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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    5,211

    Default best small-hole hay net?

    I'm trying to simplify my morning routine. I want something that will make 2 fat flakes last for 12+ hrs if that's possible.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Try double netting using two small-mesh nets.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Zone IV/Area III
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    Default

    Hmm I don't know if its possible to make 2 flakes last 12+ hours but Freedom Feeders are VERY easy to use, have great customer service, and have very small holes (1.5''x1.5'').

    You can message me here for more info or click here

    You can also go to the manufacturer's website at http://freedomfeeder.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Zone IV/Area III
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    Default

    yes, you can double net them



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2008
    Posts
    187

    Default

    Several people have suggested "double netting" the hay to make it last longer- does anyone actually do this successfully? I would love my horses' hay to last longer (they currently are fed out of small hole hay nets); but I wonder if they would be able to get the hay out of such small holes (as a side note, we just switched over from coastal to Timothy and Alfalfa- separately baled, so the alfalfa is very compacted). Thoughts?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    875

    Default

    http://www.cinchchix.com/place-your-order.html#

    Scroll down to the "Mini Net", it comes in a smaller hole version too.

    I use the regular one, and the holes are pretty small, so the slow feed one would probably be what you would like.

    These are really good hay bags. My horse wind sucks and was pulling the waterer out of the wall, so that is why I started using them. I wanted hay in front of my horse 24/7. I can fit 5-6 flakes in it, but they would work fine if you didnt fill them all the way up.

    They are on their 2nd year of daily use, and they have held up great. The netting is small enough, that my horse doesnt use them to wind suck.

    Good luck!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2005
    Location
    Crestwood, KY
    Posts
    1,436

    Default

    I have been using Small Mesh Hay Nets from Miller/Smith Bro/Dover now for several years. They hold up wonderfully to daily use. I tried a Freedom Feeder and they chewed through it within a week, I patched it and they chewed a hole again the next day.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2008
    Posts
    187

    Default

    Shermy-

    I looked up the extra small hole mini hay net (from cinch chix), and it sounds perfect, except for the price tag! Do they ever have sales?

    The two small hole nets that I got came from Charlotte's, and the holes are about 2", and I paid somewhere between $15-20 each for them. They do slow my guys down some, but if I feed three flakes, they will be done with their hay within 2-3 hours.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2002
    Location
    RHE, CA US
    Posts
    2,159

    Default

    I just ordered 5 of the small hole haynets from Chicks Saddlery. For the price, (even with shipping) they are decent quality, easy to load, and large enough for 2-3 flakes of hay.

    My horse has no problem getting hay through the smaller holes, but I am feeding orchard grass hay. It maybe different with a stemmy type of hay like Timothy.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2008
    Posts
    286

    Default

    Do you have a friend that crochets?

    I use poly baling twine and crochet my hay bags. I can make the holes any size I want and I can make the bag any size I want.

    The poly twine is virtually indestructible and it is a great way to recycle.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Saddith, I've fed pretty stemmy timothy using freedom feeders and they seem to get the hay out just fine. Just in case you or anybody else was wondering.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    I used to think small hole nets were a good idea, but I don't think so anymore. It is SO unhealthy for a horse to stand in one spot for hours on end - or all day! They need to be MOVING. And the constant strain and stress of trying to extract food from tiny holes is mentally and physically exhausting. TMJ is a major problem with a lot of horses that too often goes undiagnosed. When the horse is forced to constantly manipulate their jaw in an unnatural motion to extract feed from tiny holes, you set the horse up for neck and TMJ pain.

    Sounds stupid I know, but I've heard of too many horses develop bad habits and physical problems from small hole nets (pawing, TMJ pain, or just grabbing the net and tossing it, ripping it, trying to tear the mesh apart in frustration). And what's really awful are those solid feeders where the horse has to put their head down inside a box to eat. They stand in one place all day long with their head inside a box, inhaling all that hay dust.

    Instead I have been spreading the hay out across the paddock. If you don't want to lose leaves from the hay, or if your horse is on sand, put out several shallow plastic feed tubs and split the hay up among the tubs. You can buy four 18 gallon black plastic Rubbermaid tubs for the same cost as 1 of these fancy small hole nets.

    The horse will spend a lot of time walking from tub to tub looking for the best morsels. My horses will keep walking from pile to pile and not stand at one pile and gorge until it's gone. It's like they have this need to constantly move to the next pile and see what that horse is eating. It keeps everybody moving. The hay lasts longer, and the horses get exercise in the process.

