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Making a slow feeder - hockey net style

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  • Making a slow feeder - hockey net style

    I'm thinking about making a slow hay feeder for my boys. Gringo keeps eating everything in sight so dang fast and I need another option as Gus needs to be eating just as much, if not more hay. Separating them for feeding (their hay) is not an option.

    So, was wondering about making my own slow hay feeder using a hockey net. Has anyone made one? I read (a lot) about the "rave reviews for the nibble net" but those just aren't feesible, especially since the boys will eating approximately 1 bale of hay each coming up soon.

    Does this sound like it'll work?

    Take a hockey net, fold in half (like a hot dog ) and on the short sides, thread some rope to seal the ends up. Then to attach use either double end snaps or carabiners attached to the corners. I'd probably put a few down the top too, to keep them outta there. Or, would I be better off not folding the hockey net exactly in half, but in like thirds, so there's a flap to fold over at the top, like an envelope of sorts? Also, could it hang in a run-in, against the back wall? Would that be safe? Neither boy is shod at the moment, but they will be wearing blankets. Do I have anything to really worry about?

    Any other suggestions? I do have to run it by the BO, but I think it'll solve the snarffing down of hay for now.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog

  • #2
    Are you using goal netting or safety netting?
    You can get lacing at the same place you get the nets, and those are great for threading through the sides to close them up.
    For the top, I prefer wide webbing - easier to see and open.
    I don't have a flap over the top of mine, nor do I close them down, but it depends how nosy your guys are...
    PM me if you want more ideas - I've met a lot of those before settling on my favorite design.
    "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


    • #3
      A friend has had great results with the NibbleNet for her vacuum cleaner horses - really slows them down and keeps them occupied for hours.


      • #4
        Make sure the netting can hold up to nibbling teeth, and you can hang it with binder twine so if they do become entangled or their blankets get caught, it will give with a little tension and come loose.

        Love these DIY projects! Good luck, and post pics and instructions when finished, please!
        Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.


        • #5
          Either style will work, but when I make mine, I am making the "envelope". Be sure to use hockey goal netting as it is sturdier than other types of goal nets. As with any haynet, hang them high enough that the horse can't get their feet tangled in them.


          • #6
            Here's a few phtos of mine:
            Again, you can customize the size, hanging height, etc for your particular needs.

            This is the hockey barrier netting:

            I have 5 or 6 of those hanging on my property in different spots.

            This is the Hockey GOAL netting:

            I made one of these and mostly use it at shows tied to the trailer, or when doing an overnight. Here it is hanging on the fence next to a commercial Small Mesh Hay Net:


            And yes, the commercial ones are nice, but for the price of 1 NibbleNet, you can make aboy 10 of the barrier netting ones.
            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


            • Original Poster

              Thanks everyone! Another question for those who've make the hockey net feeders...

              What size net do you order? or how much netting do I need? I'd prefer to have a net that's at least 8' long, preferably 10' and probably 3' deep (so 6' total width, since it's folded in half). Do the make such a thing or am I better off ordering custom from Arizona Sports Equipment (see: http://www.arizonasportsequipment.co...afety-netting/ and from there I could order 6' of the 10' tall barrier netting).

              Baling twine = perfect idea for making it more of a brake away system.

              Thanks SO much for all the ideas... please keep them coming!
              Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
              See G2's blog


              • #8
                I ordered grom the website you mention. Very nice and helpful people. They even sent me free sample of some other netting (golf) once I told them what I was using it for.
                "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                • #9
                  I ordered mine from this guy: Kurt @ Christensen Net Works. This is not a horse company; but they know how to make nets to your specifications. Kurt really worked with me to get the size, shape, and type of net I wanted. He thought I was a bit crazy, but he worked with me.

                  I've had my net up almost a year, and the horses have not bit through it (which is to say, it's durable enough for a horse net).

                  Mine is tacked up on a wall, and I feed the hay through a slot cut in the wall straight into the net. The bottom of mine is higher than the horse's knees (even when empty), and the holes are smaller than their hooves, so I don't see any safety issues.
                  I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                  • #10
                    The netting I ordered just arrived. I like that barrel style feeder but will have to round up a barrel. Meanwhile will probably just make a large "envelope" out of the netting. I think horsey will enjoy eating all day long!!!


