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 Post subject: Feeding hay in paddock
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:41 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
I have been feeding hay off the floor since we got our horses, it just never occured to me to do it another way and have since found out that this is the correct position for horses to eat in etc etc. However, now that they have this parradise pasture system i am finding that because they are wlaking around more they are trampling their hay a lot more and there is a lot more wastage. We have also had high winds recently and have lost a lot to that as well.

I have been looking for another solution and have seen these wonderful looking huge long haynets that are strung up at ground level between two trees or fence posts. They look like a good idea but cost about £50 to £60. I was planning on making two or three different permanent eating areas for them to walk between as well as the small areas of green pasture they will have access to.

Since reading in to all this stuff I have found that feeding a horse off the ground means it can fill it's mouth with hay (something mine often do) and doing this means they don't chew properly and therefore eat more and are full quicker but don't get the advantage of the nutrients from the hay they would have if they had eaten more slowly.

So...what I was wondering was, why couldn't I just use those small hole (4cm) normal haynets, hang them off trees or fence posts at the same level as the large ones (ground level but off the floor, if you get what I mean) using hooks through the actual net not using the tie string at the top so that they would be secured top and bottom to the tree and tie the string up out of the way or somehow secure it so that is didn't get in the way. surely for unshod horses with such tiny holes in the haynet it would work well...? The horses should eat slower and cause less wastage and be safe? Or not, what do you think? Does anyone have experiences with this kind of thing? Or is just feeding off the floor the best thing? I also read it's not good regarding worms etc for them to eat hay off the floor. Agghh, so much contradicting information.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
heather wrote:
I have been feeding hay off the floor since we got our horses, it just never occured to me to do it another way and have since found out that this is the correct position for horses to eat in etc etc. However, now that they have this parradise pasture system i am finding that because they are wlaking around more they are trampling their hay a lot more and there is a lot more wastage. We have also had high winds recently and have lost a lot to that as well.


I would like to comment and also direct you to another source of information about this matter of 'slow feeding' hay. That is what you are describing, of course.

JoAnn Johnson
http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com

JoAnn is a terrific resource on both successes and challenges with various forms of slow feeding methods and apparatus. She experiments with building and using various methods. She is also a good contact point for others doing the same.

Here are a few from her page on the slow feeder subject:

http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Slow+Feeders

And a picture of just one of them:

Image

You can also google on the subject and find a few more, some I think closer to you on the planet and more likely to know where to get materials you could access more easily.

Here is an example of googling on [slow feeders horses]. It would keep a person busy reading for hours to follow up on all the 'hits.'
http://tinyurl.com/olm7zw

heather wrote:

I have been looking for another solution and have seen these wonderful looking huge long haynets that are strung up at ground level between two trees or fence posts. They look like a good idea but cost about £50 to £60. I was planning on making two or three different permanent eating areas for them to walk between as well as the small areas of green pasture they will have access to.



I do not know the bags you are describing but I'd personally be wary of things strung between trees. Horses are notorious for finding ways to get in trouble. When I was a kid in ranch country the old timers had a saying that demonstrated it. "If you are looking for stray bits of barbwire in a field, just turn a horse. He'll find it for you the same day." Sadly usually wrapped up around a leg, and cut to pieces.

And there's a high likelihood that one or more horses would take to hanging onto the net contraption to pull it apart. I think we battle millions of years of evolution in our hay feeding practices.

The horse took a bite, and walked and chewed, bit again, then walked and chewed sometimes for the entire day, and in hard times even through the night.

In nature they tended to be found in, and likely evolved into their present form in, pretty sparse country, more barren than lush.

It's why I think the Paddock Paradise concept is having such success. Even if small in size, if the length is sufficient and the horse has to do a lot of walking I think they are healthier. Nature should be our teacher on this when possible, and you appear to be well aware of this in your desire to feed hay more naturally.

heather wrote:


Since reading in to all this stuff I have found that feeding a horse off the ground means it can fill it's mouth with hay (something mine often do) and doing this means they don't chew properly and therefore eat more and are full quicker but don't get the advantage of the nutrients from the hay they would have if they had eaten more slowly.