    One of my boarders is a Percheron who is extremely prone to obesity. All last winter I trudged through butt deep snow drifts to spread hay out across the entire paddock. Yeah it takes extra time but it's absolutely worth it. His owner was totally distressed over the fact that he can eat NO food and still get fat. She constantly worries about him being obese but still starving to death because she has to ration his food so strictly. Well, between him and his paddock mate, I was putting out 75 lbs. of hay per day and they never gained a pound while they were here. They both stayed in good shape just from trudging through the snow to find every last leaf of hay. His owner hadn't owned him through a winter yet and she was SO worried about having to starve him through the winter to keep him in weight since she wouldn't be working him. She was worried he would colic from not getting enough hay.........blah blah blah.........but just by putting out literally 6 or 8 piles of hay per day all over the paddock, he stayed in great shape. He kept eating and moving ALL day long. Graet for digestion - great for waist line

    I think a lot of the obesity and IR problem with horses these days is a LACK OF MOVEMENT way moreso than too much hay. I trim some obese horses that live in little dry lots and eat 2 flakes of hay per day and never lose a pound. I try to get these people to MOVE THESE HORSES. Get them walking and trotting. Get them into a larger area and spread out the hay. If you have 3 horses, make 9 piles of hay. Put a more dominant horse in with the obese one so the fatty is moved by the dominant one. If the dominant one is the fat one, put some subordinants in with him so he's the one initiating the moving.

    If you don't have time to ride, just go out there with a longe whip and free longe for 15 minutes. Get the herd trotting and cantering. Get their heart rate up. Just 15 minutes a day can make a HUGE difference. Mine all know when they see me coming with the whip - time to trot!

    By reducing hay intake, you depriving the horse's very complicated and delicate digestive system to processing fraction of the fiber it was meant to process. You are encouraging fat horses to stand in one spot and NOT MOVE. You are putting the horse at risk of behavioral and phsyical side effects. I think it's just a matter of time before we see all these slow feeders fall out of favor because they just perpetuate the problem.

    Less hay is not the answer for a fat horse. More movement is.

    Of course if a person is just trying to conserve hay due to finances or availability, that's a whole different set of issues entirely.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Zone IV/Area III
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    Default

    Usually small hole hay nets are used in stalls, I don't think she was asking about when he was outside. Freedom feeder actually recommends multiple hay nets if used outside to promote movement.

    Freedom feeders are able to be hung lower than traditional hay nets which also lessons the likelihood of dental issues and TMJ issues. Actually, I have a friend who is Natural Balance Dentist and she recommends freedom feeders because they do not disrupt the TMJ.

    I also don't think her horse is obese. My horse is fat, and is out 12+ hours a day with grass. The rest of the time he has a freedom feeder in his stall, which greatly prolongs a few flakes of hay for the entirety of the day that he is inside. This way not only does he constantly have something in his stomach like feral horses, but he is constantly producing saliva that is buffering the acid in his stomach. That is very important for a performance horse.

    I would MUCH rather see a horse with a reduced, but constant hay intake than gobbling up 2 flakes in the stall in 1 hour and then being without hay again for multiple hours until dinner. Unfortunately this happens very often at boarding barns, which is why slow feeders can be very valuable to horse health.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reay6790 View Post
    I would MUCH rather see a horse with a reduced, but constant hay intake than gobbling up 2 flakes in the stall in 1 hour and then being without hay again for multiple hours until dinner. Unfortunately this happens very often at boarding barns, which is why slow feeders can be very valuable to horse health.
    Yes I agree with constant hay instake, but not in the form of a small hole feeder.

    2 flakes of hay going through the gutt is 2 flakes of hay - whether they eat it in 2 hours or 12 hours. The bulk of fiber in the digestive tract is extremely important for prevention of colic and stomach ulcers, as you have mentioned. But I would rather see a horse have more hay available so there is more fiber and more bulk moving through the digestive system. Add more exercise to counteract the calories. Simply reducing bulk to 2 flakes of hay and then packing it into a frustrating hay net so it lasts for 12 hours is not a good way to promote horse health, in my opinion.

