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Hockey Net Trough
All-Day Slow Feeders - Hockey Goal Netting in a Box
|Jewel digs in to a bale of bermuda hay. We really like our new hockey goal net bale bags, and they were indeed very easy to make. |
This Rubbermaid 100-gallon water trough is great for soaking the hay, wrapped as it is in its small-mesh cocoon for slow feeding.
Stella and Ally are finishing their supplement meals in the background. Alabama had another day of freezing rain today, and we haven't built a run-in shelter yet, so they are all sporting their snazzy rain jackets. We only break those out when the forecast calls for heavy rain and temps under 40 degrees.
While we were away over Christmas, my parents graciously watched over the animals. To make the task less strenuous for them, we tried switching from seven smaller SMHN slow feeders per day to a bale-sized hockey hay net.
|I had expected the horses to stand around the feeder most of the time, which was a short-term sacrifice of movement we decided they could handle for a couple of weeks. But Stella, Jewel, and Ally still made several circuits of the turnout track each day, even without the usual lure of hay placed along their stomping grounds. |
I measure the goal netting hole size at 3.5 cm (about 1-3/8"). It seems to provide eating speed somewhere between single and doubled Miller's SMHN. For now, rinsing the hay -- which removes much of the natural sugars -- and colder weather are helping to compensate for their slightly increased hay intake.
Doubled Miller's SMHN on the left; 40-lb
bale in a hockey goal net bag on the right.
January 7, 2010
|1/9/10 - Next, we'll probably try doubling the hockey goal netting to reduce their eating speed. If that turns out to be too challenging, we'll order some hockey barrier netting to put inside the goal net bags because it's thinner (made of 1.65mm diameter rope vs. goal net's 5mm diameter rope). ~JoAnn~ |
2/4/10 - We washed the hockey hay bale net and dried it in a hot dryer to shrink it. That reduced the hole size by an extra 1/8" or so (about 3 to 4 mm). It has been in use for two weeks since and has not stretched back out.
Unfortunately, our horses have taken to loafing around their all-day slow feeder. So I conclude that, although it is possible to use large all-day slow feeders temporarily, my horses do require multiple low-volume feeding stations along the track to keep them on the move. ~JoAnn~
Shrinking Hockey Nets
Both nets pictured have been in use for a month. The net on the right of the orange line has been washed and dried in a hot dryer. Its holes shrank by about 3 millimeters, or by an eighth of an inch.
These are bale-sized SMHN hockey goal netting hay feeders used inside wooden boxes. The hay in these SMHNs is also soaked in water and apple cider vinegar before feeding.
Because the large feeders encouraged loafing through most of the day, we have reverted to using several smaller SMHNs around the track - see the description at "Satisfeeding."
February 10, 2010
Latest page update: made by tangledmanes
, Nov 8 2010, 9:05 PM EST
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