I need help.
I am currently raising a mini, a picky thoroughbred, and a pig. An OTTP. An Off-track thoroughpig.
See, last Sunday we moved the hay feeder because no one seemed to like its placement. We purchased the feeder after Batt died but they weren’t using it all that much after we got a whole bunch of rain. Instead, they were eating out of the nets I stuff regularly.
But the feeder was freaking expensive. And while I like the nets, I hate that I’m basically slowing Subi’s access to hay (though he LOVES the nets outside). I can’t do large hole nets because Nay Nay is stupid at once stuck his leg in one and got stuck… So, small hole nets ONLY.
So, the feeder. We moved it. It’s 200+ lbs. But between my father-in-law, husband, and me, we got it moved. And stuck a bale of hay in it. And the idiot ponies? Ate the damn bale once the discovered.
Since then, they’ve eaten an entire bale in less than 8 hours a day. Some of these bales are 45lbs. And they are finishing them in about 8 hours. 2 horses and a mini. I was fine with this. Until I came out at 11am on Saturday and found the feeder empty… AFTER 2.5 hours of turnout.
On further investigation, it turns out they just made a mess and some of the bale was on the ground, but seriously idiots? 2 hours?
So I need help. HOW can I slow them down? I don’t mind them eating a bale a day. I need Subi to put on weight, but I want the hay to last a full 8-12 hours. If I net with slow hole nets, they’ll eat MAYBE 20lbs. So, there is that. Is there a good large hole net/netting that might work with the feeder? Subi won’t eat hay off the ground because… Subi…. Jiminy can wear a muzzle, but then nets become hard.
Meanwhile, my Amish neighbor’s old house burned down Friday night. They already built a new house on the farm and moved in. The windows of the old house were removed and brush was placed around the old house.
It is POSSIBLE that they chose to torch the old house, but this is ONLY speculation. My asthma has been bothering me the last week and since Friday, my lungs have been on fire too. But, back to the fire. We saw something on Facebook around 7:30 and realized it was the Amish farm basically right behind us (one house between us) and walked out to see the fire. Way too close for comfort…
But moral of the story? PLEASE STOP BURNING STUFF! Whether houses or brush or burn piles. Burning stuff sucks when you have asthma! My other neighbors also were burning stuff Saturday and when I came back with Nay… I was a mess.
I’m still a mess. It’s not good. I’m spending too much time with my nebulizer and inhaler. Need me? I come with a bag of medicine and medical equipment…
Look for an update tomorrow on my weekend ride… It was lovely and terrible and I’m confused.
Carabiners on paracord tied to the hay feeder, then clip the carabiners to the net. Net slows feeding but can’t come out of feeder. This is what I do with my feeders & nets or my horses eat 40-50lbs of hay in 3-4 hours.
What size net do you use? While I don’t mind slowing them down, I don’t want to slow them down that much if you get what I’m saying? Nay Nay can still afford to put on a few pounds and Subi is still trying to regain that 150lbs he lost. I don’t actually mind the massive hay consumption, but I’d love to slow them down a bit so that I can put more out have it last (every other day) or just have it last till turn in. Of course, they come inside and barely 8 lbs overnight because they inhaled outside so it does balance out…
I might email you eventually…
My nets are 1¾”. I hate hay waste and love to have them eating as many hours of the day as possible though, so small holes were a prerogative for me. Eventually, I’ll move to 1″ because they’ve learned the hay net game so well. Prior to nets, they’d easily consume two bales in no time at all and waste a fair bit of it, too.
However, this idea would certainly work with larger nets, too. You noted that Nay got his hoof stuck, so this method would prevent the net from coming out and that happening again while still slowing them down a bit with a net that had bigger holes than mine.
So the Nay getting his hoof stuck in the larger net happened in the trailer because he was pawing and stressed… They use the 2″ nets in the field now and when I fill a bunch (so I generally have 4 nets out with about 40-60 lbs of hay), it takes them 3, sometimes 4 days to eat. So, I’d love to find a larger net, but better secure it to the feeder. It’s high enough up that I don’t think that Nay will get his hoof stuck in it like he might with the way I hang the other nets, especially if I secure it in the feeder. I don’t know if I need to go all the way to a 4″, but even something 3″ would be OK.
