Are you curious about our hay nets?
Check out some of the more frequently asked questions from our customers. If you don't see your question below, feel free to contact us.
What is slow feeding?
Slow feeding is the continuous in take of small amounts of forage. The idea is to provide an adequate supply of forage 24/7 and imitate grazing. Horses are slow feeders by design. Many digestive, metabolic, and behavioral issues our domestic equines face can be attributed to how we have changed their eating habits.
Traditionally, horses have been fed one of two ways: 1) unrestricted amounts of hay all day long or 2) several flakes of hay twice a day. Equine digestive research has proven that both methods are unnatural and harmful to the horse.
To discover why slow feeding is the healthiest and most economic way to feed, click here.
What kind of savings can I expect?
On average, horses waste 60% of a round bale. With a Texas Haynet, they waste less than 10%. Typically, our round bale hay net will pay for itself within 2-5 bales (this number can vary based on local hay prices and herd eating habits).
Most owners find they get an additional 3-7 days out of their round bale. This number varies based on a number of factors including head count, bale size, hay quality, and weather conditions. For more details, click here.
Which net should I purchase?
Your overall feeding goal will help determine the best net to purchase. If your goal is to slow down consumption as much as possible, then we recommend our original round bale hay net with 1.75" holes. If your primary goal is to reduce waste without slowing down intake, then we recommend our livestock round bale hay net with 3" holes.
Another consideration is animal frustration. No hay net is indestructible. Generally, the larger the mesh size and the thicker the material, the less likely they are to chew a hole in the net. 90-95% of horses do well with the original round bale hay net and do not require our heavy gauge round bale net with 2" holes.
In addition, the type of hay being used with the net could influence your decision. Thicker, longer grasses like alfalfa can be more difficult to pull through smaller holes. Finer, shorter cuts of hay like bermuda are easily extracted from any hole.
For more help with choosing a hole size, click here.
What makes Texas Haynet different?
Our nets are seamless to provide more strength. Some nets have a seam running down the side where they have been cut and sewn together. There is a greater chance of a net with a seam coming apart at the seam vs a seamless one. Once a net is cut and sewn together, it is never as strong as it was in one solid piece.
Our round bale hay net is a covering, meaning that all exposed parts of the bale are covered. Depending on your bale size, the net may or may not completely enclose the bale. The bottom of the bale does not need to be covered in order to slow feed or reduce waste. It does not require rolling or lifting the bale to install. You simply place your bale where you want it, throw our net over the top, and cinch the draw cord down around the bottom of the bale.
Can a horse bite through the net?
No hay net is indestructible. Occasionally, a horse will bite through the net as they are learning how to use a slow feeder. This is not an indication that the nylon material is failing, decomposing, or is substandard. By keeping an eye on your net during the first couple of weeks, you can quickly and easily resolve the problem by tying up any holes within 24 hours. Once they understand the concept of slow feeding through a net, they will ignore the net completely. The larger the mesh size, the less likely they are to chew a hole in the net.
To learn how to repair a hay net, click here.
How will my horse react to the net?
A study by the University of Minnesota found that on average it takes a horse about 4 feedings to become comfortable with a slow feed hay net. At first, your horse(s) may be frustrated because they are accustomed to unrestricted feeding. Slow feeders require them to work for their food. Many horses will bite the net out of curiosity or frustration. For the best results, we recommend training your horses immediately after the net is installed for the first time.
How do I install the round bale hay net?
- Remove all hay strings, wrap, wire etc.
- Cast the Texas Haynet over the top of your round bale.
- Check each side of the bale to ensure the net is evenly draped around the bale.
- Tighten the draw string snugly around the bottom of the bale and tie a knot to keep the cord in place. Tuck any excess cordage up into the into the net against the bale.
- Use caution with shod animals. We recommend using a feeder with a solid barrier between the shoe and the net. Use caution with horned animals and animals with ear tags. Use caution with small hooves when using nets with holes larger than 1.75".
For more installation tips, click here.
How do I teach my horse(s) to use the net?
When you first install your net, pull some tufts of hay through the net in various locations around the bale and let your horse discover it. You may need to repeat this process several times until they understand the concept of slow feeding through a net. Most horses adapt to slow feeding very quickly. If you train your horse(s) when the net is first installed, your net will last much longer and your horse(s) will be much happier.
What is the Texas Haynet made out of?
All of our hay nets are made of durable, UV resistant, knotted, black, nylon mesh.
We use nylon because it is stronger and more abrasion resistant than polypropylene. Nylon has approximately double the life span of polypropylene, especially when exposed to the elements outside. Nylon withstands abuse much better than polypro, but like any other fiber it is not indestructible.
We use knotted netting because it is stronger than knotless netting.
We use black nylon twine because it is has ultra violet inhibitors. There are no harsh chemicals or treatments added to the nets.
Our heavy gauge round bale nets have 2" holes. Our livestock round bale nets have 3" holes. Our regular round bale nets have 1.75″ holes. Our square bale and small hanging nets have 1.5″ holes. Made in America.
How long will a Texas Haynet last?
The average life span is 2-4 years. This number can vary depending on how many days a year the net is in service and how abusive your horses are to the net. Nets that are used only a few months out of the year may last 6 or 7 years with proper maintenance.
No hay net is indestructible. Occasionally, a horse will chew through the net. This is not an indication that the nylon material is failing, decomposing, or is substandard. It takes at least 2-4 years for nylon to begin decomposing.
How do I care for my Texas Haynet?
To clean your net, simply spray it off with water to remove any mud, dirt, manure, etc. We do not recommend putting your net in a washing machine as it could become entangled in the agitator. We strongly recommend cleaning your net and storing it a dry, shaded area during the off-season. By keeping your net out of the elements and away from pests (such as mice, rats, etc) your net will last much longer.
Do I need a hay ring for round bale hay nets?
No. A hay ring is not required. However, a hay ring will prevent animals from lying on the net, pulling it around, using as a scratching post, etc. Keeping animals off of the net will help your net last much longer.
Use caution with shod animals. We recommend using a feeder with a solid barrier between the shoe and the net. Use caution with horned animals and animals with ear tags. Use caution with small hooves when using nets with holes larger than 1.75".
Can cows use a Texas Haynet?
Yes. We recommend the Livestock Round Bale Hay Net for customers with cattle. Use caution with horned animals and animals with ear tags. Use caution with small hooves when using nets with holes larger than 1.75"
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