I have done a search, I promise! But not found a solution for my particular situation.
I'm thinking ahead to winter (horrors!) and feeding dinner hay.
My horses are out all day in a big field. They get breakfast and lunch out there. They come in at night to paddocks with three sided shelters. I am trying to come up with a solution for feeding them three to four flakes at night in some kind of slow feeders.
The show horses have shoes on all winter with snow pads so I don't think a net type thing at ground level will work.
I need solutions for five horses so it needs to be affordable.
I am leaning towards building corner feeders in their shelters with the rigid wire grate on top.
I guess I could build the corner box and use an inexpensive small hole hay net and tie it to the bottom of the box.
Why not just hang a small hole hay net? I cut the long strings out of mine and just cinch them up with bucket straps, which then leaves a short (12'') rope with a clip to hang, easy peasy. The small hole nets don't really sink.
I have a horse on stall rest right now...I just have a constant supply of stocked hay nets, and there's a tie ring in her stall about five and a half feet up. Literally anyone, horse person or not, can grab a hay net, walk in, and clip it to the ring. No worries about explaining how to properly tie up a hay net, worrying about jaws getting caught in the extra line, etc. Simple!
Small hole hay net: $6
Bucket strap: $3
Tie ring: $1-something
Total cost: $10 a horse, give or take. String up multiple bags for horses who need more hay!
I also do slow feed nets for my ulcer-prone, messy-stalled mare who is boarded out. If hay is put on the floor, no matter how delicious, it gets mixed into the bedding. So I make up hay bags, someone walks in, throws the bucket strap around the stall bars and clips it back on itself, and she has hay to munch on all night long.....and there's a cleaner stall to clean!
I REALLY like the idea of the shorter string for hanging. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of that first!
My 2 have haynets but they're too close to their water for my liking so I was going to rig something up but this just makes so much more sense!
Here's a photo And thank god I ran down to take it because Miss Stall Rest was out of hay and NOT PLEASED!
I loop through one ring and snap to the other simply because it stabilizes it a bit. It's perfectly fine just snapped to one. At night I put up two nets, one strung through from each ring and clipped to the other side.
The bucket straps with the rings ($2.99 at horse.com) are easiest to undo after a horse has been pulling at the net all night. (Particularly because I am also soaking my hay.) But I have plenty from my local store that just have a nylon loop at the end, and I just wedge a hoofpick into the loop to undo them.
Takes me about two minutes to fill/lace/cinch a bag. I have 12, split between two farms, so I've gotten good at it.
The Shires Small (they advertise them for goats and ponies) fine mesh hay nets hold 3-4 flakes. The large size holds 1/2 to even 3/4 of a standard 60lb bale, depending on how tight you stuff them, but I find them too unwieldy for me to use. (Vertically challenged!)
I buy them here! My favorite semi-local tack store.
Not as easy as hanging hay nets, but easier to fill...
I have a 2-3 sided run-in (one side opens up) that we have two hay racks in. We made the hay racks out of "horse panel" from Tractor supply. It's the super heavy fencing that comes in ginormous sheets. I didn't need a long piece so when we picked it up, we brought bolt cutters and started off with smaller pieces to begin with.
We used 1 inch wood to make 2 "V's" that serve as the edges of the feeder. Attached the panel in the size we wanted to the pieces of wood, then hung just like a flat-sided stall feeder except the holes prevent quick eating. I have one that is only about 2.5 feet long, and another across the long side that is about 8 feet long. We've been using these feeders for several years now and I love them, the only hay on the ground is the hay I drop when I'm filling the feeders.
The horse panel is super-tiny 2"x4" holes, so stemmy hay will get stuck in there and create a back-up. I cut out a series of 4x4 holes along the bottom (and ground the edges down so they were smooth) to help remove any stemmy pieces or sticks that sometimes get in there from the hay. I suppose you can use the goat panel that is already 4x4" holes but that might not be a slow enough feeder for them.