We did a blog entry entitled Simple Math a while back that illustrated how the use of hay nets for...
Why should I use a Hay Burners slow feed hay net?
- Your horse’s health is the main reason. Horses by nature were meant to graze slowly in large expanses. Feeding bunches of free choice hay with long periods in between can play havoc with the horses relatively delicate digestive system. Cortisol levels can fluctuate, ulcers can form, colic can occur. The horse can become frustrated leading to vices and bad behaviors. Horses that are gently grazing all day are happier and healthier.
- Reduced waste of feed and money. After beginning to use a slow feed hay net you will quickly realize there is almost no wasted hay in the stall or paddock and far less in the manure pile. Do the math on even a conservative savings of 30% less wasted hay and you can see how quickly a Hay Burners Equine net will pay for itself.
- Reduced time doing feed related chores. Many farm hands are resistant at first to feeding with hay nets citing the added time to fill and manage. We’ve seen this attitude change first hand though. When you can fill a hay net once per day vs. having to distribute hay 2-3 times per day by the free choice method it won’t take long to realize the savings in time. There are testimonials here that speak to this from actual customers.
Unsure of what size slow feed hay net mesh should I use?
When we refer to the “mesh size” we are talking about the square opening size in the net. Based on the old saying “seeing is believing” we created a handy size chart here. You can print this out to get a real world gauge of our different mesh sizes and eliminate some guessing. For horses getting introduced to a hay net for the first time we recommend staying with a size larger than what you may ultimately work down to. You want the transition from free choice to restricted feeding to be as stress free as possible. Most horses do well in the beginning with our 1.75” (1-3/4”).
Most of our own horse still feed quite nicely from this mesh size. We have a horse that needs a restricted calorie diet and she gets the 1” mesh. Different types of hay can be a factor. In our area hay grasses are long. In the South West the grasses are shorter so a smaller mesh is more popular there. Chopped hay is also another great use case for the smaller mesh.
Below is a guideline for our most popular mesh opening use cases.
- .75” (3/4”) Mesh: Use only with horses/ponies/mini’s that are used to slow feed nets and have mastered the larger meshes. Great for chopped hay.
- 1” (1”) Mesh: Smallest we typically recommend for easy keepers and longest feed times. Great for Mini horses and full size horse that have really mastered hay nets. Great for short hay grasses and chopped hay. A fairly popular size.
- 1.25” (1-1/4”): Medium-slow rate feeding. Great for horses that need a bit more slowing down than is achieved by the 1.75” mesh. Great for longer grass hay.
- 1.75” (1-3/4): Our most popular mesh size. Great for horses just starting with slow feed hay nets. Medium-Moderate feed rate.
- 2.25” (2-1/4”): Very popular size for hay rolls and larger bales where multiple horses are feeding. Popular where the main goal is to eliminate waste. Slightly-Moderate feed rate.
What size slow feed hay net bag should I buy?
For mini horses our “Large Mini” is a very popular size. For full size horses the “single serve” is a good choice for trailers while hauling or for shorter feeding times. We typically recommend at minimum the “single serve” or “half bale” for stalls, and outdoor use where easy hanging is desired.
The “standard bale” is very popular where one or two horses will be feeding and the weather allows placement on the ground. Full bales can be hung as well if you are up to lifting the 40 lb bales onto a retaining clip. We also have a extra long bag for those who get 2 string bales that are over 40″ long.
Our “3 String bale” bag is great for those who have the 100 plus pound hay bales or for those that use large feeders and want to put several smaller bales in one bag.
Unlike free choice feeding, slow feed nets facilitate the use of a net as a reservoir so don’t be afraid to go up a size from what your initial thought may be for a bag size. You can always fill a larger bag with less hay. Bags do not have to be filled to the brim to use.
My horse has shoes, can I still use a slow feed hay net?
Absolutely. Many of our customers’ horses are shod. The important thing is to always hang the bag so your horse cannot paw at the net and get caught or damage the net.
How do recommend hanging your nets?
Most popular way to hang the nets is with carabiners clips. Loop the carabiner just below the pull string through the netting and connect to a ring or loop. If you choose to connect at two points you must be careful that you are not creating a entanglement hazard.
Can I use a slow feed hay net with my foals and younger stock?
Foals and young stock take easily to hay nets. We highly recommend that you use a smaller mesh opening to guard against the horse being able to get a hoof through the mesh opening. Always hang nets used for foals and young stock. Young stock can get into the craziest predicaments so please take extra care. They can also shorten the life of your net if they choose to use them as teething articles.
