its a waste of money, its gross looking and a mess for me to clean up. the more chores and cleaning up I have to do the less opportunities I have to ride.

my horses get hayed once per day, it has to last 24 hours. the nibble net has been a god-send for me because they can't pull out huge clumps of hay, they're forced to eat slowly.

I spread my hay out into about a dozen piles and/or "stations" (hay bag/NN) around the paddocks every am, so they have to walk all day to get their hay, and I generally put the hay right up against the bottom of a tree or the fenceline, or under low hanging branches, so its physically difficult to walk through and pee on.

and I hate to say it, but being miserly with the hay every now and then has resulted in horses not so quick to pee on it when its plentiful. took me nearly a year to get tough but I finally had it. :)

mellsmom
Dec. 16, 2009, 03:39 PM
Except that mine paws his into the mud and then eats only the pieces he wants.

Right now I have two kinds of hay. Slightly late cut timothy and gorgeous orchard grass. Guess what they are eating????? the timothy... the orchard cost me more, so of course they just won't touch it...and I have 200 bales of it!!!

sigh....

I am always worried about the dust factor..and I have group turnout, so I am not sure how I should handle this myself. I usually just pick and area and call it the sacrafice area and feed hay there all the time.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 16, 2009, 04:39 PM
SO timely!

I have 2 horses on 5 acres but right now most of the grass is dead so I've been feeding a lot of hay. Even though my guys have been together for almost a year and are connected at the hip I think the move to my new farm has brought out some dominance issues. If I put 2 piles out for them Juice will run over and pee on one pile and then leave it to eat the other. Of course my other horse doesn't want to eat the pee pile and neither does Juice so it ends up getting wasted :mad:

I tossed around the idea to start getting round bales but I really don't want to put out $400 or more for a round bale holder and the way my farm would set it, it wouldn't be easy to have them delivered.

The NibbleNets look like a good idea but are they really worth $50? and do they give enough hay to horses that don't need it restricted.. just need help being a little neater?

For a horse that doesn't need hay restricted, just reduce weight; is the NibbleNet better than a normal hay bag (http://www.jeffersequine.com/ssc/product.asp?CID=1&mscssid=BH5L0RNW59E28K0VA6X24W7RV7R109K3&pf_id=13264) (about a 1/5 of the cost) or even something like this Hay Bag (http://www.jeffersequine.com/ssc/product.asp?CID=1&mscssid=BH5L0RNW59E28K0VA6X24W7RV7R109K3&pf_id=0031206) (half the price of the NibbleNet)

This also looks cool (http://www.jeffersequine.com/ssc/product.asp?CID=1&mscssid=BH5L0RNW59E28K0VA6X24W7RV7R109K3&pf_id=0034784)but I don't see how it would be safe to "hang low to the ground" because the horse could put a foot in it.

Bluehorsesjp
Dec. 16, 2009, 04:45 PM
Try feeding the hay in an old water trough.
It doesn't get muddy, or get tracked around. Works great and I worry about injuries less with a trough than I would with net when I am not around to monitor things

Meredith Clark
Dec. 16, 2009, 04:57 PM
Is he generally playful and destructive? I have one that is NOT and feeding him hay in a muck bucket worked great. Luckily, however, he never tried to dump it over or play with it... My other two aren't so kind.

:lol: I actually tried this today (before reading this thread!) I put a flake in the muck tub and one of my horses walked over, grabbed the bale with his mouth and pulled the entire thing out!

He was very happy to eat it off the ground with the empty muck bucket sitting near by :no::lol:

Phaxxton
Dec. 16, 2009, 05:02 PM
:lol: I actually tried this today (before reading this thread!) I put a flake in the muck tub and one of my horses walked over, grabbed the bale with his mouth and pulled the entire thing out!

He was very happy to eat it off the ground with the empty muck bucket sitting near by :no::lol:

One of mine does this with his feed tub... with bran mash. :no: Licks the bran mash off the stall floor while his bucket sits next to it. :lol:

S1969
Dec. 16, 2009, 05:06 PM
I fight this battle all winter as well. My mare will *never* eat hay that has touched dirt, manure, pee, or has been rained on. She will eat it out of the snow, but generally no matter what I do there is always a thin layer of hay left no matter where I put it or how long I leave it.

