Which Is Best Slow Feed Hay Net On The Market?

We all know the struggle of eating too fast and feeling uncomfortable, or being wistful about the fact that all the food is gone! This affects horses too, with the added issue of boredom – put a horse in a stable and take away his food source and he will quickly get restless. If you are looking for a way to slow down your horse from polishing off all his hay too quickly, why not look into slow feed hay nets?

The best slow feed hay net will keep your horse eating for much longer, as it is harder for him to take huge mouthfuls, thus ensuring that he has a comfortable tummy as well as something  to occupy him during long boring hours in the stable!

Best Slow Feed Hay Net Reviews

We have found three fantastic products for you to choose from:

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Slow Feed Hay Nets

Price

Derby Originals Supreme 4 Sided Slow Feed Hay Bag with Warranty TOP PICK: Derby Originals Slow Feed Hay Bag

A unique, innovative design that encourages to eat slowly.

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Round Bale Hay Net Round Bale Slow Feed Hay Net

A fantastic slow feed hay net for larger bales.

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Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net

A great standard slow feed hay net by a known brand.

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1. Derby Originals Supreme 4 Sided Slow Feed Hay Bag Review

Derby Originals Supreme 4 Sided Slow Feed Hay Bag with Warranty

This is a very unusual hay net; most are rounded but this one is formed into a square, which adds to its slow feeding capabilities.

Pros

  • Better for the horse’s digestive system than a standard hay net – When they are forced to eat slower, horses mimic their natural grazing pattern, which is much better for their sensitive tummies.
  • Extremely hardwearing and durable – This hay net is made from nylon with superior double stitching, so it should survive even the most determined hay net breaker’s efforts!
  • Suitable for more than one horse at a time – Because of the shape of this hay net, multiple horses can use it at once without arguing about who gets more or who is standing on who’s foot.
  • Comes with a year’s warranty – Hopefully you won’t need to use it as this is a well made hay net, but it is nice to have that reassurance from the manufacturer.

Cons

  • The large hole could trap a foot – If you have a particularly gymnastic horse, there is a possibility he could get a leg stuck in one of the holes. Get around this by stringing it up past the reach of flailing hooves.

Recommendation

The unique, innovative design of this hay net is a big seller for it, as well as the fact that it will encourage your horse – and his field mates – to eat more slowly.

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2. Round Bale Slow Feed Hay Net By Texas Haynet Review

Round Bale Hay Net

This is not a hay net that you hang, this is one to be left in the field covering a large bale. It’s great for those with big herds, or horses who are hard to access on a daily basis.

Pros

  • Saves you money on hay – When your horses chomp through a massive bale in a short space of time, you have to buy another. Then another. Then – you see where this is going! This hay net will reduce your hay expenditure no end.
  • Great for horse’s digestion – When food is abundant, horses tend to guzzle it quickly, which is no good for their stomachs and can lead to health problems. Eating more slowly will save you on vet’s bills as well as hay bills!
  • A good, strong hay net – This is a big plus for a hay net that is designed to live in the field. It can stand up to any amount of abuse, so it should last you a long time.
  • Fits round or square bales – Whether your supplier gives you bales with curves or edges, this hay net will work on them and still deliver the same great performance.

Cons

  • Can potentially tangle a leg – With any product that you leave in a field, you have to consider the possibility that your horse may try to play with it, or accidentally get caught up in it.

Recommendation

This is a fantastic slow feed hay net that you can use for larger bales, ideal for feeding your big herd all at once. There are enough holes that there shouldn’t be any squabbling!

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3. Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net Review

Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net

Weaver are a well known, trusted company so you can be sure that any product from them is high quality and does exactly what it’s meant to. This slow feed hay net is no exception.

Pros

  • Tiny two inch holes encourage slower feeding – The smaller the hole, the harder your horse has to work to get the hay. Conversely you also want the holes big enough that he doesn’t get frustrated trying to pull out a mouthful. The spacing of these holes is perfect.
  • Ideal for slow feeding at shows – Like people, some horses eat more if they’re stressed or nervous. You don’t want a massive bellyful of hay right before an important show, so this one is ideal to take out and about with you.
  • A strong, hardwearing hay net – With its nylon construction, this net should last a long time and withstand any rough treatment.
  • Holds 2-4 flakes of hay – Even with a slow feeder, you want a net that can hold a good amount of hay, to keep your horse occupied and make sure he has the right amount of food. The capacity of this net means it won’t have to be refilled too often.

Cons

  • The small holes can get larger – If a piece of the webbing breaks, the hole is larger which allows faster feeding, thus defeating the object.

