I'm new to the whole feeding square bales regime. We installed a hay manger in the run-in shed. Hay bags didn't work, found them ripped up and tossed outside every morning. So now with the hay manger I've noticed that a lot of hay seems to be falling out of the manger and piling up on the floor.
Every time I check the run-in shed there is a pile of hay under the manger.
Is this common? I'm thinking of asking my husband to bolt a 50 gallon rubbermaid to the wall under the manger.
On the floor happens in stalls too. My buddy cleaned a corner of the stall mats off every morning and plopped the hay there, it was less of a PITA than buying and attaching a container or net. I used to use nets but my knots aren't horse proof so when I feed it's on the mat or a stone or just a cleanish spot in the dirt.
The only thing I have seen ever make all of 'em clean up is a small hole haynet. A greedy, vacuum of a horse is the only other solution.
The first yr I used the small hole nets, the 2 horses did clean up pretty well. Then one horse left and a new one came. Last yr and this I realized that the 2 horses are just pulling it out of the small hole nets and leaving a lot of it on the ground. I realize now that the one that left was a greedy, vacuum and did clean up most that fell on the ground. Not sure what I'm going to do cause I don't like to see it wasted. Granted, right now I'm still on last yrs hay but I've only got about 8 bales left before I start this yrs hay and I don't want to see it wasted. It may just have to go on the floor of the run in stalls and I'll have to bed the run in stalls well so they don't pee and crap all over the hay. Gonna first try hanging the small hole nets in the run in stalls rather than outside and see if that helps first. I just don't want them to fight in the stalls. Horses, always a bit of problem..... Not sure I could live without them though. I actually like trying to outsmart them if I can.
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
I'm not a believer in hay mangers. Better to just put the hay on the ground to begin with, and just feed what they will clean up in 12 hours. If you want to put out a larger amount of hay that will last for a while, you need a different kind of manger. There are mangers that sit on the ground and will hold either a round bale or you can just put hay inside. I've also seen stand alone mangers that have a tray under the hay to keep it from going on the ground. These larger mangers might or might not fit in a shed, depending on the size of the shed. Trying to keep hay off the ground is a really difficult thing to do.
When I tried to feed in a haynet, horse would tear a hole in the haynet (never found one she couldn't destroy), pull all of the hay out, drop it on the ground, then eat it.
When I had a stall with a hay rack, horse would pull all of the hay out of the rack, drop it on the ground, then eat it.
When I had a stall with a corner manger, horse would pull all hay out of the manger, drop it on the ground, then eat it.
Now I just feed on the ground/stall floor. She has always finished everything I give her, she just prefers to eat off the ground.
I wouldn't worry about feed on the ground too much unless they are wasting the hay; horses are grazers that are designed to eat with their heads down. If they are wasting hay, give them a little less until you find out where the line between satisfied and wasteful is. If they end up routinely with nothing left, give them a little more.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
One farm I worked at had hay manager in the run-ins. There was a fairly large wood shelf below the manger at about knee height. The hay would fall on the wood and the horses either ate it off the wood or left it. If it was left we could easily flip that hay back into the manger because the hay was not mixed with dirt or manure.
These were old style wood slat mangers and came down to the shelf. The horses didn't have to have their heads way up to eat the hay.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
I use one of these and it keeps most of the hay inside, because it is large enough for the horse to move the hay around. It is also a little too large to easily tip over, although one of them does it once in a while.: http://www.tractorsupply.com/stock-t...0-gal--2229846
Last edited by PeteyPie; Oct. 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM.
I use the 50 gallon rubbermaids to feed my horses square bales outside. They seem to like to pee on the hay if I throw it on the ground. Or they just mash it into the mud. Bolt them on there if you can without cracking them. I don't have my tubs bolted to anything and they will tip them over. Mine are outside though and not covered, so I do need to be able to tip them to get rain water out. The horses will still stick their head in the tub and flip the hay out. But they don't waste as much.