I prefer feeding it in the pasture because it will ultimately compost into my grass; in my paddock I tend to have to rake up hay a few times each winter. Sigh.

buck22
Dec. 16, 2009, 05:19 PM
The NibbleNets look like a good idea but are they really worth $50? and do they give enough hay to horses that don't need it restricted.. just need help being a little neater?
imho, nope. cheap hay nets work just fine for keeping hay from being dragged and walked all over. I use a NN for the specific purpose of slowing consumption down, but also use regular nets in areas where I just don't want the hay scattered everywhere.

Roxyllsk
Dec. 16, 2009, 05:22 PM
She has a terrific method - she uses those really deep rubber water tubs - I'm talking they come well above the horse's knees, the long 100 gallon ones - and since her one horse is very prone to colic, the tubs get filled with a few inches of water so the hay is wet. The horses can't tip the buckets because of the water - I would think that a couple of cinder blocks would work the same way, or maybe some of those big salt blocks. And these tubs are in the middle of rubber mats. So the horses do pull some of the hay out, but not that much, and they really don't waste a whole lot.

And as a bonus, they seem to really like the hay water so drink that down.

Seems to work really well for her, and she has 2 fussy TBs.

Bogie
Dec. 16, 2009, 06:08 PM
I bought a metal pasture feeder about 6 years ago and it's more than paid for itself.

Not only do I hate looking at wasted hay, I hate having to scrape up and dispose of said hay.

The feeder I bought is pretty sturdy. Occasionally I find it tipped over, but not often.

You can see it here -- I wrote up an article that compares different kinds of feeders.

Save Hay and Money with a Pasture Feeder. (http://www.equineproductsreview.com/?q=content/save-hay-and-money-pasture-feeder)

mkevent
Dec. 16, 2009, 06:14 PM
I second Chocomare's advice. I bought the small mesh hay nets last year (after using hay bags or hay nets exclusively for many years) and I have to say that they are GREAT!!!

There is so much less wastage with the small mesh because the horses can't pull out large clumps of hay and waste it. The other advantage is that they eat more slowly instead of wolfing down their hay and hanging out waiting for the next feeding. It's kinda cool-when I turn mine out in the morn, they will eat from the hay nets for awhile, then graze in the pasture, then return and eat more out of the haynets.

If you click on my website(on my signature), you can see the horses eating from the haynets under the overhangs in the photo gallery section.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 16, 2009, 08:23 PM
I second Chocomare's advice. I bought the small mesh hay nets last year (after using hay bags or hay nets exclusively for many years) and I have to say that they are GREAT!!!

.

Do you worry about them getting legs caught in the hay nets, as apposed to the hay bags that seem a bit safer?

(sorry to high jack this thread OP but I have the same problem!)

scpezold
Dec. 16, 2009, 09:34 PM
I love my hay net with smaller holes. Mine was pretty darn cheap at Millers. My guy was on stall rest and INHALED hay. I would give hay and go to work and he generally finished it within 2 hours. Purchased the small holed hay net and hung it up from the rafters (about wither high) in a free span area. Not only could he get only a bit out but he could not stabilize it on anything which made it even more of a challenge. Worked perfectly. Only a little hay would be left when I came home and I know he was not bored during this time. Also there is little to no waste that makes it to the floor. By far the BEST haynet I have had. Very good for overweight horses not on pasture.
With the hay bags and haynets it just seems to make it so much easier to waste (holes are way to big).

alteringwego
Dec. 16, 2009, 09:43 PM
sounds to me like you're feeding too much. Horses will eat what they need and waste anything more. Only toss a couple flakes at a time and when he stops eating it then don't toss more.

ChocoMare
Dec. 17, 2009, 07:07 AM
Do you worry about them getting legs caught in the hay nets, as apposed to the hay bags that seem a bit safer?



