Slow feeder net set-up, would this work, have you seen something like this?
So I've spent a night or two drinking wine and mulling over feeders on Pintrest, and now I have this slow feeder set up in my mind but can't tell if I've made it up or seen it somewhere. Hopefully I can explain it...
The aim is to set up feeders for 3 different scenerios for the new facility, and to get to the point where we only need to refill them once in the morning and trust the horses will still have some, or just recently run out of hay, by the next morning. The situations:
1) Stalls with horses being in 12-16 hours
2) Individual runs with sheds along front, where horses live 24/7
3) Dirt paddocks for turnout for stalled horses, 8-12 hours/day
So, for the stalls and sheds, which are designed shedrow-style and along a lane, I am trying to design something where we can just pull up next to them with the tractor and hay trailer and stuff hay from the outside, into nets tacked up on the interior wall, and then squeeze the feed door shut. Nets would need to be 4' by 3' or so?, hung high. For stalls, which we can access from outside the barn, have smaller (3' x 3'?) for them, since they will only need them half the day?
Paddocks, those large square bale feeders or hay huts, half under roof and half out ("Sheds" will be roof only, but with wind break walls 10' or so away from the roof so horses will not be as likely to get cornered but still protected).
Has anyone seen or have pictures of the set up of stuffing hay into small hole nets, through a feed door? Would that work, and last all day?
I use two of the Cinch Chix full bale nets. Where I am, it is a 50 pound or less bale that fits in the net. I have two horses with a run in and I hang these in the run in at a distance from each other so mean mare will let meek gelding eat. This usually lasts for 24 hours.
I don't hang them high, I like it to be more like they would eat when grazing.
I guess your plan of stuffing hay from the outside could work. I do have a "hay hoop" thing from Cinch Chix that holds only half a bale. I don't use it too much anymore.
Thanks, all! I'm using this winter as an opportunity to test out different feeders and will report back. DC, do you happen to know the size of the holes in the hockey netting? That, or the golf barrier found in Jarpurs link might be a good starting place.
Vindicated, I hear you and no kidding! I love my hay nets and was hoping to just split the hay I normally feed over 5-6 meals a day into 2 (bought the hay nets at the feed store, not sure of the brand but they hold a lot of hay, up to 15 pounds) but I guess the holes are still a little too big, and horses still ended up going for hours without hay between refills. I would have to refill the nets 3-4 times and go through that much more hay in order to keep something in front of them all of the time and it was getting cost prohibitive.
We have the Hay Hoops collapsible hay feeders in our stalls and outside on the run ins. They are wonderful. The nets some of them came with were very stiff nylon and some of the horses hated it so much the just chewed thru and then made a big hole. But I replaced them with a much softer braided cittony thread type nets. They seem to be more comfortable and while still a slow feeder type hole are not as frustrating to the horses.
They hay hoops are super easy to load and have really stopped waste by the horses.
They are HUGE and can easily fit a full small bale or flakes from a 3 x 3 x 7 large bale. They hold up really well.
They might not be quite as large as you'd eventually like, but it could be a way to get a feel for what you want without spending much $$.
I hang mine from the upper corners about waist height. Thread the drawstring through the top to close, clip to one of the double ended snaps at the corner to secure. To fill, leave hooked up, but unthread the drawstring, and dump hay in. it works great.
One of my favorite things to do now with the Shires nets is to "knot" up the cord tightly and throw them on the ground like a hay pillow. My horses totally dig 'em, but of course, it may not be the best idea for everyone's situation.
Another COTHer suggested it and I am forever grateful... now if only I could remember who it was.
Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO
I can't fill them from outside but I use bale-size Nibblenets in my run in sheds, two per shed. They last two days for two horses in the dead of winter--I put a full bale in and then cut the strings. Here is a pic: