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Hay Nets vs Haylage Nets

Hay nets vs. haylage nets - which one should you use and what is the difference?

Hay and haylage nets are essentials for many stabled horses, making forage last longer and encouraging more natural little-and-often feeding behaviours. They are also more convenient for you when you’re busy or short on time - you can weigh out rations in advance and make up as many as you need. The accuracy of weight is beneficial if you have a horse on a strict diet or you are monitoring the forage intake of a performance horse and feeding in a net makes weighing your forage much easier.

The difference between hay nets and haylage nets is down to hole size. Hay nets are designed with larger mesh holes (approximately 10cm/4” spacing) while haylage nets have smaller holes (around 5cm/2” spacing). For greedy horses there are nets with even smaller holes of around 2.5cm/1” spacing - look for “Greedy Feeder” hay nets or similar.

Hay nets are a good choice for older horses or less greedy horses due to the larger hole size. They are easier for horses to pull hay from which benefits those which are stiff or sore, particularly through the neck. Wastage can be higher from these nets if your horse won’t eat from the floor as a lot does tend to drop out.

Haylage nets work well for extending eating times and massively reducing any waste. They are also a safer option in the stable for horses with excitable legs! You can fill these nets with hay or haylage - they are effective for both. If your horse requires its hay soaking or steaming, a haylage net is the best option as it will hold the hay better than a hay net.

Smaller holed haylage nets such as the “Greedy Feeders” will really help to slow down horses with big appetites! Smaller-sized nets with little holes are useful for overweight or laminitis-prone horses and ponies, making a limited hay ration last longer. They can be used in the stable as well as in the field for horses on limited/no grazing.


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