Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hay feeder update

Here's the pictures of my slow hay feeder.

The white mesh is hockey netting. It's extremely sturdy and the holes are a good size to slow down a horse, but not frustrate it completely.

My attachment system is so ridiculously ghetto, but I can't figure out a better way to keep the hay in the net without starting over completely. Sigh. It's a piece of PVC woven through the top squares of the net, then that's clipped to to the lip of the backing with Romex.

I think the backing is a shelving unit. There were a bunch of wire mesh L-shaped things in the barn when we bought the place, and one of them ended up in my hay feeder. It looks like something from a closet organizer kit to me. But there are no sharp ends and it doesn't trap water!

The rest of the feeder is just scrapped together. The legs are 2' long - because I could cut four legs out of one 8' 4x4. There are plywood ends and some 2x4s bracing it all together. I tried various things, but ended up tying the metal shelf in place with more Romex. No sharp ends, easy to reposition if you have thumbs.

I went ahead and Romex'd the whole damn thing to that telephone post in the pasture. It's not a live wire post, it's just a very sturdy 12' post standing in the pasture. Obviously I didn't put it there, and taking it out seemed like way too much trouble. But it keeps frustrated Dixie from knocking over her hay feeder, so it can stay.


  1. If it work, it works! I love seeing some of the very original creations horse people make to make life with horses work. =)

  2. I like it. Although, I will say, the lack of bailing twine is a disappointment. Nothing is truly rigged till it's partly held up by bailing twine.

  3. Caitlin - thanks! :) Nicholas, I just upgraded the last bits of baling twine to Romex! It used to be tied to the post with twine. Lots of twine.

  4. Hey?....Its good! Dont knock it, if it does the job? Which it is, so why spend money when you dont have to? Good for you!

  5. Looks good to me! I'm all for making do and being creative - there's a great new way to recycle old hockey nets!

  6. I am so glad to see this post! I purchased a slow feeder and I had a hard time making it work for myself and my horses this summer. One horse was able to make a great use of it - but she's plenty heavy, while my horse that needs the calories (growing), wasn't able to get the feed he quite needed.
    So - then do I add another feeding in addition to the slow feeder? If so, how much feed?
    I'm telling you- I went a little bonkers. Reminded me of breast feeding - you never knew how much your baby was getting!!
    I am somewhat of a control freak, in case that's not obvious (HA), and I finally just gave up on the slow feeder and went back to routine feedings twice a day.
    All this to say- if you decide to chat more about your slow feeder and just how you're incorporating it, I'm reading!! =) I would love to learn!!

  7. Love the rig! Glad to know you at least initially used some baling twine in your design lol ;)

    Here's a link to Glenshee Equestrian Center's very informative post about hockey net slow feeders...

  8. I wish we had these at SRF.

  9. CFS - that's where I got the hockey net idea! I started with welded wire fence, but that was unpopular AND not durable. Then I tried a net I tied out of haystrings, which took like four thousand times longer than I thought it would and got really ratty really fast. Then Glenshee posted about hockey nets and I immediately ordered one.

    Dom, look at that link CFS posted - it's easy to rig them up along a fence if you have solid wire or board fences. My contraption is freestanding and complicated because she doesn't really like the run-in and that's the only solid wood out there.

  10. Very clever. I like that yours is low. When they get too high, horses can pull the hay down into the eyes. Not good.

  11. Very creative!!! And it works so who cares how ghetto it is?

    How is Her Majesty Princess Horse. Healing up ok?

  12. Terry - I try to feed low because it's a more natural position for the horse, blah blah blah. :) It's one of those things where I don't know how much difference it really makes, but it's easy enough to do.

    Jeni - she's good! Really chilled out about staying in jail, looks forward to her daily walk and backyard grazing time afterwards. I am really enjoying the enforced idleness. :)

  13. I like it! Ingenuity at it's finest! I bought a "Nibble Net" this winter for Khari - she became too frustrated with it. At least she doesn't waste her hay - so went back to giving her the usual pile.

  14. Looks good to me! Those Slow Feeders we bought worked but I think they were a little too frustrating and SLOW feeding for some horses.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  15. Hey Merri and HH, what does your hay look like? Right now I"m feeding second cutting grass, and it's got more short bits than I like (the flakes want to fall apart walking them outside and the short bits get *all over* me). But I think the short bits make it easier for her to pull hay through the netting.

    I wonder if she'll have a harder time when I get my first cutting hay in a couple of weeks?

    Part of my ease in slow feeding is because she's an only horse. She doesn't have to compete with anybody else - there might be some herd dynamics coming into play with the frustrated horses who can't eat fast enough.


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