Nibble hay nets- recommendations and good for not easy keepers?
I recently moved my horse to a coop farm and I have now realized that she is 1) a slob and 2) a hay gobbler (although she wastes it too due to her sloppiness). When I am not there, I section out the hay she should be fed. Right now, it is being fed on the floor in her stall- but she enjoys pooping in it and clearly spends a lot of time walking around in her stall grinding everything up. I also worry about her eating everything up quickly and not having anything to do all night long.
My other question/ concern- most of the reviews I read of these nets mention how great they are for air fern types. My horse is not that type. She is a little bit of a hard keeper, so I like to stuff her with as much hay as she'll eat. Is this type of hay net appropriate for that or should I go with one that is easier for her to get the hay from?
Assuming I do go with a hay net, I like her to have quite a lot of hay so I need something that can hold about 5-6 good size flakes (about 15-20 lbs of hay). I'll be buying probably 4 nets, so I can leave them all packed and ready to go for other feeders. I don't really want to break the bank with them, so I was looking at these two types at Dover. Any experience with these? How much hay can be stuffed into the smaller one? TIA!
I have quite a few of them in my barn. I use them for both the air fern/hoover types, and also the hard keepers who tend to swirl their hay around instead of eating it. It works GREAT for those guys! I have one mare who, before her Nibble Net, hardly ate any hay, and would generally just trash it. We wasted a lot of hay on her. Now she is almost guaranteed to eat the majority of her hay. There is no waste, and because she doesn't trash it, she is more interested in it.
For what you are talking about, I would totally do it. I have actual Nibble Nets, but the small hole feeders would be a good option, as well.
I have both a regular hay net and a small hole hay net. I found that the amount eaten was about the same between the two because mine would take huge mouthfuls from the regular net and drop a bunch on the floor, which was then considered tainted and not eaten. The small hole net made them take smaller bits that were cherished and eaten with almost none dropped on the floor.
It's the exact same net as the Dover one, $12 cheaper (nevermind the Dover shipping!!!!!) and from my favorite tack store ever...good people!
Yes, I've netted hay for both easy and hard keepers. My little OTTB is ADD, so when I leave her hay on the ground it gets swirled around as she pokes her nose into everyone else's business. And yes, once it's got the slightest bit of bedding on it, it's inedible. When it's in the net, she merrily eats it all with no waste or mess.
When I had a barn, I had small hole hay nets for everyone. I still use some outside. I will never go back to not feeding in hay nets again--at least in a stall. So much less waste and time spent cleaning stalls. I only do small hole nets--large holes a horse can get a foot through--so for safety in case that crazy thing happens, I only use small hole.
The hay nets don't starve them, they just make it last longer So, if you have a horse that needs more feed, just hang more nets so they really have it all the time. For the air ferns, you would say fill 1 net and it would last a while, then when it was gone, its gone.
I use the small hole hay nets from Chick's. They were $9.99 and they've lasted a year with brutal horses, so they have my vote. I can fit about 20 lbs of hay into one of these nets.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
I found my fussy mare ate her hay better when it put it in a small hole hay net. I had tried just about everything (hay rack, feeding one flake at a time, large hole net, moving where I fed the hay) and nothing was helping. Her hay habits sound like your horse, hay on the floor was manured or peed on and was then tainted.
Buy the cheaper small hole hay net (or two so you are not expecting others to fill it for you) and give it a try. That way you are not out so much money if it does not work out.
My hard keeper likes his hay in a net. If it is on the ground he likes to step on it once and consider it tainted forever. Not possible with the Nibblenets.
Same thing for my medium keeper who likes to paw hay into the middle of his stall and pee on it. Sigh. They have PLENTY of bedding, let me assure you. The Nibblenet has saved me at least 30% in hay waste savings.
What height does everyone usually hang the nets at?
I have a horse who wears front shoes that is a hard keeper. I've always thought he would benefit from a small hole hay net but have always heard that horses with shoes shouldn't have them unless very high up. He's at a boarding barn with last feeding at 630pm and he's usually done with it by 8. Morning feed at 7 am and workers complain that he eats too slow in the morning and his stall is hard to clean with hay everywhere (He goes outside before he's done) so they don't give him as much as I'd like. Issue is that he also has the restriction that he is supposed to eat with his head low. He had surgery for a roar in 2006.
I currently do have his feed bucket hung on a rubber coated chain so it's lower, but not on the floor. He knocks over rubber floor pans and dumps his food out (wasting most of it), so that has never been an option. We've never had issues with the bucket.
I like the look of the free-up feeder as the angle seems better than a regular hay net (don't like when horses have to twist their neck strangely to eat) and it seems easy to fill, but I would need to hang it fairly low.
I took the recommendations here and ordered hay nets from Cheshire horse and so far so good! My horse is eating more hay and it is not all over the stall. It has made stall cleaning MUCH easier as an added benefit. I hung the net about 6 feet high or so? maybe higher? I put a 2 ended snap on the top and hooked all the loops at the top through it- saw someone else at my barn do it that way and it worked.
For the previous poster, I found this site, maybe there would be a solution here for your horse. I am hoping to find something for my horse's paddock that will be safe, easy to use and not too expensive. My horse also wears shoes and has been known to paw at things on the ground, so I would need to find something she can't hook a leg in. Good luck on your search, post back if you find something good. http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Slow+Feeders
I actually really like the Nibble nets for horses who don't need quite as much restriction in their speed of intake. The best thing about them is they are VERY easy to "stuff", and I don't worry as much about hanging them "down low" because there are no strings or bits of things to get caught in a shoe or whatever.
So I use them a lot at shows and hang them quite low--about wither height so the horse has its head DOWN to eat. One of mine has a neck problem and I try to keep his nose down on the ground as much as possible.
At home Where The Easy Keepers Are I use the Cinch Chix nets, mostly, because they have the nice small mesh and are easiER (still moderately a PITA) to stuff than regular "over the counter" hay nets.