With my mare at a new place with a smaller area to roam I want to make her pen as palatable as possible. I want her entertained with toys and lots of time to eat her food. I've search online for slow feeder for hay. There are many nets and these are fine but I wanted to also have her in a more natural grazing position if possible. I was worried with having nets lower to the ground and her potentially getting caught up in it.
I found an idea online that used tubing and metal grates to make a slow feeder out of a galvanized trough. Since I read that horses teeth can wear more trying to grasp hay through the metal I wanted to use either wood or plastic and found a site that used the privacy lattice for their slow feeder. It looked great! While looking at the lattice Steve and I decide the vinyl one would be safest. It did not have little staples in it and the plastic could be cleaned easier as well.
Steve went to work with nuts, bolts, eyelets and chain to hold the lattice in place. On one end we use a carabiner to be able to open the feeder to put hay in the trough. It was really easy to drill the holes and get locking nuts to hold the eyelets in place. There is nothing sharp on the chains or the lattice, we made sure to file the cut edges.
The lattice easily moves down as the hay level decreases and it gives Dani a little longer time to eat since she has to work the hay out of the holes. The holes are about 3 inches. I might end up finding a smaller lattice at some point because my mare seems to be pretty inept at getting the hay in big mouthfuls but it's still smaller mouthfuls than without.
I really want her to have hay available at all times and hope that this unit will help. Below is a video of Dani figuring out how the feeder works. It was raining pretty hard outside so that's what the noise was. We need the rain so I don't mind not being able to ride! Sorry I wasn't able to attach the video below but here is the link. Not sure why my youtube videos were not being found by blogger.