I've been dealing with a super annoying hay saga over the past month. It has me at my wit's end - I am SO irritated by the entire thing!
It started out innocently enough. I net all of my hay in slow feeders, and have done so for years. Simple, right? A good idea?
I have to hang my haynets at a certain height, because I found out pretty quickly that little Uma in particular likes to paw at the nets, and her tiny little feet tend to get stuck in the holes. It gets old finding a tiny mule standing out in the field doing a stationary can-can kick. You can only walk out of run out of house in a panic so many times before you decide they need to be higher. Unfortunately, they can't be TOO high, because then the mules can't reach them. There really isn't a height where she can reach with her mouth, but can't reach with her feet.
|Not comfortable for eating|
And then, there is the destructive force of nature known as Pmare. Pmare is so smart that she takes all of these softer nets and carefully and systematically shreds them until she forms giant holes in them. She is so smart that she can undo the repairs I make to the nets as well. Once she creates a giant hole, not only does she wolf down all the hay in record time - completely defeating the purpose of a haynet - but if it is muddy out, she drags half of it onto the ground and smashes it into the dirt. She completely defeats the dual purpose of haynets - keep the hay fed out in a steady slow stream, and keep it from getting pooped and peed on.
Hay around here ain't cheap. A bale of timothy costs me about S40. Yes, S40. I'm not kidding you. At some point, I decided that this was ridiculous and unaffordable, so for the littles I also added in some coastal. The main show horses live exclusively on timothy, orchard, and some alfalfa, but the smalls get coastal too as it is much less expensive (grown locally). Even though I'm a northern snob and had a hard time letting go of my distaste for coastal, as long as I find the best hay that I can it works fine.
Pmare's net shredding finally got old after she tore holes in ALL of the nets one day, and wasted a bunch of expensive hay. I promptly went to the store and bought the smallest holed nets I could find, 1" x 1". Tear THOSE up, I thought gleefully.
And, they worked! Not only did they slow her way down, but nobody was able to destroy them.
Until one day I looked in Zoodle's mouth, and noticed that the nets has been cutting his gums. In order for the material to be tough enough to stand up to Pmare, it had to be so rough that it damaged poor Zoodle's wee little gums.
That was the end of that. I threw in the towel. This elitist hay snob from the north went right out and got a roundbale, for the first time in my life.
And even THAT wasn't without drama. Finding a supplier of really good quality horse roundbales is NOT easy. My first supplier was awesome but doesn't normally sell singles, so it was no good to keep going back there. My second supplier promised me the moon and stars, and the bale ended up being moldy and smelly. The third time was a charm - I think I finally found a supplier of horse quality, tested and certified, barn stored hay that will suit my needs. Although that said, he hasn't called me back yet after I left him a message this morning....
One more word to the wise about unloading roundbales. If you are the ultimate clutz like I am, and also have a knack for breaking windows on accident, I'm just telling you now that it will probably happen.
|One expensive roundbale|
Because my life is a comedy of errors, that's why.