Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making your own Slow Feeder for a Round Bale

This is Classy in his winter woolies.

My gelding, Classy, is a pig.  When I roll a round bale out into his paddock in the winter time, he digs, throws hay, pees and poops on it.  He's looking for the tiny bit of alfalfa that is in the bale and tosses the rest.  This is beautiful hay!  His waste costs me a lot of money and if anyone knows me, I hate waste!

So in my own special frugal way.  I started searching the internet for prices of nets for round bales.  If you are not interested in saving money or spending time making one yourself, there are a lot of great resources out there for nets.  But, I don't like to spend a lot of money on something that I can do myself.  So, I did some searching on eBay and found someone in Seattle selling used commercial fishing nets.  Here is the seller that I purchased from:

I purchased a 7' by 20' net.  Each square is about 1 1/2".   They sell for around $50 or less.  The bale that I purchase is close to 1,000 lbs and it's about 5' tall.  They are big bales.

I found this YouTube video on how to do your own Round Bale Feeder, it really helped a lot:

The day that I got my bale, I was sick.  So we rolled it into the paddock and I went and laid down.  Here is the start of my gelding's work.

When I started to feel a little better, I came out and draped the net over the bale, to see how it would work.

Get a nice long rope.  I used a poly cord rope.  I think I got about 50', it was prepackaged from the hardware store.   String the rope through the edge of your netting and pull tight.  You can either tie it off or add clips to make it a little easier to undo.

Like I said earlier.  I was sick this week and had no energy to do this net up correctly.  It was also my first time.  So, without any energy or assistance, I really screwed up.  And this is what I found the next day.  Classy was able to lift up my shoddy work and tear the bale apart.  

Seriously, this was one horse, one single night.  

He is a pig.

So the next time I went and got a bale, I was feeling fine and I got a bit of help from my son.  We were able to roll the bale onto the net, I gathered up the remaining net and wrapped rope around the wad to secure it.  I tightened up the edges, with the rope that was weaved through the edges of the net.  I did this on both sides, a little at a time.  And this is it, over a week later, still together, not a mess.

At this point, I am not sure how long this bale will last with just one horse.  Previously when he was being a pig, they would last about 3 weeks.  I have high hopes that this will last longer.


Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Looks great! That's going to make a huge difference in your hay bill! I made a bale size hay bag out of some netting from an old trampoline. The holes may be too small. It was frustrating for Pedro and I thonk he thought he was starving. I need to try it again.

mikey03062 said...

You wrote this shortly after you made it. How long does this $50 net last? In weeks or round bales? Any new info, regrets, advice etc?