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Slow feeding in the field questions

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  • Slow feeding in the field questions

    I've ordered a heavy duty fish net that will work for a bale of hay. The plan is to put it in a extra water trough that I have sitting around since my mare does have shoes.

    If it rains on a bale of hay though how fast does it go bad? This is going to be for my horse and pony. Since they come in at night (for thunderstorms) and will probably be stuffing their face all day how do I know how much to feed them at night? Would I feed as much as I normally would at night? I need to get slow feeders for their stalls too since the ones that I had are done for but I will have to wait till next month to get those.

  • #2
    Just a thought....I put my slow feeder net filled with hay in a large 150 gallon rubbermaid trough, and my gelding tipped it over within minutes, and the net of hay was just on the ground.

    As far as night feeding...I would feed them as you normally would. Forage and having a tummy-full is a good thing.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • Original Poster

      hmm so maybe I can attach it to a tree to keep it from tipping (drill a hole through the lip of it).


      • #4
        Well, if you have one like mine, they will still attempt to tip if over, get a shoe caught in the net...I've not done it, but I can sure picture it.

        I'm thinking about nibble nets hung from the fence. I'm down to 2 and no longer need round bales.


        • #5
          I attached mine to the fenceline, horizontally. I tied baling twine to the top board of the fence, and then used a double clip to connect the slow feeder to the baling twine.

          If you have a run-in you could also screw in a ring to the wall, tie a loop of baling twine to the ring and connect with double sided clips again.
          Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


          • #6
            I am now looking for slow feeding options in my field. I don't have anything to attach nets to (i.e. the fence is all electric, no wooden fences or buildings that are part of the fence line).

            Any ideas on how I could incorporate slow feeders nets & this piece of hay feeding equipment? I have this hay rack so I am hoping I can figure out how to make it work as a slow feeder without feeding from above their heads.

            I don't like them eating from above their heads (respiratory issues, dust in eyes, etc) and I tried just putting a bale in the black tray, and it was flung out within minutes.

            I was thinking of somehow putting hay in small hole nets, and then using the black tray somehow, but I'm not creative! Any suggestions!?
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


            • #7
              These are NOT cheap, but my barn uses them and they absolutely rock! If you watch the video, you can see that the horses tip them over, but can pick them back up. My barn ties them to the shelter, but they could be left out in the field, and there is also a drainage hole at the bottom. My mare could used to eat 2 flakes in less than an hour. Now it takes two to three hours for my horses to finish each meal. It does piss them off a little, though



              • #8
                My neighbor feeds round bales in the field, and she puts a plastic tarp over them when rain is forecast. (We live in an area that doesn't get a lot of rain.) With the nets, it would be easy to snap tarps over the hay. When it's not raining, she takes the tarps back off, and I assume the sun dries the hay out. (We live in an area where we get sun year round.)
                Last edited by Cindyg; Nov. 10, 2012, 12:40 AM.
                I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                • #9
                  I don't know how thick your fish net is, but my mare literally ate holes thru the heavy duty fish net I purchased in a matter of days when I tried using it for slow feeding... not sure how "eager" your horses are but it's something to keep in mind!
                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                  • #10
                    Here is a thread with photos showing what we did:


                    In your case, if using the hay rack you linked to, the only thing I can think of is to get a large piece of netting and a bunch of zip ties and secure the netting so that it lines all the pieces of the "V" shaped area where the hay will sit. They should be able to pull pieces of hay through the net.

                    I'm not sure how high this feeder is and if horses could pull hay out from on top if the top is left uncovered. If this is a problem, after zip tie-ing then leave enough extra netting on one side so that you have a "flap" hanging down loose, sort of like the flap on an envelope. Put hay into the net-lined feeder.

                    Flip flap over the top and clip the loose end of the flap to something (the far side of the net?, zip ties or baling twine loops tied to the top frame?) on the far side of the feeder so that all hay is covered by the netting, in essence you are "sealing the envelope."
                    Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                    • #11
                      I, too, have Porta-Grazers, and can attest that they sort of work. However, in addition to being ridiculously expensive (like over $200 apiece!) for what is essentially a plastic trash can, they're also kind of a pain in the ass to use. They they roll all over the place (usually into a pile of manure), and the inserts are hard to remove and replace (especially in the dark). Also, over time the horses get really good at using them, so the chewing time speeds up appreciably. It's almost easier just to feed'em 6 times a day.
                      Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                        I, too, have Porta-Grazers, and can attest that they sort of work. However, in addition to being ridiculously expensive (like over $200 apiece!) for what is essentially a plastic trash can, they're also kind of a pain in the ass to use. They they roll all over the place (usually into a pile of manure), and the inserts are hard to remove and replace (especially in the dark). Also, over time the horses get really good at using them, so the chewing time speeds up appreciably. It's almost easier just to feed'em 6 times a day.
                        My barn ties them in place. The inserts are a little tricky, but of course that's why the horses can't removed them. My mare and gelding have been using them for 3 months now, and while a little faster, still take 2-3 hours to finish a meal. They are insanely expensive. I do wish I had invented them though!


                        • #13
                          You know, another Porta Grazer design flaw is that the lip around the top prevents you from totally emptying out the dirt, dust, and rainwater. I had to drill a bunch of holes in mine to correct this. Easy enough, but at those prices somebody should've thought of that already. Also, some kind of built-in mechanism for attaching to fenceposts wouldn't go amiss.

                          I think a better idea is the High Country Plastics feeder; if only the grate were made out of a smaller mesh. That 2x4 welded hog panel wouldn't slow my horses down one iota.
                          Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                          • #14
                            We use an adjustable hay ring. In the winter when we feed rounds (netted) we have it at max diameter, in the summer when we feed small squares (in nets) we take out a panel so it's smaller.


                            Every once in a while we'll find a small net flung across the paddock, but for the most part it's pretty hard for them to get it out.