Slow Feeding for Farm Animals
Handy Hay Nets work great with small and large flocks of animals. With our slow feeder hay bags you can more easily keep animals together, saving you time!
Your animals will settle into a nice calm routine grazing from our hay bags. Our customers have told us they have the best success when they provide many bags around their animals pens/enclosures. This way, many different animals can eat at the same time and everyone gets what they need - shy animals will get enough and overweight animals will trim down.
The other set up we've seen is to hang a bale bag off of a pulley system so that many animals can eat around it.
Our small 1" hole bags simulate grazing on pasture. This constant supply of forage means you don't need to rush home to feed because there are no hungry or stressed animals!
With Handy Hay Nets your animals will be able to regulate their body temperature better in cold weather.
Slow feeding can also allow you to control overhead costs more accurately. According to our test group, costs can be reduced by more then 50% because of less waste. If you have sheep and goats you know that they won't eat hay that has been trampled and defecated on.
Minimizing hay waste also means less time mucking pens/stalls, and the environment becomes more hygienic as the animals aren't creating topsoil by tramping manure and hay into the ground.
Handy Hay Nets can also help prevent heavy chaff in the fleece of sheep, especially around the sensitive eyes.
According to SHEEP101...
"A big difference between sheep and goats is their foraging behavior and diet selection. Goats are natural browsers, preferring to eat leaves, twigs, vines, and shrubs. They are very agile and will stand on their hind legs to reach vegetation. Goats like to eat the tops of plants. Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grasses and clover. Their dietary preference is forbs (broadleaf weeds) and they like to graze close to the soil surface. Goats require a more nutritious diet."
Llamas and Alpacas
People are telling us that their Llamas and Alpacas LOVE their Handy Hay Nets!
While these animals are referred to as 'pseudo-ruminants', because they are actually camelids, they do very well also having their feed in small amounts over a longer period of time.
Here is one great resource we've found about Alpacas, and specifically about ulcers. What is interesting to note is that they don't mention slow feeding as another preventative measure for these animals very sensitive stomachs, but many people are not yet tuned into this wonderful and natural grazing alternative.
We've got lots of other great info for you.
Check out our LINKS page.
Download the pdf of this guide here and keep a copy out at the barn.
- When you first introduce animals to slow feeder hay bags, make sure there is loose hay available as well. Never feed a hay bag if your animal is hungry as this will cause stress. We recommend 3/4 of what you would normally feed in addition to the hay bag.
- It can take anywhere from a week to a month for animals to really get the hang of eating from our hay nets, but most people find that when they do, they prefer their bags to loose hay!
- Hungry animals will often paw or bite through the netting. As they adjust, they use their teeth and lips to pull the hay through the holes.
- Don’t pack the bag too tight or they won't be able to get the hay out. Pull some hay through the netting to help them get the idea.
- Quick drops in temperature and very cold weather can require your animals to need additional loose hay.
- Don’t let your Handy Hay Net run out. Hay becomes harder to get out as the bag empties due to all the broken bits. Empty them out so your animals can clean it up.
- Trickle Feeding means having a constant supply of forage available at all times. Trust that your animals will adjust over time and settle into a balanced weight.