Feeding Horses Hay
How to Feed Hay Easily
Feeding horses hay is an essential part of horsecare, here are ideas and solutions that will help you on a daily basis.
Hay Feeding Problems
Feeding hay in paddocks and fields can be a problem to say the least because:-
- It gets bedded down with mud and droppings when fed on the ground
Which then results in:-
- a lot of wastage
- a load of muck
- and it gets eaten all at once and not grazed on
throughout the day.
Feeding horses hay using traditional round haynets helps prevent waste, but they are not ideal as most of them are:-
- a fiddle and hence slow to fill.
- and they don’t hold very much.
- you may well then need several, depending on the number of horses you
- Your horses are then not fully grazing at ground level.
- they bounce around, unless secured at the top and bottom
on your fence line, which is time consuming when done on a daily
We have now found a great solution to be above. Melany Clahsen
and Christoph Gehrmann, (barefoot trimmers in Germany) have designed large haynets,
which are called
‘ground hay nets’. They are quite superb, by far the best haynets on the market for outside grazing and feeding horses hay.
helped us enormously and they last. We have had them now for several years, we use them all the time and the nets are still in excellent condition.
They are designed in Germany by Barefoot trimmers Melany Clahsen
and Christoph Gehrmann and can be bought online.
They come in two sizes and are designed to be attached:-
- to a fence line
- or between two trees or posts.
When attaching them to
the fence line they are secured permanently at the top.
They are easy to fill on a daily basis due to the way they are
secured. You just pull open the top. Depending on the size and
number of horses grazing will depend on how often they need to be filled up.
(We fill them everyday but could easily make it possible to fill them every two days just by having more nets.)
Due to their design and the way they are fixed it means that the
horses have access to hay but at ground level, so stretching the
whole of their topline when grazing – which is essential for their health.
The large hay nets can
hold around a bale and a half of hay.
This is especially good if
you are feeding several horses.
How Many Hay Nets?
Depending on your requirements, you may have severalhaynets along a
fenceline in your paddocks, or you can place them in
different areas around your field.
I cannot recommend them enough.
If it rains heavily:-
- the hay remains usable
- and still gets eaten
- and does not get trodden down amongst mud and droppings.
When not to use these Haynets
If your horses are shod however, these hay nets are not advised
due to the possible risk of the horses getting their shoes caught
Ground Haynets Online Shop
The Heunetz Shop. supplies these ground haynets.
If the site appears in German click on the translation button to access it in English.
Two Sizes of Ground Haynets
They sell a Large XXL Ground Haynet which is the one pictured above.
They sell a Smaller CG-Haynet which is suitable for one or two horses.
It is worth buying these Haynet Screws for fixing the haynets to your post or rails.
(It drove us mad finding suitable fixings for these haynets as they did not originally sell them! You need to make them quite secure, as they are heavy when filled.)
You need to make them secure as when filled they can be quite heavy.
In your hay feeding areas you can put down some scalpings/stones,
so the standing area where the haynets are:-
- Remains dry
- The scalpings will create good ground drainage
Without the scalpings the area can become very poached in the
winter months. Alternatively you can use some rubber mats. There
are now companies that manufacture rubber mats that are suitable for use in fields and gateways.
This is not essential but it makes the
area much cleaner and easier to manage.
(NB. before putting stones down you may want to remove/scrape off the
The above solutions make feeding horses hay on a regular basis so much easier.
Suppliers of Haynets
The Suppliers of these Ground Hay Nets is Heunetz Shop. They are in Germany and you are able to buy them online. If the page is in German click the translation button to get the english page; enjoy…