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dreamswept
Apr. 7, 2010, 12:03 AM
Hay!

That's right, I said hay! My pony has had a small mesh hay net (the Freedom Feeder) for 2 months now. What can I say! Slow feed haynets are the way to go, especially when you've got a smart crackerjack pony who gets no turnout time, and is in a boarding situation when he only gets fed twice a day. It's not ideal, but I try my best, and the haynet has helped stretch out his breakfasts and dinners so he can actually spend more time eating. We got the Freedom Feeder because of the ease of fastening the bag open so all the feeders had to do was stuff the hay in through the opening.

The thing is, he's just killing the Freedom Feeder. The one he's got right now is actually the replacement for the first one he had (they sent it to me free of charge) where he gnawed giant holes in the thing. The little POA mare next to him also has a Freedom Feeder and she pretty much taught him how to fling the thing up in the air and shake it around (whereas she just flips the bag up a little). He does a pretty good job chewing on it too, and just basically beating the heck out of it. I tried tying the bailing twine in a loop like the webpage said, but that just made it easier for him to rip holes in it.

I think ... I need something stronger than that soft nylon mesh. Like the ones with the webbing. I talked to the guys who do our feeding, and mentioned that Mitch was beating the hay net up, and the head feeder guy said he's observed that. So I mentioned I'm going to try and get a different bag. He was fine with that. So ...

I'm thinking I either need the Busy Grande Slow Feeder ( http://busyhorse.com/busygrande_slow.html ) or the Nibble Net Slow Feeder ( http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblenet/nibblenetframe.htm ) I'm trying to decide the advantages of using either, and given their prices they're pretty much similar there. Has anyone used either? Which one is easier to get the hay into? Right now, I'm leaning towards the Busy Grande because I could use one of those bucket hanging straps, the feeders could pull the bag out through the pipe corral stuff the hay in, snap it back on and flip the net back over through the pipe rail. And being open on both sides, they wouldn't have to line it up perfectly or anything, which might save a step.

Thoughts? Any reasons why the Nibble Net is better?

Tegan
Apr. 7, 2010, 03:46 AM
I have a nibble net and love it. I think the solid back makes it more sturdy. It is super easy to load-- set the clips facing outwards so when you unbuckle the top, the bag will fall open. Shove in hay, re clip, and you're done.

I do not have a destructive horse but have had no problems with tearing. Other people in the barn have started buying nibble nets as well and so far, all have been very sturdy. It's made out of canvas and I think it would be very hard to shred.

lwk
Apr. 7, 2010, 07:22 AM
The Nibble Net has stood up to the abuse that my draft cross gives it. She grabs it in her teeth and flings it repeatedly against the wall hard enough to make a lot of noise. She spent all winter doing this and the Nibble Net still looks like new.
I have it fastened to the wall at top and bottom with the straps that come with it. You could do the same on a pipe corral.
Be sure to get the smaller holes.

I have no experience with the Busy Grande.

buck22
Apr. 7, 2010, 07:26 AM
omg, the nibble net. Other than my D rings ripping out, the thing withstands some major abuse from my morgan. Everytime its filled, I put an extra tasty flake of hay right in the middle. he he he. This drives him crazy, he wants to gobble that flake but can't get at it, so he tries to crack the NN like a piƱata. Full body blows with his shoulders, squashing it with his hips, pawing, biting, I have even witnessed him turn around and mule kick it. both barrels.

the NN is like an evil joke, just sits there and takes the abuse. he he he. Amusement every morning.

Oldenburg Mom
Apr. 7, 2010, 08:16 AM
I am considering doing one of these for my mare who turns into a blimp. I found this site, which I think is an absolute godsend, as it has all kinds of choices at all kinds of prices!!!