Nope, no worries. The Small Mesh Hay nets are not hung anywhere near legs--especially if attached to the bottom of a barrel. And the holes are truly small. No leg is gonna get caught.

mkevent
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:32 AM
Meredith-I hang mine at wither height also and haven't had a problem so far (trying not to jinx myself-they are horses, after all). It does really keep them entertained-and I never see the horses chew wood because they always have something to do.

rmh_rider
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:32 AM
Here is what I did for my horrible bad hay waster horse. I have had him now 12 years, got as a weanling. I usually have SO much pasture I don't really feed much hay. Lots is left over. IOW my pasture still has grass through the winter, and they like whatever there is on the pasture instead of what I give in hay.


Well the fatty in this subject is now in a smaller pasture, and will be staying there a long time, like forever due to a near founder over last late summer. This horse if you give hay on the ground will not eat all of it, or hardly any of it. Then he poo's all around, and on it. Drives me insane. It is as though hay on the ground is taboo to eat. Go figure! Hmm, maybe he does have an issue with the hay touching the ground, or either that he is not really hungry for it and wants pasture instead.

I have decreased his grain to about 1 cup a day. So he is not filling up on grain, and he has no access to lots of pasture any more. Still he didn't eat his hay. And believe me there is no grass to eat. It is currently all dead in this particular pasture, or rather it is dormant.

I got sick of the waste. SO I took a spare plastic water trough, not a muck bucket because that could be a play toy seen it in other horses. Also, I didn't want him to pull the hay out iow. I tossed hay in the 100 gallon water trough, and he eats ALL the hay every time. Wow, I have a normal horse. It is the wildest thing. I am just so amazed! Every time he eats it, every time. I have no clue why this is happening. Wow!

He does however poo all around and right next to the trough. I shake my head at this. He is a total pig in a stall too. So he is out most all the time, which is fine for an endurance horse.

Try a water trough. Yes, if it rains there will be water. My friend is going to give me one with holes in it that somebody put there on purpose. May have to put up on a couple poles so it will drain. Due to all the poo in the area I am moving the trough around every now and then. When it rains, I just dump out the water and add hay. Easy.

Try a plastic trough! Might work for you too.

trubandloki
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:33 AM
Do you worry about them getting legs caught in the hay nets, as apposed to the hay bags that seem a bit safer?



I hang my small hole hay nets pretty low (far lower than I would hang a regular hay net) and I do not worry. The holes are small enough that it would be hard work for a horse to get a leg into them.

jn4jenny
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:40 AM
The NibbleNets look like a good idea but are they really worth $50?

Not in most situations, no. The $10 Miller's Harness hay net does the job for most folks--or a hockey net, or a home built feeder, or two regular hay nets stacked one on top of the other to make the hay a little harder to get. I own a $10 Miller's Harness net for shows/trailering, and it's a great little product.

I stepped up to the Nibblenet because I'm in a boarding situation where I can't ask the BO to fiddle with the $10 Miller's Harness net. I have read a million times on this forum about the "muck bucket trick" to fill the Miller's Harness net and how easy it is to hang with a carabiner clip--both tricks that I use when I use this net myself. But it would still require an extra two minutes of my BO's time morning and evening compared to throwing the hay on the ground, meaning it would create an extra 2 hours of work on my horse every single month. Compare that to 10 extra seconds AM/PM to fill a Nibblenet hanging on the wall, or 10 minutes a month.

In that situation, it was worth an extra $40 for the Nibblenet to keep BO/boarder relations intact and healthy. And the product is VERY well constructed--it will hold up to a helluva lot of abuse. But so would the Miller's Harness net, I'd imagine.

rmh_rider
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:45 AM
Oh, I did want to add, the trough I am using has a metal bar across it in the middle. I guess it is to help with it being more sturdy since it is such thin plastic, or rather thinner than the rubber maid ones. I got this from my sister long long ago when she got out of horses, and it is a thin plastic not a rubber maid trough iow. No clue where it came from either. The bar is not the length of the trough but across the width of it. If you don't have one with a bar, you can fix one up by rigging something across it somehow.

I know this keeps my horse from pulling out all the hay. There is very little hay waste.

