How to fill a haynet

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceFriday 18 November 2011
By Sandra

It was only a matter of time before people started to invent ways to fill up a haynet without bending (and good on ‘em, when you’ve had twenty to fill you notice it!)

Here’s a quick look at how to get the best out of them and what to watch out for… Haynets are very easy to fill and use.

They are a great way to keep hay dry and stop it from becoming soiled or mixed in with bedding. The haynet is a large rope or nylon string bag with a drawstring top. To fill it, get three or four cakes of hay from an open bale and expand and shake them out them so that they become loose hay.

Open the top of the haynet right out and fill it, feeding the hay deep into the net until you have the required weight and amount in it. Once it’s full, pull the drawstring tightly so that the top closes and tie a knot so that it doesn’t come undone.

You then hang it wherever you wish – ideally you will have a large fixed ring through which to thread the drawstring loop of the haynet or on a post. It can be hung anywhere but consider your horse or pony’s height. You want it at a comfortable level for them so that they can comfortably feed. If the haynet is placed too high, it is awkward for them to feed and they can also get hay seeds and dust in their eyes.

If there are several horses or ponies around it’s a good thing to consider hanging the haynets at different heights so that they can all reach comfortably. There is some caution advised too as the nylon haynets will not break, so if a horse or pony gets his foot entangled in it, it won’t ‘give’ in any way.

Just take enough care to hang them securely and at a high enough point so that they cannot be trampled on and remember that when they are empty they will hang lower. If you are concerned about that then you could install a hay rack which is a fixed item on the wall and is probably less hazardous.

When using the haynets outside, they are ideal to be hung in shelters in the field or on fence posts and can be moved about and placed wherever the horses are. Some people simply throw hay on the ground for those turned out but an awful lot gets wasted and ends up being trodden into the ground. It can also cause squabbling so placing haynets in different areas outdoors can eliminate some of that.

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