Batty would empty the 1″ nets super fast. He could do a 1 3/4 net in 1-2 hours and 1″ net in 3-4 hours. It was insane.
I agree with Liz. If you want, you can use 2″ hole nets. Interestingly enough, using a small hole net helped Irish to eat more because he had to stay at it longer.
Subi just isn’t eating enough with the 2″ holes… I seriously need 3″ holes! He eats on and off all day which is great, but only consumes like 6lbs total. Nay is finally figuring out the small hole (2″ nets), but even at night in his stall, only manages 8lbs. He does stand and eat all day, he just sucks at them. Jiminy is good with his nets… Lol.
Well, in 10 hours they ate 5lbs of hay with the 2” net. 5lbs. Total. I guess I’m going with the large holes… ugh! I can’t risk them not eating!
So I use a hay chix small bale net (we have the smaller bales in MI) and I can put the whole bale in with strings on, carry it out, then cut strings with it in the feeder. I then use locking carabiners (please buy locking if you do this, the other are not safe) to hold the net in the feeder (in my case a 100g water trough). I use the regular 1 3/4″ size since I don’t restrict and the two horses generally together kill a bale a day or a little less. I have two feeders so generally replace bales every two days. Minimal waste (they don’t clean up anything that they drop from their mouths) and pretty easy to deal with besides on days the net rope freezes together, lol.
I hope you are breathing better soon – our neighbors were burning all kinds of nasty stuff last summer and making me insane.
Maybe I should just try my shires full bale net again… I just find they are slow with the 1 3/4” size and don’t eat enough… but maybe it’s worth trying again? Normal bags of that size they only eat 10-20lbs between the 2 of them which isn’t enough… but do I want to go to 4”? It’s safe in the feeder if I use the locking carabiners but will it control waste? Horses!!!!
Some of it I’m sure depends on the type of hay. My second cutting grass has pieces falling out of the net a bit if I’m just walking around with it and it’s not full with a fresh stringed bale. Yeah I feel like 4″ is just too big and there will be waste. If you have a net that size though already I’d just try it because why not? It would be nice if you could find like 2.5″, lol.
I will say if it wouldn’t be a daily refill requirement I would totally have portagrazers for outside too (I have them inside attached to the stall walls). I love the way they keep things clean without restricting anything. So expensive though.
Good luck! I have a porta grazer in my barn. I keep toying with the idea of selling it but in case Remus ever gets home again 😉 He doesnt need it at the barn is at now but am thinking of asking if they will do a haynet there just cause he does waste a lot and he needs to eat they hay not pee on it (he is not at the 24 hour all you can eat buffet anymore here 🙂 HA!
Also trying to place that amish house. I know where you are talking and know i have had to have seen in before. Sad…:( Like people (Habitat for Humanity) could have used some of the materials you would think. UGH
Re: Amish house… Do you know where the junk yard is on near Oxford Rd? If you are coming down Oxford Rd heading from Oxford away from the junk yard, it’s the amish farm right before the bend in oxford rd.
Seriously!! People need to stop burning things!! There was a “controlled” brush fire way too close to my horse’s pasture on Saturday. It was too windy in my opinion for burning on Saturday but what do I know. LOL
Ugh, fellow asthmatic here… I hope you feel better soon! No suggestions on the hay, but looks like you got some good ones above!
check out the derby nets made with webbing instead of cord. They may like that more and it would still cut down on waste. I HATE wasted hay. I actually yelled at Irish yesterday for standing in his hay.
They don’t have a whole bale net which is what I need for the feeder… I put a bale out today in my shires 2″ net in the feeder so we’ll see how they do with the net/feeder combo. Last time it took them a week (not optimal), but maybe now that they’re using the feeder they’ll do better? I’m hoping that this will help me decide whether to go to 2″ or 4″ for my new net. The biggest thing is they pull entire flakes out the top so both sizes should stop that…