Why NOT to use hay nets or bagsProduct Catalog
Hay nets can be dangerous,
Using a hay net or hay bag can be dangerous for your horse due to the netting material being ingested or the horse becoming entangled. Nets can also be a hazard for horses with shoes, or wearing a halter, blanket etc that can get caught in the net.
Horses with COPD/Heaves should not use hay nets.
Wasted hay and more
One thing that all hay nets / bags have in common is that they waste hay. Wasted hay is wasted money. So, even if your horse does consume some of the hay that has fallen to the ground, he is able to ingest sand, dirt, debris, and parasites while picking up the loose hay laying on the ground. Which causes you to spend money on combating sand colic, parasite infestation etc.
You’re probably thinking, hey, horses eat off the ground even in nature…. BUT that is not true…Horses do not naturally eat off of the ground, they eat the tops of plants that grow from the ground.
Hock, back, neck, and dental issues
When eating from a hanging hay net / bag the horse stands in an unnatural position. This affects the conformation. His back hollows out, hocks are positioned in a camped out manner, his neck is twisted, his jaw alignment is no longer where it should be which causes his teeth to wear unevenly. This can also cause TMJ- temporomandibular joint syndrome
Horses can also get hay and debris in their eyes when feeding from a net.
With proper head down feeding it brings the jaw, neck, back, hocks etc all into proper alignment. But even if using a net or bag at ground level you run the risk of the horse becoming entangled, especially if wearing shoes and the hay is in contact with the ground, which leads to mold growth, and again ingestion of sand, parasites, etc.
Using a hay net to force your horse to eat slow?
The digestive system needs volume to work properly. If you are trying to control weight by forcing the horse to work its portions of forage thru tiny holes this can cause much stress and anxiety to the horse. Horses are high volume low calorie hind gut fermenters.
How feeding with a Porta-Grazer can help
Porta-Grazer eliminates hay waste and keeps your horse from having to eat hay off the ground. The patented design keeps the hay in the feeder where it belongs. The horse is able to self regulate and eat in a slow natural manner as nature intended when pasture is not an option. The horse is able to graze with its head down. Even horses with shoes, blankets, or halter on, can graze safely. The Porta-Grazer has no hardware that can become entangled or cause an injury. The edges are rounded so even when tied the rope slides over rather than getting caught.