For other livestock, Can I use the slow feed hay nets to feed them?
We do have some customers that use our hay nets to feed goats and other livestock. We recommend proceeding with some degree of caution. These animals can also shorten the life of your net if they chew on it. For clove hooved livestock you may want to hang the bag so they can’t step through the mesh or place the bag inside another feeder that prohibits them from stepping onto the bag. We also do not recommend they be used with horned animals as they can get caught in the netting
We feed very large rectangular bales. Do you make bags to cover these?
Yes we do. Just let us know the dimensions and closure preference. They are not stocked so allow up to 5 days for manufacture.
I don’t see a product that fits my needs. Do you make custom sizes?
Absolutely! We welcome custom orders. See our gallery for some of the solutions we have delivered. Custom sizes may require additional time to obtain materials. Please allow 5 days for manufacture. Custom orders are subject to your ability to provide the most accurate information. We want to ensure you are thrilled with the result so hang in there if we seem to be asking a lot of questions. Custom net orders are NOT returnable.
Will you sell sheets of material so I can make something custom?
Yes, we will sell raw material cut to your size specifications pending material availability. We have a section for the DYI folks https://hayburnersequine.com/product-category/diy/ or you can just give us your length, width, and material choice and we’ll provide you with a quote. Check our Remnant Bin here for deals on various pieces that may suit your project needs.
What are your slow feed hay nets made from?
We use two netting materials depending on the size and source. Our 1.25” is made from UV resistant Nylon and all our other sizes are made from high strength UV resistant Polypropylene. Forget all the hype about which material is better than another. The bottom line for you is do our nets last and the answer is YES. We have nets in service for well over 3 years and going strong. See our materials page Our Materials.
Why does Hay Burners Equine use knotless netting materials?
We only use knotless netting because we believe the knots can irritate the horse’s sensitive lips and muzzle. Rub your hands over knotted netting and knotless netting and the difference is undeniable. Knotless netting is strong! Knotless netting is used in many other applications where strength and safety cannot be compromised. Many safety catch nets are of the knotless variety.
My hay net developed a hole and is damaged, what do I do?
If your hay net does become damaged, close the hole right away with the repair twine (or even bale twine). Small holes can become large holes if the horse finds it! While our netting is very strong, holes can happen, especially if something gets caught on them. We recommend inspecting your hay nets when filling them to make certain there are no breaks that will facilitate a larger opening. We include a length of repair twine with every net in the event this happens. We also sell rolls of repair twine if needed.
When loading bale into a full bale size net, should I remove the twine or wire?
Leave the twine intact until the net is placed over the bale and then carefully snip the twine or wire. Pull the twine through the open bag top, then close the bag. This way the bale will not fall apart while placing the net over it.
I like the folding wall mounted horse hay feeders. Do you make those?
We don’t currently manufacture a folding wall mounted feeder but our nets can be used on the “Hay Hoops” feeders made by Tough 1. You can even purchase the Hay Hoops frame without the net and buy a Hay Burners net to get the best solution. Several stables we supply did just that and are thrilled with the solution. Our Single Serve, Half Bale and Standard Bale nets work great for this application.
Are Hay Burners Equine hay nets sold in retail stores?
Our business model is more in-line with a direct marketing model and we are a very lean operation. What this means is we keep our operating costs extremely low and we pass the savings on to our customers. A retail model would demand another level of markup and we would have to increase our costs to not compete with the retailer.
Can I become a dealer?
Sorry, We currently do not have a dealer agreement however we do offer volume discounts. Contact us to discuss.
I would like to outfit my boarding facility with Hay Burners nets. Do you offer volume purchase discounts?
Yes we do. Contact us to discuss.
Do you offer any sponsorship programs?
At this point we do not. This is part of being a lean operation and keeping operating costs and sell prices low. We have provided nets to charity rides and special events. Contact us to discuss your specific request.
What is the warranty for hay nets?
Click Here for our warranty information.
Bought the wrong size or changed my mind. Can I return or exchange my hay net?
No worries! Click link RETURN-EXCHANGE FORM
Lost receipt, Can I still make a return/exchange?
Contact us with all the information about the purchase you do have, e.g. approximate date of purchase, etc. We have all the information for every sale on file and can generally sort out your order quickly.