The capacity of a feeding net mainly depends on how much time you are prepared to waste stuffing it. Let me give you an example; filling 5 kg = 12 lbs of loose dry hay into a F125 takes 25 seconds, filling twice that takes 5 minutes and double that again and it will take half an hour.
Wasting 4 1/2 minute twice a day 365 days per year equals 55 hour and that is a very long work-week. I would gladly pay the price difference between a F125 and a F150 to get 1 hour more per week for riding instead of wasting it on stuffing hay. I would actually pay more to not have to stuff hay for 55 hours but you decide what your time is worth.
SlowFeeders with a capacity of less than 10kg = 25 lbs are not to be considered as feeding solutions. They can be okay for the trailer and to give your horse something to do while he is waiting for something that is going to happen within 3 hours.
The objective with SlowFeeding is to help your horse stop overeating even while he still has hay available. This can only be achieved when he has forgotten that there ever can be an end to the supply of hay. For this to happen the supply of hay must be absolutly seamless. Some horses can’t even tollerate that they suspect that the supply of hay is about to run out. This is because if your horse can’t see food he belives he is going to starve to death. Even in the middle of the Nevada desert he would just have to look a little further away to see what looks like that the ground is covered with vegetation. For a horse not being able to eat when he wants is equal to starvation which means that he is going to die.
All horses can be retaught to stop overeating. This does however take well working SlowFeeding, harmony, and time. How much time depends on the shape the hose is in when you start the process.
“HT3” and “Flat 5” falls into this category. Chose mesh size in regards to hay quality. Soft hay goes with smaller meshes and coars hay and straw goes with larger meshes. It has nothing to do with breed, age or sex. Too small meshes might make your horse frustrated or even giving up trying, but this is individual.
SlowFeeders with a capacity between 5 – 10kg = 12 – 25 lbs can work as Feeding solutions but needs to be filled twice per day for almost all horses.
As always; Chose mesh size in regards to hay quality. Soft hay goes with smaller meshes and coars hay and straw goes with larger meshes. It has nothing to do with breed, age or sex. Too small meshes might make your horse frustrated or even giving up trying, but this is individual.
Optimal Pony, 8kg loose hay to 20kg baled hay = 17-44 lbs.
Flat 125 and HT7 falls into this category.
Flat 125 is the worlds most copied and misunderstood slow feeding net model. A SlowFeeding net can only work if there is hay left in it when you come to refill it. If it is empty, the supply has not been seamless and your horse will most likely never be harmonic enough to stop overeating while ther still is hay available. If your horse only has access to one Flat 125, it will most likely become empty sometime during the night. Studies have shown that horses prefer to eat more per hour during the night compared to during the day and horses don’t sleep all night.
There is one more disadvatage with flat hanging nets and that is the eating angle the force your horse to have. Horses are not designed to eat from vertical surfaces. If you look closely you will see that his upper lipp sticks out in front of his teeth which make it hard for him to get his teeth close enough to the hay. This causes your horse to stand in a twisted position to make it easier to eat and this makes it impossible to relax enough to become harmonic.
Twisted eating from vertical surface. Yes, that horse is obese but the slow feeding net is empty so she has had no chance to learn to stop overeating.
Neither F125 nor HT7 has a capacity enough to last for 24 hours
Hay Tubes are superiour to ordinary hay sack since they are designed to hang horizontally (too). One end is closed with a carabiner and the other with a drawstring. There is also a short cord that you can hook into the carabiner when you want to hang the Hay Tube horizontally. Very easy to fill, carry and hang,
SlowFeeders with a capacity between 15 – 25kg = 35 – 60 lbs have what it takes to be called a 24 hours feeding solution.
Flat 150, 150×100 cm = 59×39″
Recommended for 12-20 kg = 26-44 lbs.
This is a personal favorite among flat nets and recommended for full-size horses if it is put in a box on the floor to let him have natural eating angle and keep his hooves away from the net.
Easy to fill and possible to move even when full.
HS 15 (33 lbs). “Fillers favorite”. Super easy fill, quite easy to carry and okay to hang and great to place in some kind of container.
Optimal Horse, 16kg loose hay to 35kg baled hay = 40-88 lbs.
- To be mounted in a corner of the box stall.
- Natural eating angles.
- Shoe safe.
- So efficient that you should choose one size smaller mesh compared to flat nets and hay sacks.
- Very rugged construction. Can be pushed all the way into the corner without breaking.
Flat 175, 175×100 cm = 69×39″
It needs to be put in a container or permanently mounted on a wall and does best when hung also in the middle when filled to capacity.
HS 25 (55 lbs). This is an excellent choice when you have a large bale in storage and want to check the hay for your two horses before you make it available to them in a SlowFeeding station. Easy to fill, difficult to carry but easy to move with a wheelbarrow or magasin trolley, impossible to hang.
Flat 200, 200×100 cm = 79×39″
Have a capacity of approximately 25 kg = 62 lbs.
HS 40 (100 lbs). This is a great choice when you have a large bale in storage and want to check the hay for your herd of horses before you make it available to them in a SlowFeeding station. Easy to fill, impossible to carry or hang but okay to move with a wheelbarrow or magasin trolley.
Transforms and old traditional bathtub to an easy to use SlowFeeder. The SlowFeeding net is held in place by 2 sturdy rubber cords, no ropes, no knots, ho hooks.
The SlowFeeding net for “Tarter Equine Hay Basket”:
- Makes it impossible for horses to throw the hay out of the basket.
- Is super easy to open and close. Just pull the rubber cord over the rim of the basket. No ropes, no knots, no hooks.
The “SlowFeeding SMHN Original Lunch Box net” fits a common plastic container of 40x60cm = 16″x 24″ and takes a small bale. Remember that cheap plastic containers do not cope well with cold temperatures and there is a serious risk that shod horses might get their shoes tangled in the net.
RB Std low, covers a 4′ round bale from the top down. It can also be used from the bottom up like an enormous Hay Sack for quite a lot of small bales or lots of loose hay. For complete round bales I do recommend the RB140 high because horses often try to get in under the net when used from the top down. This net has a larger diameter than most round bale nets for standard bales to make it easier to dress the bale.
RB Big low. Like the “Std low” but for 6′ bales.
FR230 is made to cover a full round bale with a diameter of 140cm = 4′ standing in the middle of a feed ring with 12 eating spaces.
*This is not a recommended solution since some horses spend all their free time (and that is a lot) trying to come in under the net.
This is, however, a recommended solution:
The SlowFeeding pallet net is very efficient and easy to fill. Available for both European and American (40″x 48″) pallets
- the 2-3 collars net, has exactly the same volume as 3 collars. i.e. becomes leveled with the top of 3 collars when full.
- the 4-5 collars net, has exactly the same volume as 5 collars. i.e. becomes leveled with the top of 5 collars when full. This net can be used on less number of collars (just saw two of the plastic pipes to shorter length) and will then stick up over the collars. If used with less number of collars there will be a lot of net laying on top of the last hay.
2 collars height is recommended for A&B-ponies, 3 collars for C&D-ponies and 4 collars for horses.
SlowFeeding HayBar net, makes a HayBar (or look-a-like) a slowfeeder. Pony size takes 4kg and Horse size takes 8kg. If you already have a HayBar this is an excellent solution that is very easy to fill, just open 1 hook, hold the net open and dump in the hay and then reconnect the hook again.
I believe that was all……. (of the official assortment)…. but since each flat net comes in 10 different models and all other nets come in three mesh sizes it will add up to 100 different solutions……. and there is one more corner solution in final testing today and who knows what will be there tomorrow.