I have seen one horse I had who liked to swim or dip in the water trough, and I put this one out there and all the fun stopped. Yeah!

Oh, this hay wasting is a pet peeve of mine too. I have a lava flow when I see it, comes right out my ears! I hate hay waste! Brats!

My hay is a lovely tim / orchard mix. Yum.

The cheapest trough on the farm has now gone to the most worthy one of all. Also, since there is no drain it doesn't leak either.

mkevent
Dec. 17, 2009, 09:51 AM
rmh rider- is your trough the Rubbermaid kind? If so, they are really easy to drill holes into the bottom.

Another thought-I've found that some of my retirees prefer the softer orchard grass type hay over the timothy-guess it's easier for them to eat. I'm actually nerdy enough to try to give the type of hay each horse prefers in his net so he'll eat more of it. Since I only get my hay from one supplier, this trick only works so far...

IME, the thoroughbreds have been the most picky about the hay type and do prefer the soft orchard grass FWIW.

KPF
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:20 AM
Just the sort of input I needed... and nice to know this is a common thing. My other two horses are in another pasture and they barely waste ANY hay so this is a new phenomenon to me!

I tried the muck tub w/water and a couple flakes this morning... when I left for work an hour later, he hadn't flipped it over and had eaten some of it. We'll see. I'm looking into a nibble net also, those sound great. Not sure I want to add hay wrestling into my morning routine with the small hole hay net.

Also wanted to add, we're only talking about a flake or two, at most, that he wastes-- I'm not throwing a ton of hay out there. His hay is orchard, oat and/or alfalfa depending on what bales I have open that day and he eats all of it in the stall every night. So it's not a matter of him getting too much or not liking the hay.

Anyway, thanks again for all the suggestions!

rmh_rider
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:21 AM
mkevent

I have 3 rubber maid troughs, 1 metal, and then this other thinner grey plastic trough. Not going to drill my good rubber maid ones. The metal and thinner trough are the ones from my sister. Amazing the metal one doesn't leak yet.

I am waiting for the other trough with the holes in it already from my friend. Should get it this weekend.

The hay I have is not overly coarse and stemmy. It is really nice first cut. I have last years hay and then some this years hay. I am feeding last years hay since we were having a drought, I bought alot. But I have found no difference on hay waste with old and new hay. Go figure.

I have the arab gelding, a RM filly, and a boarding arab/QH cross. It is kinda hit and miss on the later two to eat hay right now, but they are no where close to the arab wasting hay. He seems to prefer the lay of the land, and he stays nice and fat on the pasture year round (and that is also in heavy heavy work too), so he sees no reason to eat hay, if there is pasture. Brat. This horse has no ulcers, no eating problems, no health problems, eats like a horse (or pig) at all rides, on the trailer, tied to the side of the trailer all weekend, he has no preference on thick or thin or type of hay, etc. He isn't a big fan of alfalfa, but will eat it. He is smart, and takes very good care of himself. He just doesn't like apparently to eat hay off the ground, he will away from home like at a ride, but won't eat it all. Brat!

I guess he doesn't realize the efforts I go to to provide him good hay, and food service. He snubs me!

I am thrilled I have figured it out. Miracle. I wish I had figured it out long ago.

mkevent
Dec. 17, 2009, 10:27 AM
Don't feel bad-the most obvious things occur to me years later than anyone else.

The sad thing-I'm still proud of myself when I figure it out!!

Meredith Clark
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:15 AM
Nope, no worries. The Small Mesh Hay nets are not hung anywhere near legs--especially if attached to the bottom of a barrel. And the holes are truly small. No leg is gonna get caught.

Ok thanks! (and to the others that assured me it would be difficult for my horses to try to hang themselves in the hay net!)

I think i'm going to try the small hay nets and if that seems to work do the bottom of the barrel trick.

My horses get a good alfalfa hay (young OTTBs that I don't have to restrict their intake) and I hate to see them waste it, or to go long periods with out hay.

