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Slow Feeder Hay Basket (Photos of how we made ours)

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  • Slow Feeder Hay Basket (Photos of how we made ours)

    We love our Equine Hay Baskets, and also the idea of slow feed nets (like the Freedom Feeder I use in stalls). After trying several different things, I've come up with a way to attach a net to the basket and make an easily moved, easily filled, easily cleaned, durable slow feeder than will hold up to four bales at a time. I took some pictures and will try to describe it here.

    Photos of our slow feed hay basket:http://s1264.photobucket.com/albums/...0hay%20basket/

    You can order the Equine Hay Basket thorough TSC or Lowe's or other places. A single person can move it around, pop out the black liner for cleaning, and fill and attach the netting we use. It drains well and is ventilated, but our horses would remove the hay and waste it when it was uncovered. The net solves this.
    Hay Basket: http://www.tarterfarmandranch.com/sw...te=equ&emp=equ
    or: http://www.haybasket.com/products.html

    I ordered hock goal netting from Arizona Sports Equipment, and also ordered lacing cord there. I measured the inside of the hay basket from lip to lip running down the inside of the basket, across the bottom, and back up, to allow ample netting to let the horses eat the hay all the way to the bottom of the feeder. The lacing cord is used to attach the netting.
    Netting: http://www.arizonasportsequipment.co...ockey-netting/
    Cord: http://www.arizonasportsequipment.co...d/sku/cord100/

    I went to a local fabricator and had him make a steel hoop out of tubing about the same size as the feeder is made out of. It sits within the lip of the feeder so horses can move it a bit without getting a nose under it.

    I attached the hay netting to the hoop using the lacing, hopefully you can see that in the picture. Netting is easily removed to wash if needed, though we just occasionally take the netting still on the hoop to the wash rack and blast it with hot water. It helps to have two people to move the hoop with net attached.

    Four bucket straps are attached to the ring, evenly spaced around it to correspond to the legs on the feeder. You can find the bucket loops all kinds of places.
    Bucket Strap: http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CD...%2Bdata%2Bfeed

    The ring with net is placed over the filled hay basket. The bucket strap hangs down the inside of the basket liner, slips through a vent hole in the side of the liner, and snaps onto a cord I've tied to the top of a leg of the hay basket.

    For easy filling by one person, unsnap two bucket straps from the feeder legs (leave them attached to the hoop). Flip the hoop up and over like a lid. It will stay attached by the two remaining bucket straps, but the rim and net will be out of the way. Fill with hay, flip hoop and net back into place, snap two snaps, and your hay chores are done for several days.

    Our horses love the feeders. We love the feeders. The nets have been in service with this system for three months, 24/7, with no problems.

    Hope this will help some of you. It's not the cheapest feeder out there, but I've been using the hay basket for years and love having an easy, durable, slow feeder based on it. These components should all last for years.

    Hindsight bad, foresight good.

  • #2
    great job.


    • #3
      Neat! I've never even seen the hay basket by itself before. Right there, that's pretty cool. Nice that it seems relatively portable as well.


      • #4
        How much does a hay basket cost?


        • #5
          Looking at the last (8th) picture... do they try to eat out of the side of the basket?

          I think my horse would be on his knees with his head sideways, pulling hay out of the larger holes in the basket.
          ... and Patrick


          • Original Poster

            Mukluk: The hay basket is $300-$350 I think, depending on where you get it. The first one I bought I used for years and sold to a friend when I moved cross-country. Two of my friends were fighting over it and it was in great shape.

            Wsmoak: Yes, they do nibble some from the side vents, but they don't get huge mouthfuls out there, so even from the side it works as a slow feeder.

            In the winter months, we put four bales in at a time so I only have to deal with feeding hay a couple times a week. Really cuts down on chores. In the summer months, when the heat and rain could make the hay go bad, I put a bale in at a time. They don't eat as much hay in the summer so I'm still only messing with hay every several days. I have multiple horses sharing the feeders with no problem.

            I can move the feeder around easily so the ground around it doesn't get chewed up or dug out. Keeping the hay off the ground on clay soil goes a long way to prevent the creation of mud. On sandy soil it keeps them from ingesting sand. And the feeder with net definitely minimizes wasted hay$$$. They still get a heads-down natural grazing position as the hay level goes down. The net stays inside the basket so it's a safe feeder for shod horses.
            Hindsight bad, foresight good.


            • #7
              That's great! I board my horse, and I know that the facility will not provide these for us, so I have to consider whether I want to spend the $350, plus materials for the net. I would like to try it though. I've used a big plastic tub for feeding, but the horses just throw it around like a toy when they're done. For now, we're using SUV cargo nets attached to the fences as our "redneck" slow feeders.


              • #8
                That's just awesome. My husband is going to hate me.......it's going on The List!


                • #9
                  Nice job. Thanks for sharing all the info.....very helpful!!
                  Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                  **Morgans Do It All**


                  • #10
                    Nice Job! I made a wooden slow feeder box that I use a square bale hay net for but for a second one, I just went and bought a big black rubber/poly trough for about $70 and drilled 4 holes near the bottom to thread twine that had a snap on one end and a large nut on the other end. The nut was on the outside of the tub. Then I just used another square bale net. Works great and it's too heavy for them to toss around easily when it's empty.
                    I have some smaller black poly tubs too that work great for the smaller hay nets. Same attachment using twine, snaps and nuts.


                    • #11
                      Do you have pics? I'm trying to picture it but can't. It sounds brilliant though!


                      • #12
                        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                        • #13
                          I like your design, but it is out of my price range.

                          I crochet these small mesh nets from baling twine and they work for me. I suspend them from the top rail of the corral fence and secure them to the mid rail so they can't be flipped over the fence.



                          • #14
                            WOW, I'm so impressed that you crochet the baling twine to HAND-MAKE these nets! Good for you!

                            Originally posted by ksojerio View Post
                            I like your design, but it is out of my price range.

                            I crochet these small mesh nets from baling twine and they work for me. I suspend them from the top rail of the corral fence and secure them to the mid rail so they can't be flipped over the fence.

                            Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                            **Morgans Do It All**


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fancy That View Post
                              WOW, I'm so impressed that you crochet the baling twine to HAND-MAKE these nets! Good for you!
                              The poly twine makes them virtually indestructible and I can make the holes any size I want!

                              AND recycling is "a good thing".