So...what I was wondering was, why couldn't I just use those small hole (4cm) normal haynets, hang them off trees or fence posts at the same level as the large ones (ground level but off the floor, if you get what I mean) using hooks through the actual net not using the tie string at the top so that they would be secured top and bottom to the tree and tie the string up out of the way or somehow secure it so that is didn't get in the way. surely for unshod horses with such tiny holes in the haynet it would work well...? The horses should eat slower and cause less wastage and be safe? Or not, what do you think? Does anyone have experiences with this kind of thing? Or is just feeding off the floor the best thing? I also read it's not good regarding worms etc for them to eat hay off the floor. Agghh, so much contradicting information.


Your conclusion is the same one I've come to. I'd be inclined, and it's the direction I'm headed with my own Paddock setup, to go with more smaller bags spread out over a longer distance. And hung so the horse cannot reach the fastener even if it means eating overhead a bit.

Can't speak about others horses, but mine tends to pull a great deal of hay, even with small holes, and drop it on the ground and eat the bites she gets, then later go to the "litter," pile under the bag and try to clean that up. The effect is the same, a bit of feed at a time, having to walk between some bites and the next.

I even wonder sometimes :funny: if they'd really waste all that much if we spread the day's hay ration from one end of the Paddock Paradise run to the other evenly. If done by the handsfulls it would be closer to the wild state for them. Walking and eating the whole meal.

You'll also find some interesting discussions of the problems with, and some victories, with slow feeding on the ECPhotos yahoo interest group.

This link takes you through the yahoo signin (or 'open a new account') page first, of course. But it's well worth the few minutes is might take to open a new account for all the information about horse care and this topic.

https://login.yahoo.com/config/login_verify2?.intl=us&.src=ygrp&.done=http%3a//pets.groups.yahoo.com%2Fgroup%2FECPhotos%2Fmessages

Best wishes, Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:58 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Donald, you're a superstar!

I googled and googled away until I figured out what I was looking for had a name, "slowfeeder" and then found just the same group you pointed to me, the paddock paradise group and have spent hours boring my husband with pictures of horses eating from different kinds of nets. :funny:

I agree, on further thought the large haynet doesn't seem so practicle for a number of reasons - standing still in one place, safety regarding running through it, fighting and dominace issues eating from same place - and like the idea of the small nets placed around encourging them to keep moving and having seen other people using the smaller nets at ground level with success has eased my mind about it being dangerous for any reason I could not see.

So, now to source some good nets...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
heather wrote:
Donald, you're a superstar!

I googled and googled away until I figured out what I was looking for had a name, "slowfeeder" and then found just the same group you pointed to me, the paddock paradise group and have spent hours boring my husband with pictures of horses eating from different kinds of nets. :funny:


I cannot, for the life of me, understand why my non-horsey friends, family, and acquaintances are not fascinated by my discussions of how and why we want the horse to disengage his hindquarters, or keep his should up on the circle. What bores those folks are, eh?

Can you believe it, they actually yawn. Tsk. ;)

heather wrote:


I agree, on further thought the large haynet doesn't seem so practicle for a number of reasons - standing still in one place, safety regarding running through it, fighting and dominace issues eating from same place - and like the idea of the small nets placed around encourging them to keep moving and having seen other people using the smaller nets at ground level with success has eased my mind about it being dangerous for any reason I could not see.

So, now to source some good nets...


I think you'll of course have to change routines for winter given your location. I'm not as cold here, but the snow depth can run up to 5 ft, even more. Probably a bit like Kristi in Norway, though she's farther north than I, and probably gets as much snow but temps more like yours.

I'll be interested in following your year, especially your winter experiences with your horses.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:36 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
he tries, bless him, to show some enthusiasm, but the reality is he just doesn't care. I think he rues the day he saod "yes dear, of course you can get a horse." :funny:

The winter routine is something I have been giving some thought to this last week, although we are not even truely in summer yet. We are pretty high and get tonnes of snow, about a meter in undisturbed areas. I don't see that things will need to be that much different though. We will have to seriously shorten the walking track as they can not pass a certain point as it involves them walking over where our water pipes run underground and crushing snow ontop of this point will cause them to freeze, and we will need to move them away from the trees as they will eat and kill them in the winter, but otherwise we should be able to keep a fairly large track open. We have tractors and snowmobiles for making tracks with but if they are walking around it as the snow falls they should keep it pretty much open themselves.