Good luck and let me know what you think! http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Hay+Net+Comparison+Chart

On the left there are bunch of links; one is "Avoid these mistakes" which is really useful too.

ponyjumper4
Apr. 7, 2010, 09:26 AM
Does anyone make any that can be fed safe from the ground?

appychik
Apr. 7, 2010, 09:31 AM
Have you tried one of the small mesh nets (from like Dover/Millers/Smith Brothers)? They are CHEAP but pretty durable. Mine has taken some abuse from a couple horses were fed up with not getting a lot out at one time. The link that Oldenburg Mom posted has some information plus photos of the small mesh nets in use. They have a smaller hole they normal hay nets, thus "slowing down" the horse a bit.

Worth a shot... and definitely a lot less spendy then the Nibble Net/Busy Horse ones. :yes:

sixpoundfarm
Apr. 7, 2010, 09:41 AM
I have the busy grande for a hungry WB on stall rest, and its tough! We figured out a good way to hang it with a carribeaner on the top, and another low to prevent turning it round and round, and all is good now. Oh, and we 'sew' the top shut with a clothesline cord, to keep the horse from just eating it out of the top of the net. ;)
We have found it on the ground a few times, and it had obviously been pawed, stomped and mauled. Rinsed it off and good as new. I have to admit that I purchased this one instead of the nibblenet due to price, and so far its worked out really well.

Dalemma
Apr. 7, 2010, 09:54 AM
My mares do great on the Nibble Net but my geldings destroyed theirs........I had to take the back off and secure the net to the stall wall......well actually the boys ripped them both almost completely apart.

Dalemma

Oldenburg Mom
Apr. 7, 2010, 10:15 AM
Does anyone make any that can be fed safe from the ground?

Check out the site I mentioned above. I think they call them "pillows" :lol: and as long as your horse is barefoot, you're ok. Read about them and look at the pix. They're very informative.

dreamswept
Apr. 7, 2010, 10:16 AM
Have you tried one of the small mesh nets (from like Dover/Millers/Smith Brothers)? They are CHEAP but pretty durable. Mine has taken some abuse from a couple horses were fed up with not getting a lot out at one time. The link that Oldenburg Mom posted has some information plus photos of the small mesh nets in use. They have a smaller hole they normal hay nets, thus "slowing down" the horse a bit.

Worth a shot... and definitely a lot less spendy then the Nibble Net/Busy Horse ones. :yes:

Yup, thought of them. And yeah, they're a heck of a lot cheaper. But I've never filled a hay net, and I'm not sure if the guys who feed want to either. It just seems easier to slide the hay into a Nibble Net or Busy Grande, and I'm willing to justify the price difference on that.

ETA: Looking at the pictures on the Busy Horse website, I think this one: http://busyhorse.com/img/pic1.jpg is pretty much what I'm thinking about. He's got a somewhat solid front to his pipe corral due to some plastic panels that the bag would rest against.

cdalt
Apr. 7, 2010, 02:29 PM
I have been using the Busy Grande Slow feeder for over a year and I love it. I like that the holes are 1.75 inch rather than 2 inch (like the Nibblenet) - my fat pony needs all the slowing down he can get! One of the hanging rings at the top did come off but I use a bucket hanging strap and have no problems with hanging it. I weave another strap through the top openings to keep him from pulling hay out the top but if I hung it higher would not need to do that. It has held up very well and I'd buy another one even though I gulped at the price initially. Hope this helps!

trubandloki
Apr. 7, 2010, 03:05 PM
I like that the holes are 1.75 inch rather than 2 inch (like the Nibblenet)

Nibblenets area available with 1.5" holes. :yes:

Melelio
Apr. 7, 2010, 04:29 PM
... We figured out a good way to hang it with a carribeaner on the top, and another low to prevent turning it round and round,


You hired two people from the Caribbean to turn your horse's hay net for you? That's GOTTA be expensive!!!!! :lol::lol::lol:

I bet if you got some Carabiner hooks, it'd be cheaper, and you could let those two folk go back to sit on their beach with a daiquiri to cool off after all that hard work... :winkgrin:

sixpoundfarm
Apr. 7, 2010, 09:55 PM
Only the best for my horse! LOL!

ksojerio
Apr. 8, 2010, 12:10 AM
I have a lot of poly baling twine laying around so I just crochet my own slow feeder bags. You need a size N hook.