Thankfully my landlord was a big Welsh pony breeder/shower back in his day so he has all sorts of useful stuff laying around.. most of it being too small (I'd love to hook my TB up to the little carriage he has!) but he does have barrels that I might have to steal :winkgrin:

ChocoMare
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:18 AM
Ahem...as the former employee of a Government Contractor, we learned that use of the word "steal" was much too harsh. Much nicer to use the word "Procure." :winkgrin:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Meredith Clark
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:26 AM
Ahem...as the former employee of a Government Contractor, we learned that use of the word "steal" was much too harsh. Much nicer to use the word "Procure." :winkgrin:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

aah.. thank you wise ChocoMare.. I will be procuring them from him this afternoon :lol:

Phaxxton
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:30 AM
sounds to me like you're feeding too much. Horses will eat what they need and waste anything more. Only toss a couple flakes at a time and when he stops eating it then don't toss more.

Normally, I'd agree, but I have a horse who would waste hay in the paddock no matter how little you fed him. If you gave him 2 flakes, he'd eat one and lay on the other. If you gave him 5 flakes, he'd eat 4 and lay on the other... If you gave him one, he'd eat half of it and lay on the rest...

We wound up making a straw bed for him to lay in so he wouldn't waste the hay anymore.

SmartAlex
Dec. 17, 2009, 11:58 AM
Ahem...as the former employee of a Government Contractor, we learned that use of the word "steal" was much too harsh. Much nicer to use the word "Procure." :winkgrin:

"Acquire" also works. My sister once pointed out that I seemed to "acquire" a lot of her things that seemed unappreciated and needed a new home. ;)

The small hole haynets make me feel alot better about using nets. Especially when my stepfather does chores as he is not as careful about the hanging height as Mom and I are. Although, I don't doubt that if my horses got them untied, they'd be wearing them around like fish net stockings.

BEARCAT
Dec. 17, 2009, 12:10 PM
Buy small-mesh hay nets (http://millerharness.com/Product.aspx?p=X4-27286)from Millers.

Get a plastic barrel.

Make and mount slow feeder as shown here (Bearcat's feeder...top right) http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Barrel+Feeders

;)

Oh look, I'm famous!! ;)

Just wanted to add that I have completly done away with the lid on my barrel feeder. I use it in my Mustang's pen and he is a little guy (under 15 hands) and there is no way he could reach over the top (especially since all the hay falls to the bottom net part.) It makes filling those up super duper easy - Just throw the hay over the fence right in the barrel. I always thought those would be a great set up in stalls/boarding situations since they don't take any extra time whatsoever. And they are cheap too! And can hold a lot of hay.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 17, 2009, 03:17 PM
Oh look, I'm famous!! ;)

.

You're my hero! I wish I was as crafty!

I really wanted to make the hanging barrel with the hay net hanging from it but when I was at the farm today I realized my fence posts aren't really high enough to make that work. The perimeter fence has electric so I can't hang it there and the sacrifice paddock (which I'd rather it be anyway) has wood post and rails but if I connected the barrel to the post (not sure how i'd do that anyway) the net would be almost touching the ground, sort of awkward for the horses to try to eat it.

I think I might try the wood lid with holes one!

Gnalli
Dec. 18, 2009, 06:22 PM
Buy small-mesh hay nets (http://millerharness.com/Product.aspx?p=X4-27286)from Millers.

Get a plastic barrel.

Make and mount slow feeder as shown here (Bearcat's feeder...top right) http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Barrel+Feeders

;)

THOSE ARE AWESOME!!!!!

starkissed
Dec. 18, 2009, 06:30 PM
don't put as much out! Hay wasting- uhg it kills me- like burning money! I get offended when I haul it out there and they just trash it.

Its mid december and our 3 boys STILL are not eating hay outside! I throw at most one flimsy flake per horse. They eat about half that. So I don't put any more out- maybe like 1 new flake a day. They eat in the barn when they are in for like 5 hours.

Just throw half of what you normally put out so he cleans it up. He won't suffer! There is probably some tiny bit of grass left that he thinks is better! As long as he get's enough when he is in the barn (so he doesnt lose weight) he will be fine. save your $$$

PS I don't think putting it in a feeder will make him eat it better- I guess easier for you to clean up. But I would rather just not have to clean up.