I’m a huge fan of Hay Chix Hay Nets!!
Did you know the average horse needs 15-20lbs of forage a day. That number can increase depending on the size and workload of the horse.
While hay is a great forage for meeting the nutritional needs of the horses, a typical flake can range from 3-5lbs which is about 3-6 flakes of hay per day to meet a horses basic needs.
Did you also know that horses are grazers and their digestive system is designed to consume small amounts of forage; ie grass in small quantities, slowly and continuously throughout a 24 hour period.
3 to 6 flakes of hay, even if spaced out through the day will not last very long. I’ve observed Athena eat through an entire flake of hay in an hour or less. Izzie takes a little more time, but it still doesn’t take her more than 2 hours to finish a robust flake of hay. Not ideal.
This is why I love feeding the horses with slow feed hay nets AND the Hay Chix nets are by far my favorite for several reasons:
1.) Durability. I’ve been using my hay nets daily for the last 3 years and they are stilll in great shape. I haven’t had to repair any holes, or replace the rope. If they get dirty I just wash them and they are good as new. I have hung them from trees, tossed them in an open space and let the horses eat them from the ground (they are barefoot so no concern of getting their shoes caught in the net) and I have clipped the nets into a hay box that my husband built for a more natural grazing position. My one mare Athena likes to grab the net with her teeth and shake out the hay bits and then eat the hay strands off the ground. Needless to say she is very hard on her hay nets. We have definitely put these nets to the test over the last 3 years and they are still going strong!
2.) Easy Closure system . Hay Chix nets come with a thicker rope around the top opening of the hay net and a rubber handle that you slide down the rope and tie a half hitch to close. Not only does this thicker and colored rope make it easy to find the opening to your hay net, but the sliding handle makes closing and securing the net ultra easy.
3.) Ease of hanging. Every hay net comes with a metal ring on the bottom of the hay net and also a carabiner for hanging. I love love love this feature. I clip the hay nets easily into the horse trailer when we travel, around a fence when we are away from home, hang it from a loop in their stalls or from a tree for an occasional added challenge and even hook it into hay boxes when at home for a more natural grazing position. No more spending time trying to tie a secure knot to keep the hay net from falling or your horse from untying it. When it’s time to leave or time to refill, simply unclip and away you go.
4.) Multiple net sizes. Their hay nets come in 1” , 1 1/4” inch, 1 3/4” which is their most common and standard size and 2 1/2” hole sizes. They also come in a variety of net sizes to accommodate flakes of hay, bales of hay and even round bales of hay. They also have different feeding systems from a traditional net, to panel feeders which attach to stock panels for even easier feeding. I use the mini bale which holds 4-6 flakes of hay. I have found this to be the perfect size for our needs. I love having different hole sizes to choose from.
When I first introduced Izzie to hay nets she didn’t understand the concept. Athena had to show her how to use it. It was great to offer her the larger 2 1/2” holes size that was easier for her to pull the grass strands out of. She is also less of a speedy eater. The larger net size works great for her as it doesn’t discourage her from eating and still keeps a continuous supply of hay through the night. Athena on the other end of the spectrum is a ferocious eater. I’ve used the 1 1/4” net when I really want to extend dinner time, but most commonly we use the 1 3/4 net. You want to introduce hay nets slowly and also find the proper size hole for your horse as to not add frustration to meal time.
5.) Less dust and less waste. Overall better for your horses health. The hay net prevents your horse from burying their head into all that dusty hay. By pulling out the hay strand by strand from the hay net they are eating more naturally and avoiding lung fulls of dust. Studies have shown that using a hay net can reduce hay waste as the horses don’t/can’t spread it around, step on it etc. which avoids waste.
There are so many great benefits to using haynets and Hay Chix nets are my absolute favorite.
For more information check out their website at https://haychix.com and answers to some commonly asked questions here https://haychix.com/pages/faqs . They are offering lots of great sales right now for the holiday season.
You can also earn 20% off by using code MagenM20.
Thank you for your interesting and educational article about horse grazing, foraging and feeding needs! Your photos are great too! I will definitely consider Hay Chix hay nets!
So glad you found it interesting and helpful. 🙂