If you want directions send me a PM.

dreamswept
Apr. 8, 2010, 01:27 AM
I have a lot of poly baling twine laying around so I just crochet my own slow feeder bags. You need a size N hook.

If you want directions send me a PM.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm going to go with the nylon webbing bags. My pony will chew baling twine if he got half a chance.

So now, I've talked with the feeders and they don't think it would be a problem to use the Busy Grande. However, after talking with someone else who used the Nibble Net for their Haffie, I'm starting to lean that way, especially since I could tie the bottom of the bag down to the pipe fencing and rig it up so only the front d-rings have to be opened, and the feeders can stuff the hay inside there.

The question is, what size would I need to get if that was the case? He gets 2 large flakes of grass hay twice a day.

devcubber
May. 21, 2010, 11:33 AM
My mare ate her nibble net...in 2 days. great idea, not durable for me. I am using the Health EZ Hay Feeder and I love it! Easy to load (thank the stars) and she can eat 3 flakes out of it all day long without walking any hay around. It really stays in the case. It's not for the ground though, it has to be "swinging" from the paddock rail or her stall hook. Super safe, and she is a monster and can get into anything (and has). Dover's and Jeffers has them!

copper1
May. 24, 2010, 09:03 AM
I second the EZ Hay feeder-awesome!

vali
May. 24, 2010, 06:04 PM
Our pony also ate through two nibble nets. Great idea, but ponies are determined little beavers.

shoutten
May. 24, 2010, 08:28 PM
http://www.tackoftheday.com/default.aspx Small square hay nets :)

columbus
May. 24, 2010, 08:49 PM
I am feeding slow with the Dover small hole bags. I don't like the ties for the bags...I think if an animal tangles somehow in the bag something should break, those ties will NOT break and I could pull my 3/4 ton truck out of a ditch with them...so I replaced the tie with a nylon bucket strap. With the bucket straps either the stitching on the loop or the snap can break if a horse somehow gets snagged. So once the hay bag is empty I pull the bucket strap out of the top loops of the hay bag and clip the snap to the bag so I dont loose it. To fill I have a hard plastic muck bucket. I put the closed end of the hay bag in the muck bucket and fold the top over the top lip of the bucket and fill the bag with flakes...about 4-5 big flakes...then I unfold the top from the bucket and thread the bucket strap through all the top loops of the hay bag. When I get back to the snap I thread the snap through the bucket strap loop and pull. The bag is ready for hanging. I fill 4 bags in about 10 minutes and have them ready to hang for the next feeding. Oh, I bought twice as many bags as I had feeding station so I could just set up the next feeding without having to empty or deal with previous bags until I have time. Best management tool I have ever used. PatO

columbus
May. 24, 2010, 09:04 PM
Be careful using carabiners...I would say they are too dangerous to use, but at the least only use them out of reach of horses. It is too easy to get something caught in the snap. I have seen de-lidding eye injuries on line somewhere and I can see how easy it would be to happen. Take care. PatO

cdalt
May. 25, 2010, 02:46 PM
I actually measured the holes on the Busy Grande feeder and they are closer to 1 1/2 inch than 1.75 inch. Mine is around 2 years old and I just noticed some stitching coming apart (I have two horses sharing it and saw that they were pulling out huge chunks of hay). They have been tossing the feeder around and beating on it (I didn't have it secured at the bottom which, in retrospect, was not such a good idea). I used some Gorilla glue to put the pulled apart places back together and since they were only on one side, put that side against the barn and tied off the bottom so they could no longer fling it around. So far, so good (they are clever little devils - I'm sure they will keep trying to destroy it). I am going to order another one to have in reserve for when this one dies. I did try the Dover mini-net but they just bit a big hole in it in no time and it was a pain to fill anyway.