As for feeding in the winter it should be easy to use the same haynets but just drop them on the ground at various points along the track. I think we would need to have lots of nets with small amounts of hay in in the winter to keep them actualy moving around as they would have no reason to walk to water (they eat the snow, and water freezes within 30 mins of being put out anyway) or salt and minerals as I'm guessing that salt or minerals put out in the winter would probably freeze and not be overly appealing to eat. We will see, there is a very good chance the horses will prove my every theory wrong, yet again :funny:

My real concern is the tempertaure and them being outdoors the whole time, which is what I would realy like. I can keep access to the barn/shelter open and I can always rug them on really cold days, so I think it should work well. Fingers crossed. Besides which, our stables isn't heated and with only two horses this winter, the stables wouldn't realy be much warmer than the outside anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
:funny: I recently saw on a video on YouTube (sorry I can't find it again), a person making use of almost belly-deep powdery snow to initiate passage with her horse. Oh, I wish we got snow here! But then, I would be too cold do work with them, wouldn't I? :funny: :clap:

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Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Glen Grobler wrote:
:funny: I recently saw on a video on YouTube (sorry I can't find it again), a person making use of almost belly-deep powdery snow to initiate passage with her horse. Oh, I wish we got snow here! But then, I would be too cold do work with them, wouldn't I? :funny: :clap:


You pay the freight and I'll ship you all the snow from my place next winter, which is your summer. I'll pay the freight on your weather when you send it to me.

8)

Image

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Well as usual by reading here I have been inspired to get off my butt.
I have been feeding hay from the floor or in a tub in the camp because of the sand. Well thanks to Donald posting a reply I lay in bed last night wondering if I coud make one.
I will take a pic tomorrow but have built a very rustic barrel and net feeder. My middle son (who is 10) and I spent a while hammering out the bottom of the plastic drum with a flat screwdriver and hammer. (Yes I am sure there are easier ways but these were the tools we had). We then burnt some holes by heating a nail at the bottom. We cut the tie on the hay net and reused the draw string to thread the net to the barrel. We then raced to the stable to catch the groom to get it up! I also dug out a piece of wood which we stuck on 4 bricks so I can now go and fetch my chunk of rock salt which I think is 2.5kg!
So thank you Heather and Donald!

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Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:53 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Donald - how people don't find endless discussions on horses feet, food, paddock, saddles etc endlessly interesting I don't know. there's obviously something wrong with them :yes: :funny:

Glen - I will happily send you as much snow as you require. Maybe I could go into business? :funny: It is true that snow can be a very useful training tool. when Jelli first came to me she really didn't canter. Maybe occaisionaly at liberty but never under saddle, it had been trained out of her. so i took her in a field full of deep snow and asked for trott. Wouldn't you know, it's quite hard to trott in deep snow so she broke into canter! Once she realised she wasn't going to get punnished for it she quickly caught on to the idea of doing it elsewhere and then I had problems trying to get her to stop cantering and just trott! :funny:

Annette - i know, isn't this place great! I am very impressed that you got it done so quickly and love idea of use hot nail for the holes. i was searching everywhere for an electirc drill yesterday but couldn't find one, and i just know we have a jigsaw somewhere... pictures please! I spent much of yesterday thinking and reading and thinking some more and then I went digging through our storage sheds (I am such a scrooge, I never by anything new if I can salvage it form something else and if I have to buy I always go to the flee market first :funny: ) So, I found a broken old bucket, a bit of rope and a couple of old lids and made a feeder.

Image

It's not the most elegant and I need to swap out the rope for elastic bungees so that the lid can't be easily pulled up at the edges once the hay is halfway down, but it seems to keep them entertained. (Oh and there's a bit of extra footage at the end thrown in of me walking down a part of our paddock paradise thingy...you can just ignore that bit if you want, I don't know how to edit videos).

