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Feed bags? Anyone tried??

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  • Feed bags? Anyone tried??

    My horse lives outside in a pasture situation. The barn currently feeds the horses from buckets on the fence. We have ordered feed bags and are going to try that to see if it works better to get horses their specific food.

    Has anyone tried feed bags before? Did they work or not at all? We had a nutritionist out and this was her suggestion.

    I have ordered the bags, but I am just curious!


  • #2
    From following her blog, I know that COTHer "onthebit" uses them at her retirement farm - you might PM her for more info.
    In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

    Rest in peace, my sweet man


    • #3
      The farm I'm at carries buckets out there for each horse's food, ties the horses to fence posts (there are ropes left out there for just this purpose tied to them already) and then gives each horse their food. When everybody's done eating, someone just has to go and unclip the horses and pick up the buckets. Seems to work pretty well

      (not the question you asked but something else to try, I guess, if feed bags don't work. Either way you're still going to have someone carrying stuff out and having to go back again to bring it in).
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for your responses.
        analise: I am okay with the tying, but it seems some of the other pasture boarders do not want their horses tied to a fixed object during feeding. From personal experience, they might challenge the tie once or twice, but they usually get it.

        lovemyoldguy: I will try and contact her to see what she thinks....Thanks!


        • #5
          The barn I board at uses them and they're a real success. We use the ones that are all mesh, I think from horse.com, and my only complaints are that they break pretty regularly and are more difficult to feed wet feed out of. It's worked great for my guys though. One is the herd boss and DEMANDS that everyone obey him - give him wide berth for eating, share their feed, etc. He's given up being so bossy at feed time after figuring out there's no way anyone's getting his feed and he's not getting anyone else's. Our horses have learned to line up at the fence to get their feedbags put on and to find a person to take them off when finished.


          • #6
            I absolutely hate trying to pasture feed unless horses are either tied or have nosebags!!! So I have used nosebags- the canvas one from horse.com. I have not used the mesh- that would be fine if you are not feeding supps and are just doing grain. The canvas one is fine for soaked feed- but needs to be rinsed out after each feeding or it molds.
            The horse will eventually get used to them.
            I have a friend who recommended the feedrite bag. She's used feedbags for years and has had no problem.
            The tying idea would probably be ok, but then you still have to catch the horse, put the halter on, tie them up, etc. I would do that method if the feeder was screwed or tied on to the fence, and the horse was tied with a piece of baling twine somewhere in the line.
            I also looked at a barn that uses them exclusively- she read somewhere that horses who eat off of the ground- ie. feed pans, are way more likely to get EPM and other diseases from critters who will clean up the grain and poop there.


            • Original Poster

              I have ordered the mesh bags from Schneider's
              They do look like they might not hold-up the best. While they won't work for supplements, I feel that any dust accumulated will be able to escape.
              Never thought of them molding. Our feed is mostly pelleted with dry oats -- all dry feed.
              Plus, one gal said her horses will drink with them on if they finishing eating and get thirsty. Not planning on leaving them on long, but it is nice to know they can drink if they want.
              We also didn't want to have to put halters on and go get them to tie to a post, then remove all halters, etc. The less work in the winter, the better!
              Maybe we will have to get a combo of mesh and nylon.

              *What is the best mesh bag you have found that holds-up the best?

              BTW, we are going to put names on each, so each horse will have the same bag every day.

              Thanks again!


              • #8
                Feed bags can be very useful, but perhaps not for your intended use.

                The "tie 'em and feed 'em" method will likely prove superior. Some boarders don't want their horses tied but maybe large scale farm economy will, in this case, trump individual owner desires. Sometimes that does have to happen.

                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                • #9
                  I have the Dura Tecs, they are the best you can buy-easily rinsed out, easy to adjust, and yes, they can drink with them on.

                  PITA if:
                  • you feed dry supplements
                  • aggressive eaters will flip their faces around just like they'd root in a bucket- depending on how limber they are, dump food all over
                  • Pawers will catch it, eventually step on it, and rip them bottom
                  • Cranky horses will smash it to the ground, and step on it, and rip it (I know from experience
                  • anyone's bad about their ears- feeding loose horses out of them you gotta be able to slap them on gently but quickly and go to the next one.

                  I use them occasionally but prefer to feed the horses in a consistent order, from the same place each day, from buckets or feeders so I don't wait around while they eat- which means securing buckets so they don't go on holiday between feedings is key. They have to learn horse A eats here, then horse B eats here- ANY inconsistency screws it up.


                  • #10
                    feed rite bags have something that prevents the grain from spilling out when the horse flips his head:


                    • #11
                      I only tried using a feed bag for one horse. He was fine until he flipped his head, and the grain must have freaked him out, as he totally panicked. It was everything I could do to get to him, and remove it from his head. His owner decided that it was not such a good idea. Make sure you get them used to it.

                      The other owners may not object if you use small pieces of hayrope to attach the tie with. That will break if the horse gets in trouble.


                      • #12
                        I have mesh feedbags. I got two. I used one on my foster. She's in her 20's and eats with her mouth open. She's underweight and I need her to get every bite. My arabian eats with her mouth open too so I got one for her. Both have had their teeth floated. They're just messy eaters. Besides, the Arabian eats her feed then would chase the foster off and eat hers. Now, they get what is theirs and nothing more.

                        For suppliments, I dampen the food so the suppliments stick. When they are done, they will go have a drink of water.

                        My arabian can be goofy and spooky but she had no problem adjusting to the feed bag. The only problem I have is the 3 year old who will grab and pull on them while they are still on the other horses! So far he hasn't done any damage. I try to watch for when they are done so I can get them off before he starts playing around.

                        I love them! I no longer have to seperate the horses into different areas so I can feed them.


                        • #13
                          I used feedbags for years when giving my elderly horse his lunch. It was easier to put it in a feedbag and take it out to the pasture than dragging him back and forth to eat. He was the low horse in the pecking order but the other horse realized he couldn't steal his food and just gave up. I used a canvas bag and could put dry supplements in it without a problem.