    When you feed MORE hay, no you don't want to feed premium alfalfa that is going to pack on the pounds, but a decent grass that they can keep eating all night long is great.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    6,355

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    2 flakes of hay going through the gutt is 2 flakes of hay - whether they eat it in 2 hours or 12 hours. The bulk of fiber in the digestive tract is extremely important for prevention of colic and stomach ulcers, as you have mentioned. But I would rather see a horse have more hay available so there is more fiber and more bulk moving through the digestive system.
    That is absolutely not true. Do you think that horses in the wild -- or, more applicably, horses on weed/grass pastures -- take large mouthfuls of grass at every turn? Our pastures have a mix of different grasses and weeds, and the horses BROWSE among them for their favorites. Seriously, they eat 2-3 little blades at a time. There is constantly something moving through their digestive tracts, but it is not large volume. I think the difference between 2 flakes consumed in an hour and 2 flakes consumed over 12 hours is MONUMENTAL for digestive tract health.

    Please note that when *I* say that it lasts 12 hours I do not mean that the horse works at it, standing in one spot, for 12 hours. Absolutely not the case. Please also note that I am talking about horses for which 2-3 flakes 2X a day is the proper amount of calories. For our hay, each flake is about 4 lbs. A 900 lb hony eating even 2% of her body weight (which IMHO would be a mistake!) would be eating 18 lbs. So about 4-5 flakes. Ta da. And believe me, the difference in the amount of calories burned wandering the pasture vs. eating from a net does NOT counterbalance even one additional flake.

    Not finances. Not availability. Not even ignorance or poor knowledge level. Different circumstances, different horses.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,361

    Default

    I use small hole nets not to keep them from eating hay, but instead to reduce waste. Does a great job -- no more trampled piles of useless (beautiful green expensive) hay in the field for my picky, picky herd. Dew on the hay? Yuck! Dust on the hay? Blech! Dirt on the hay? God forbid! RAIN on the hay? SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!!

    No more. Cut my hay bill in 1/2.

    I do not think there is a small hole net in existence that will make 2 flakes last 12 hours for a really persistent eater. I have a pony that can inhale a flake of hay in about 5 minutes. The best I can do for her is get 2 flakes to last about 3 or 4 hours in a small grid Nibblenet. She is out in a dry lot, about 3/4 acre -- whenever I'm home, I throw her muzzle on and she can forage for blades of grass in the large fields with the rest of the herd for the rest of the day.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Zone IV/Area III
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    1,214

    Default

    maybe if your doubled a freedom feeder? mathematically, if placed correctly, the holes would be half size, which would be .75''x.75''



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
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    Zone IV/Area III
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    Default

    or some other hay net, i just know melissa has had success with doubling freedom feeders

    i will update: johnny never tore his and swung his all over hte place and his oldest one is going on 6 months in great condition. romeo (aka fatty) tore a big hole in his on day 7, and i patched it up with shoe string from a competition number, and turned it over, and he has been much better. sometimes it just takes a while for them to accept the fact that they can no longer inhale hay



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    That is absolutely not true. Do you think that horses in the wild -- or, more applicably, horses on weed/grass pastures -- take large mouthfuls of grass at every turn? Our pastures have a mix of different grasses and weeds, and the horses BROWSE among them for their favorites. Seriously, they eat 2-3 little blades at a time. There is constantly something moving through their digestive tracts, but it is not large volume. I think the difference between 2 flakes consumed in an hour and 2 flakes consumed over 12 hours is MONUMENTAL for digestive tract health.

    Please note that when *I* say that it lasts 12 hours I do not mean that the horse works at it, standing in one spot, for 12 hours. Absolutely not the case. Please also note that I am talking about horses for which 2-3 flakes 2X a day is the proper amount of calories. For our hay, each flake is about 4 lbs. A 900 lb hony eating even 2% of her body weight (which IMHO would be a mistake!) would be eating 18 lbs. So about 4-5 flakes. Ta da. And believe me, the difference in the amount of calories burned wandering the pasture vs. eating from a net does NOT counterbalance even one additional flake.

    Not finances. Not availability. Not even ignorance or poor knowledge level. Different circumstances, different horses.
    Well I'm thrilled for you. For me, I would rather my horses eat free choice as they are designed to do. Small hole nets are not something I will utilize on my farm anymore. Way too many opportunities for bad side effects. To each his own.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,439

    Default The Busy Snacker

    http://www.busyhorse.com/busysnacker.html

    LOVE it.

    Edited to say my horse has had it for 2 years now and it is still in excellent condition.
    EDDIE WOULD GO



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