Image

I'm going shopping / flee market hunting to find some more materials to make some others. I love those barrels with the net underneath. Wonder if I can find some cheap hockey netting... Oh dear, hubby is going to be thoroughly unimpressed by my bringing home yet mroe junk :funny: :funny:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Don't worry Heather I am exactly the same. I scrounge and talk people into giving me all kinds of things I can recycle. You must remember this is also not our land so I am not about to spend a fortune as one day I am sure I am going to have to move again! Besides which in this economic climate I just feel too guilty spending money on Morgan when it could be spent on the family!
Anyway....
Here's a terrible pic that I took quickly this morning. Between the three of them they cleaned it out and Dancer bless him is standing guard over the shelter waiting for the next refill!
I think if I was to do it again, I would get a bigger barrel circumfrence wise as we need to break the hay up otherwise it gets stuck in the barrel and doesn't slide down. I also need to attach it properly with another wire lower down as it is kind of swinging and as you can see wonky!!! This afternoons job.
Image

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Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:09 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Looks good! Very impressive and it sounds like they enjoyed it A smaller holed net would slow them down a bit more if you wanted to. Or , if you don't have a smaller one double netting it and positioning the second so that the holes are smaller (if you see what i mean?)

I have found that Sanni and Jelli seem to prefer to eat out of the slow feeder than off the ground :ieks: , must make life more interesting for them and they love a challenge and something to do. My two had almost finished the whole barrel this morning but surprisingly they left the easy bit at the bottom (when the hay goes down the rope goes slack and they can tilt the lid up and pull big mouthfuls of hay out). It mustn't be any fun once the challenge has gone out it.


I had a very sucessfull shopping trip and found some fishing net thingumys, really sturdy rope netting with quite small holes (about 2 / 2.5cm) on sale for €7 each so am going to get all creative with them later this evening. At the moment i am making myself a niblet

http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblenet/pages/redframe.htm

from an old material shopping bag and some webbing that was origanly one of those straps for holding down tarpaulines on trailers. Total cost €2.50. Will let you know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
the barrel and net idea is just fantastic. I need to make some for my paddock. Last year, I would put hay everywhere in the paddock and there was so much waste.
As soon as they step on in , they wouldn't eat it. Magik, would always pooh on it. So in the woods, I had a pile of hay and a pile of manure.

In their winter shelter I have closed in feeders but nothing yet for their summer shelter (or paddock).
Thanks so much for this idea.
Jocelyne

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Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:45 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
So...the barrel feeder I made didn't survive the test of time. The lid was too flimsy and broke after a couple of days. But the niblet bag I made...

Image

small barrel and net feeder (I made the net from baling twine and it hasn't broken yet)

Image

and the nets made from fishing nets seem to be holding up very well. the nets are tiny 2cm by 2cm holes and I wasn't sure they would be big enough but they have no problems emptying them each day.

Image

Image

Suprisingly, even with access to nice fresh grass, they are still paying a lot of attention to these feeders and seem to actually enjoy eating from them. For us at the moment the real problem is finding somewhere to attach these feeders as areas with trees are heavily populated by mosquitos. I tried simply placing the net feeders on the ground but the quickly became soiled with mud. Will have to come up with a new stratagy...


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:00 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Kuusamo, Finland
I've also added a snack forrage box

Image

which I placed inside the shelter

Image

It is basically an old kitchen cupboard we had in a storage shed. I took the doors off and gave it a clean and then chucked loads of rocks and stones in it. Each day I throw a load of dry bread, pieces of apple and carrot (or whatever else I can get for free form the local shop) in and also have a couple of piles of loose rock sea salt and they spend ages forraging around, pushing stones around and trying to get all the yummy pieces of treats.

I have another one that should be ready today that I am going to put outside (must remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom if our weather report for the next week is anything to go by) and will put pieces of the salt lick (which they have compleltly ignored so far) and treats at the oppostie end of the paddock paradise system. Give them a reason other than hay (as they have lots of grass to eat) to keep moving around.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:27 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
:applause: :applause: :applause:
Gosh Heather...you have been seriously busy!!!! Just love all those ideas.
I think anything that is changeable in the horses home area is a good thing, just to keep them entertained and something else to figure out.
Isn't it funny how some horses really enjoy the challenge and others don't give it a second look?
Morgan will investigate any new object with enthusiasm, some he will really explore and others a sniff and he walks away.
I would love a feeder that he pushes around and drops little pellets but with all the sand I have to be careful of sand colic and cannot feed off the ground.
You sure are going to the top of the class!!!!!!!!!

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Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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