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Freedom Feeder » INSTRUCTIONS for Freedom Feeder Slow Feed Hay Nets

INSTRUCTIONS for Freedom Feeder Slow Feed Hay Nets

How to fill a Freedom Feeder Extended Day net

 

How to fill a Freedom Feeder Full 100# Bale Net


Hang the bag by the break-away carabiners that are attached to the upper corners.  If you horse wears shoes, is a pawer or extra active, you want to put it up higher or put a tub underneath the net to keep the horse’s feet away from the actual net and catch any hay that falls through. Do not secure the bottom of the bag tightly as this gives the horse leverage to pull against the net and may cause premature tearing.

We find it easiest to leave the Extended Day bag hanging and bring the low calorie, high fiber forage to it via wheelbarrow to fill.

You can use any kind of hay in the nets  The broader the leaf, the slower it goes through the net.  Although we do not recommend free feeding alfalfa, it too can be fed through the net but the leaves will fall through.  If you use a mat or tub underneath the net it will catch any small pieces and leave zero waste.

Remember, it is best to have at least one more bag than horses or you will find yourself filling more often than necessary.  Also as the alpha comes to eat everyone just shifts to another station, no problem.

HOW TO USE THE ROUND BALE NET:  It’s a big cube so depending on how you use your round bale, just cast the net over the top of the bale and pull the draw cord at the bottom.  Collect the string from several points and tie then in a bow so you don’t have one huge long cord to try to figure out what to do with.

Stop wasting hay with your round bales and put a Freedom Feeder around it.

Stop wasting hay with your round bales and put a Freedom Feeder around it.

 

To transition your horse to Freedom Feeding, start by using the bag as a supplemental feeder filled with low calorie, high fiber forage in addition to the horse’s normal ration.  This will help to keep your horse from being frustrated while learning to use the hay net.  Never let the nets to empty.  As your horse learns to use the Freedom Feeder, reduce the amount of feed on the ground or in their old feeder.  Over time, your horse will prefer grazing from the bag.

At first they will EAT, EAT, EAT, but usually within a month even the most aggressive eaters slow down.   Part of it is mental, as they have to learn and trust that they will never have to worry when they will be fed again.   At first, some horses may bloat, but once they’ve built that trust and are satiated they’ll start walking away, the food consumption balances out and so do their tummies.

It is also suggested that while transitioning your horse to any free feed program that you incorporate a round of psyllium, digestive aid and probiotics to help the system adjust to having more food. AS ALWAYS provide lost of clean water closely available to encourage the horses to drink.

If your horse chews a whole in the net, use some baling twine to stitch it closed as soon as possible so the horse isn’t rewarded by getting extra hay for making holes.  Then turn the net over and use the other side.  Please contact us at Info@FreedomFeeder.com .  Each and every horse is different with different temperaments and tricks.  We are all a part of the quest to do better for horses.  Your experiences with Freedom Feeding help me learn so we can help someone else’s horse down the road through your experience.

Tip: If you find that your horse flips the hay net over the fence, make a loop approximately 12″ long with bailing twine and attach it from the reinforced side of the bag to the fence.  This will allow the bag to pull away from the fence but not be thrown over.

Do you board your horse?

Well, we designed the Freedom Feeder hay nets with you in mind.  They are easily installed in box stalls using eye hooks.

In a paddock, just hang the net so the feeding staff can just slide your horse’s hay into the back of the net like a mail slot  with the high side toward the horse.

How about this one? This shows a Freedom Feeder 100# Full Bale Net.  You can make a box, use a tub, or if your horses are barefoot, just stand it in the corner and attach it at the top.  This will last an average 1000# horse approximately 5-7 days once they are transitioned! (Yes, goats love grazing from Freedom Feeders too.)

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