Slow feeders & square bales -- tips?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Allkian, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    I am moving my horses to a new boarding facility on short notice due to a transfer at my job. The horses will be in dry lot turnouts (not ideal, but again, short notice), but I want my horses to have access to forage 24/7. I've fed round bales in a slow feed net before but the barn manager does not want the waste of a round bale. I've thought about getting a square bale (the 100+ lb. bales), putting it in a net, and setting it in a water trough or feeder, but I'm not sure how long that will last? Does anyone have any experience using this type of setup? I have 5 horses and self-care is expensive enough; if I pay for partial care for the barn to feed it'll be an extra $100 a horse so I'm definitely trying to avoid that additional cost. Plus they would only feed twice a day and I don't want my horses without feed for a majority of the time. Been there, got the ulcers. No thanks!

    Ideally, I'm trying to find a setup that will last them 1-2 days, as I will check on them at least every other day if not daily since they'll be about 20 minutes away and I travel for work. So I want to play it safe and have more than enough. They're on slow feed round bales now so nets are not a new concept.
     
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  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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  3. NaeNae

    NaeNae Senior Member

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    Depends on the horses. I know with my mare, she would eat a 100-120lb bale down in a slow feed net in 1 day maybe 2. She just goes and gorges and has never figured out self regulating.

    One barn I worked at had a few different herds, a herd of 4-5 would get 3 100-120lb bales in two different feeder boxes with nets and that would last them about 5 days. I think 1 100-120lb bale would last 1 day for a group of 5 horses, maybe 2 if you're lucky.
     
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  4. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member

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    Assuming the horses average 1000lbs each a 100lbs bale is enough for one day with 5 eating off it.

    I would plan on having at a minimum three bales out if you aren't sure you'll be able to get there daily and having someone at least walking by and taking a peak at the food/water/maimed horse situation.
     
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  5. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Yeah, I'm hoping once I get there I might be able to convince them to let me feed a round bale if I show them my net and ring setup. That would make things a lot easier and I would worry less. I realize this is ambiguous at best, since it will depend on the horses. They are quite chunky right now from the grass and round bales, so cutting them back won't hurt but I don't want them to get ulcers or start any bad habits like cribbing. There is a grass turnout I will be allowed to rotate them on sometimes, at least.

    I guess it will be trial and error thing. I'll keep y'all posted. I think either the net and trough method or net and feeder (the slatted design standing type) will be a good place to start. I am planning to check on them at least once a day for the first few days and the barn manager is going to watch water and feed for me; the feed will be there and she already said she can throw hay if I need her to. I just am a nervous horse mom!
     
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  6. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    Hay Chix have awesome nets and lots of sizes. If your horses don't have shoes, halters or blankets on, then you can just throw the full nets on the ground. But, if they wear any of those, you will want to tie the net up off the ground to prevent them from getting caught.
     
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