July 1, 2022

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Are hay nets bad for horses?

4 min read

Asked by: Kara Brown

Hay nets for horses are recommended by veterinarians to help them reduce the incidence of colic, stomach ulcers, stable vices and assist with reducing obesity. A slow feed hay net can significantly regulate the amount of hay consumption that results in better body weight.

Are hay nets bad for horses teeth?

They are made from a variety of materials, including nylon and nylon/poly blends, and may feature a knotted or knotless construction in the netting. There is almost no risk of tooth damage with these feeders, although some horse owners have noticed slight grooves in horse teeth after months or years of use.

Are hay nets bad for horses necks?

Feeding from a haynet also tends to lead to a higher head position than the natural feed intake position and therefore uses different neck and back muscles. This can lead to increased muscle size and tightness in the underside of the neck.

Are hay nets bad?

Using a hay net or hay bag can be dangerous for your horse due to the netting material being ingested or the horse becoming entangled. One thing that all hay nets and bags have in common is that they waste hay, and wasted hay is wasted money.

Why do horses have hay nets?

Nets facilitate hay-soaking for horses with equine metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or chronic laminitis. Slow-feeders mimic grazing, keeping horses entertained if confined to stalls or drylots.

Are hay bags better than hay nets?

Hay bags do reduce waste but don’t hold as much hay as the nets do. While they vary in size, a typical hay net will hold one half to one average size bale of hay. A hay bag will only hold a few flakes.

How many hay nets should a horse have a day?

We can expect that using small or medium hay nets to feed in a box stall setting twice daily, would allow horses to forage for 10 to 13 hours daily. This better mimics more a horse’s natural grazing behavior.

Are slow feed hay nets good for horses?

More recently, slow-feed hay nets with openings as small as 1.25” have become popular. These serve to reduce waste but also slow down the horse’s rate of hay intake. Slowing down how quickly a horse consumes its hay is a great advantage when there is a necessity to limit hay.

What is the purpose of a hay net?

Haynets help prolong the time it takes a horse to consume forage by providing a physical barrier that prevents fast consumption. Haynets are manufactured with holes of varying sizes, and differences in this design feature can affect how fast a horse consumes hay.

How high should a horse hay feeder be?

Your hay rack can be hung about 4.5 to 5 feet off the ground, or where the bottom of the hay rack is about level with where the horse’s neck ties into the shoulder. The horse should be able to hold his head in a natural position and reach the hay rack. The horse should not have to reach up to get hay.

Are hay bags good for horses?

Feeding from hay bags can help protect your horse from bacteria, viruses and parasite larvae when housed away from home. They also decrease waste with stall or outside feeding, compared to hay racks, nets or feeding from the ground.

How do you slow down a horse eating hay?

A great technique for slowing down feeding is to double up your hay nets. Use one haynet inside another to make it more difficult for the horse to get to the hay. Doubling up the nets can make the access points much smaller for the horse which will essentially slow down feeding.

What are hay nets made of?

Hay nets can be made from fabric, nylon, or cotton. You can even make your own from hay strings or baling twine. I seem to have better luck with the thick cotton variety, but I can’t seem to find one of those in a slow feeder small holed type.

How do horses use hay nets?

And they have two inch openings. So it's a slow feed type hay net which works really well for my horses to keep them eating longer.

How do you hang a horses hay net?

When using a small amount or a large amount of hay I find it easiest to leave the hay on the ground and just fold the hay net over the top. As you get it covered. Then you can turn it back over.

Where do you put a hay bag in a horse trailer?

A hay bag should hang high enough that the horse can’t step on it in it, but low enough so the horse isn’t reaching too high to get the hay. Hay bags also can do double duty as a hay tote, reducing mess and waste when you transport it to a stall, field or trailer.

Should horses have hay in a trailer?

If the journey is scheduled to take six hours or longer, it is recommended to provide hay in the trailer. It is never recommended to provide the grain portion of the diet in the trailer. For trips less than six hours, it is generally recommended not to feed your horses in the trailer.

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