How do slow feed hay nets help
Slow feed hay nets: why we make them…….
In order to thrive and be happy healthy horses, we try to provide them with the best possible environment.
Horses require the following for optimum health:
Forage available 16+ hours a day (pasture or hay)
Movement (routine daily exercise or free access to the pasture)
Shelter (natural or manmade)
Clean water to drink
A friend to hang out with
How do slow feed hay nets help?
Horse owners and/or their horses do not always have access to unlimited pasture. In Australia, the majority of the country is frequently in some form of drought. As a result, horses need to be kept on dry lots for part of the year so the grass can rest/grow. It is also possible that they are unable to access pastures because they have laminitis/cushings. Both of these situations require horses to be supplemented with hay.
With Just Grazin® slow feed hay nets, owners are able to keep hay readily available while reducing waste (saving money). Slow feed hay nets slow consumption, which has multiple benefits;
1. Access to forage is extended. This improves gut health and reduces ulcer risk.
2. Weight control by slowing hay consumption
3. Reduced consumption = financial savings
4. Decreases boredom by providing the horse with something to do. This lowers the chances of the horse developing stable vices.
Many horse owners on smaller blocks of land set up a paddock paradise track system.It’s essentially an endless loop track, so the horses can keep moving.. Feed and water are often placed at opposite ends of the track to encourage movement. Just Grazin® slow feed hay nets can be strategically placed to further encourage movement at “feeding stations” along the track. As an alternative to having a big round bale at which horses will stand all day and eat, smaller size nets can be placed at various locations along the track. Once horses learn that there are many feeding stations along the track, they will often graze from one net for a while, then move onto the next. Even if the hay is all the same, they will search for the “best hay”! Because you know, the grass is always greener. 😉 Some owners will also place lucerne hay at different locations each time to mix it up, in order to further promote movement and interest as the horses have to search for it. You can learn more about paddock paradise track systems by searching on Google or YouTube. You’ll see some very creative tracks people have built for their horses.
Shelter for happy healthy horses
Slow feed hay nets from Just Grazin® can be hung in stables to reduce hay waste and mess. As a result, you won’t have to throw more hay to the horses and you won’t have to muck out the stables as often. Alternatively, they can be hung from trees out in the paddock or yard, which also slows consumption/reduces waste, it also prevents hay from being blown away or into the next paddock/yard.
A friend for company
Horses are naturally herd animals, so they will naturally form groups/seek out companionship. You can find a lot of information about the benefits of herds on the web, so we won’t go into detail. However, we and our customers have noticed that horses are more likely to share hay when using Just Grazin® slow feed hay nets. We believe this is due to the hay lasting longer and them having to consume it slowly, reducing the need to get in quick before it’s all gone. As one of our customers wrote, “I have noticed increased food aggression and resource guarding between horses with hay on the ground. Whereas the same horses will stand and share a slow feed hay net”….
Our experience with Just Grazin® slow feed hay nets
Back in 2009, we started using slow feed hay nets with our horses, and we noticed that their behavior changed remarkably. Our 2yr old quarter horse gelding was on extended stable rest due to an injury. He had never been stabled before, and this was very stressful for him. After using the slow feed hay nets, he became calmer and more relaxed.
As we decided to experiment with the nets on the rest of the horses as well, we noticed that they prefer eating from the nets, even when offered loose hay. This was certainly something that surprised us, but it helped us as their hay lasted longer and there was less mess to clean up.
Our horses made the choice to graze out of the hay nets, so it was our responsibility to continue to offer them hay nets to use. In 2009, we could not find slow feed hay nets in Australia. It is hard to believe that today, given how popular they are. As a result, we began making them for ourselves and other horse owners just like us. Over the past 13 years our designs have evolved, but our original knotted nets are still made in Queensland with hand stitched seams. The Ultimate knotless hay nets are made with a soft yet durable polypropylene netting and are stitched with machine stitching. They come with our top quality double braided 100% polyester rope drawstrings made in Australia.
As owners, we must ensure that our horses have the best conditions possible to thrive and be happy healthy horses.
If you have any questions drop us a msg, we’re happy to help :)
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!