Using slow feed hay nets is one of the most effective ways to reduce hay wastage. It’s also linked to a lot of benefits, including improvements in horses’ physical and mental health. Net types of slow feeders are safe, durable, easy to fill, and can be used anywhere. Round bale hay nets, in particular, work well to enable a natural grazing position or behaviour in that the horses can eat at the top of the round bale as well as graze low around the bottom of the round bale.
It also prolongs the longevity of your round bale as well as decreasing your labour due to not having to put bales out as frequently. It ensures that your lovely companions always have something to eat. Studies have shown up to a 46% reduction in hay wastage. Below is a good example of what happens without a hay net, showing the hay being spread out and eventually used as a toilet and bed.
If you haven’t tried using round bale hay nets before, you might be wondering what happens to the excess netting as the horses eat the round bale down. This is one of the most asked questions we receive from our customers. And the answer to that is pretty simple...nothing!
The excess netting doesn't cause any problems for the horses or livestock using it. There is no issue with excess netting as the hay spreads down within the confinement of the net. The net is still firm until there is barely any hay left in it.
Check out the photos below to see what happens during the start, mid-use and towards the end of the round bale.
This photo above shows how little hay wastage there can be when using a GutzBusta® Hay Net.
The hay can only ever spread as far as the net allows it. To contain the hay net even more, you can add a hay ring or other border/physical barrier to surround both your round bale and the slow feed net around it. These 2 things in collaboration are even more effective in saving on hay wastage, containing the hay and are a fantastic idea for shod horses. Below are 4 ways to contain your round bale net inside a physical barrier which increases the effectiveness of the hay net as well as being a must for shod horses in terms of safety.