                    • #11
                      I just bought a great big bale net (not round bale size, but probably could hold two of my 45-pound square bales) from this place:


                      Less than $100.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        Has anyone had any problems with horses chewing on and/or ingesting the netting? Some people have expressed concern about that when I show them the hockey netting that I ordered from the Arizona company. I'm going to go ahead with it but I'm going to keep a sharp eye on things.


                        • #13
                          No. Not at all.

                          I've been using mine for two years, and not one problem.
                          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                          • #14
                            I made two feeders out of the hockey netting (drawstring style) and the horses seem to like them, I can fit 6-7 flakes per bag. The horses seem to like them.


                            • #15
                              I would think the horses would drag that feeder around as well as chew on it. I use a water trough and try to feed in an area that is not muddy . I don't overfeed so there is little waste. All of this doesn't help you though.... Can you put up some safe structure that you can put the hay bags on? Like a high line type of thing? I too hate that amount of hay that horses waste from feeders, but even hay bags have waste don't they?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mukluk View Post
                                The netting I ordered just arrived. I like that barrel style feeder but will have to round up a barrel. Meanwhile will probably just make a large "envelope" out of the netting. I think horsey will enjoy eating all day long!!!
                                My original reply was October 2011. Well it is now November 2012 and the slow feeders have been holding up well. My horse loves them because she likes to eat all day. I use plastic coated clothesline wire for the "draw string" and it works very well (minimal friction). So much cheaper to make my own than buy a commercial product!!!


                                • #17
                                  How much netting did you end up ordering?


                                  • #18
                                    I'm very interested in how well your nets held up and which nets are best t use...

                                    I'm thinking about making my own slow feeder - a friend of mine has feeders from happygrazers.com - which I really like - but they're SO expensive! I'm thinking about modifying it and bringing the price down by making my own out of a hockey net, which is how I ended up here.

                                    My idea is to use a tire feeder, then drill holes all the way around a few inches apart. Then, I could take a large hockey net, cut it in half and then tie the ends together to make a "ring" out of the hockey net, much like the net ring on the happygrazers feeders. All I'd have to do then is attach the net to the tire using paracord and the holes and add a draw-string to the top. Then, I have my own version of a happygrazer, which would be much cheaper and in any size I want! I'm thinking about doing this with a tire that's 4-5 feet in diameter - that could easily hold up to 4 bales of hay using this method. Question is - can I find a hockey net big enough? If not, I guess I could always just buy two hockey nets lol.

                                    I really like this method better than a bag - I don't wouldn't have to break a bale until it's already in the feeder and I could hold a lot more hay, keep the horses heads closer to the ground for eating, not worry about them getting their feet caught or the net getting caught on something, etc.


                                    • #19
                                      This thread was brought back from the dead at the perfect time. I'm looking for a way to feed three horses that are going to be turned out on "pasture" (dried up weeds) once a day. I REALLY don't want to have to feed the horses on the way to work dressed in slacks and heels. I'm trying to decide if nets will work better or if box type slow feeders with a "grid" that moves down will work better with less waste. With the price of hay I don't just want to throw it on the groung to be trampled...
                                      "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                                      • #20
                                        I just ordered my hockey netting from the site Arizona Sports equipment. I'm using a tire about 3 1/2 feet around and ordered 4 feet of the 20' roll. I plan to cut the roll to the same length as the circumference of the tire opening, then lacing the two ends together to form a circle, and finally lacing the netting to the tire and adding a draw string. I ordered the hockey lacing advertised on their site for all my lacing and draw string. I'll post pictures once it's all together!

                                        We're going to begin feeding oat hay soon, so I definitely need to keep my hay as contained as possible. I plan to feed entire bales with this slow feeder, so then I can wait to cut the netting until the bale is already inside the tire. Hopefully, by preserving it this way and using a slow feeder, this will help my hay last a long time!