Recommendations - adding straw to haynets

Bernster

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Hiya, I don’t venture onto this section very often but am looking for views please for adding straw to haynets to help bulk out overnight forage. I’m after something really low calorie for my good doer so that he has enough to eat overnight without adding calories. In a haynet ideally. If it’s in a bucket I think he’ll wolf it down.

It seems like feeding oat or barley straw mixed with his normal hay ration could be a good option but I’m not sure if the chops that I’ve seen can go into a haynet or they are meant as a bucket feed? He gets denghi hi fi lite which seems like it’s a straw based chaff but is that too short/fine to go in a haynet? Honeychop seems to be popular but is that ok for haynets?

Thanks!
 

tda

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We just use barley straw from a big bale, make a big pile on the floor and mix well with hay/haylage before putting into nets. Chop will not work in nets 😁
 

JFTD-WS

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Chop... In a hay net?!

Were you having a mad five minutes when you posted this, or have you started on the good stuff already?! o_O
 

Bernster

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Haha doh, I was assuming people were using like a chopped bag! Is there a risk with colic though just using normal straw? Saying that, when he was on straw bedding he’d munch away at his bed overnight and never had an issue.

Annoyingly the yard doesn’t do straw so I’ll need to source it myself but it’ll be a damn sight cheaper just to buy a bale of straw!

Is barley, oat or some other type of straw better when you’re adding it to hay? Want the lowest calorie, easily digestible stuff (or at least less risk of impaction colic).
 

be positive

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I have fed barley straw, from a normal bale, the risk of colic should be very low if they are still getting a fair amount of hay, turn out and exercise, I think the only time it is a real risk is if the horse is starving, or thinks it is, and has only straw offered, then they may gorge but they could gorge on hay in that situation.
Like anything new introduce it gradually, when I used it for my fat ponies they only tended to nibble at it and they were being seriously restricted at the time.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would be wary of feeding straw in a net, as horses can and do colic from eating it (I know this from personal experience:(). I fed my mare plain oat straw chaff when she was on a serious diet. Yes, she ate a lot at first but that was because she was only getting a smaller amount of hay. Your horse will eat the hay first and only eat the chaff if he is hungry after that. If you don't want to encourage him to eat the chaff, don't get Top Chop Zero, as that has something added to make it palatable.
 

Cortez

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I've been feeding barley straw (and hay too, of course) for 45+ years and never had a horse colic. Occasionally oat straw, but they're not as fond of that. If your horse has previously had straw bedding then it's unlikely he'll gorge himself and colic, but as said above, start gradually.

The sale of fancy bagged chaff is a recent phenomenon, I am astounded that a feed company can get away with adding stuff to make what should be a feed extender more palatable.......whatever will they dream up next to separate us silly horse owners from our hard earned?
 

Black Beastie

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I used to just mix the straw and the hay in a pile on the floor and spray with peppermint cordial mixed with water then stuff it all in an elimanet :)

Worked for my good doer and kept her munching longer as the straw was harder to pull from the net.
 

JFTD-WS

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I never bothered mixing it either, and have kept the ponies on a majority straw diet for various periods over a good number of years, without problems - provided they have water, it shouldn't be an issue in itself. Horses, can, of course, colic on anything, sadly.
 

Leo Walker

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I used to mix the hay and straw together and feed it in a wheelie bin feeder. He ate some of the straw but the main benefit was the time it took him to sift the good bits out dramatically slowed him down.
 

tatty_v

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My boy picks at his barley straw bed when he’s finished his hay and seems fine - I always make sure he has plenty of water. If he gorged on it I’d probably rethink but he seems fairly sensible about it!
 

Pinkvboots

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Haha doh, I was assuming people were using like a chopped bag! Is there a risk with colic though just using normal straw? Saying that, when he was on straw bedding he’d munch away at his bed overnight and never had an issue.

Annoyingly the yard doesn’t do straw so I’ll need to source it myself but it’ll be a damn sight cheaper just to buy a bale of straw!

Is barley, oat or some other type of straw better when you’re adding it to hay? Want the lowest calorie, easily digestible stuff (or at least less risk of impaction colic).