Recommendation

A great standard slow feeding hay net, made by a well known company. You can’t go far wrong with this one!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you choose the hole size of hay nets?

The purpose of hay net is to eliminate waste of hay and slow down your horses consumption. For this reason, you should almost never use a hay net that has holes larger than 2 inches. 1.75 inches is a good-size to start out with. Try this and see if it works out well for your horse. This hole size should give your horse a little bit of challenge for working the hay out of the bag.

2. Why aren’t smaller holes better?

If the holes in your hay net are too small, your horse will become frustrated with it and this will result in stress. Stress causes digestive upset, so excessively small holes defeat the purpose of the hay net.

3. How often should you refill a hay net?

This depends a great deal on the size of the hay net. Remember that you should provide your horse with free feed hay constantly. When your horse is able to nibble a little bit twenty-four hours a day, behavioral issues will be reduced and metabolism and digestive function will be enhanced.

4. What if I don’t want to limit the amount my horse eats?

If your purpose in using a hay net is simply to prevent having hay scattered on the ground and trampled, you could use the net that has a 2 inch or 2 1/2 inch holes. Larger holes make it easier for your horse to access the hay while still preventing it from being spilled over the ground and ruined.

5. What’s best for special needs horses?

Horses that have bad teeth or other special challenges (e.g. quidding) may do better with a hay net with larger holes. If your horse has difficulty figuring out how to get the hay out of a hay net with small holes, you’ll naturally want to graduate to a larger size hole.

6. Are hay nets good to use during very cold weather?

If you live in an area that has very severe winters, nets with larger holes may be better. You don’t want your horse to have to expend so much energy extracting the hay that it doesn’t do him any good. Remember that in cold weather, horses burn a lot of calories just keeping warm.

7. How big should your hay net be?

Choose a hay net that’s big enough to hold ample hay for your horse for a day or two. There are some hay nets that can hold an entire bale of hay. If your horse is a big eater, you may want to have this. The idea is not to have to refill the hay net several times daily.

8. Is it easy to fill and move hay nets around?

You must be sure to choose a hay net that you can manage easily. If your hay net is too heavy for you to lift and secure to a rafter, fence or tree, it’s not the right hay net for you. Several smaller hay nets may be easier for you to handle than one large one.

9. Are hay nets safe?

The wrong hay net can be dangerous. Choose a hay net that is not made of a material that will damage your horse’s teeth. Additionally, the hole should not be so large as to make it possible for your horse to get a hoof caught. If your horse wears shoes, you must be extra careful as it’s possible for a shoe to get hooked in a hay net causing severe injury.

10. How can hay nets damage a horse’s teeth?

Any synthetic material has the potential to damage your horse’s teeth if you fill the bag too full so that the horse has to struggle and scrape it’s teeth against the material in order to access the hay. Remember to always leave a little wiggle room for the hay so that your horse can get his tongue and lips in to pull the hay out rather than having to use his teeth.

11. Are natural materials better than synthetic materials?

Horses who become frustrated with hay nets may simply chew holes in them or tear them to pieces. To avoid this, you must choose a net that is of sturdy construction. Synthetic hay nets are much more durable than those made of natural fibers. You must also be sure to load the hay net properly. If it’s too full, it will be too difficult for your horse to get the hay out. If it’s too empty, the horse will gobble up the hay quickly and be frustrated for that reason.

12. How are hay nets constructed?

Most hay nets are simply open net bags that can be pulled over a bale of hay or a half bale of hay closed with a drawstring and hung up on a fence, tree or from the rafters of the barn. There are also hay nets especially designed for ground feeding called hay pillows. These have netting on one side and a solid synthetic material on the other side. These hay pillows can be simply laid out on the ground for a more natural grazing experience.

13. What are the advantages of hay pillows?

In addition to providing a natural grazing experience, hay pillows are also available in a wide variety of sizes for use in settings ranging from trailering to stall to paddock. The thick, flat material of the netting is less likely to snag on a hoof. The solid back of a hay pillow protects the hay against moisture on the ground and completely eliminates waste of hay.


Conclusion

Slow feeding hay nets can help digestion, prevent boredom, and save you money on hay expenditure. If you have a horse who eats too quickly then this is definitely a product you should have in your tack room!

The best slow feeding hay nets are also ideal for multiple horses at once, meaning that you don’t have to shell out on a great many hay nets. They can also be used on large bales, unlike your standard hay net that is designed for one single horse. Have a look through the products we have selected, and I bet you will find one that suits your needs perfectly.

Sam Ellis
Sam is a founder and editor of Horses & Foals. In personal life he is a proud father of a boy and twin girls. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of horse riding. Horses make as much sense as the sunshine in our world.


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