I have fed barley straw mixed with hay and just dunked the nets in water and probably used a few sections a day, never had a problem with colic.
 

Bernster

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Well, the update is that the yard was a bit unhelpful about my suggestion of adding straw but before I pushed it further I decided to speak to my RVC vet in case that would give me more ammo. Turned out the other way, he doesn’t recommend it. Advised me instead to use chopped hay and straw like dengi hi Fi Lite as a bucket feed. He gets that already in his feed bucket, a small amount though.

Am now exploring slow feeders for horses...he’s also got a treat ball which he is beating up very noisily, added toys, and I’ll get smaller holed haynets - which he still also destroys.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I just gave my mare plain oat straw chaff which really helped to get her weight down whilst giving her something to eat. I'd be wary of Hi-Fi -Lite, as doesn't that have a moglo coating?. My mare did get colic from eating long barley straw as part of her forage. When I gave her the chaff, she still had straw bedding and didn't bother to eat that.
 

Bernster

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Thx P. Did you just do it in a bucket, and how much did you feed? Any tips welcome as have only ever used chaff in small amounts in a bucket feed think he’d wolf it down if I did that.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Thx P. Did you just do it in a bucket, and how much did you feed? Any tips welcome as have only ever used chaff in small amounts in a bucket feed think he’d wolf it down if I did that.

Yes in a big trug. I didn't dampen the chaff because I was giving her so much and tbh, I didn't think she would be likely to choke as she wasn't eating it quickly. At one point we used 2 bags per week, as she wasn't getting an awful lot of hay. She was a baggage and tipped the trug up a few times at the beginning, until she realised that if she wanted to eat, she had to eat that. Plain oat straw chaff is not very tasty, so they don't really eat it if they're not genuinely hungry. I used either Honeychop or Halley's, I wouldn't use Top Spec Zero as that has something added to make it more palatable, which you don't really want.
 

Bernster

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Cheers both. Aus - Finnegan would have you believe that he’s always starving! I’ll see what we can do. He’s going to knock it over unless it’s secured but if it’s not in a slow feeder then that doesn’t really matter. Other than it’s wasteful ofc.
 

PapaverFollis

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The Beast does not think Top chop Zero is very palatable at all for what it's worth! It's usually been tipped over in a hangry huff rather than even attempted to be eaten.
 

Bernster

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Hmm that’s not good seeing as how they do seem to flavour it to help make it more palatable. And it does seem like it’s the lowest in terms of calories and sugar. Honeychop is my next best choice. Hi Fi Lite and happy hoof both have more calories and sugar!
 

windand rain

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Its reletively easy to fit a corner manger about chest height and just feed in that it is high enough to keep feet out and low enough not to caus a problem with their neck especially in a stable. We had a mare on box rest she had Ossichaff in the corner manger she didnt like it much so only ate it when she ran out of hay a bag lasted months but it was there ad lib. She still isnt a greedy horse as she has always had food available our greediest horse is the laaminitic he has to have his feed regulated so much every mouthful is like his last and if he could he would eat a big bale of hay in one sitting
 
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You could probably craft something out of mesh. That looks a lot like those lingerie bags you can get at any drug/grocery/department store for washing bras and delicates.

But I imagine that any bun would destroy that thing in about three seconds flat.

I made my own hay rack out of wood, using 1/3" wood rods in the front, and solid panels on the sides, back, and bottom. It saves a lot of hay, but my buns still chew through the wooden rods pretty frequently.

You could probably make something out of chicken wire.
 

Cortez

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You could probably craft something out of mesh. That looks a lot like those lingerie bags you can get at any drug/grocery/department store for washing bras and delicates.

But I imagine that any bun would destroy that thing in about three seconds flat.

I made my own hay rack out of wood, using 1/3" wood rods in the front, and solid panels on the sides, back, and bottom. It saves a lot of hay, but my buns still chew through the wooden rods pretty frequently.

You could probably make something out of chicken wire.

Umm: I don't think this is about rabbits?
 
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