I like it! Simple and effective! The bungee cord idea is just pure ingenuity! Really good idea! I can't though, with hilly fields and electric fencing, but I think this one is definitely a winner!
Are you planning to put some drain holes in it? If you rinsed the hay down, it would eliminate the dust factor, especially with the horses nose in a closed-type space.
I've got the 3 hockey nets laced together and its fitting like a perfect sock over my round bales, but I don't think I'm going to be able to put it to use until I get the barn converted this spring, so that I can anchor the net to the ceiling above it. There's 3' of snow out there right now and although I can roll a bale anywhere, there's no similiar structure..the barn has concrete walls, no trees and I'm rotating fields all the time. I figure I have to string it up in order to keep taking up the slack and keeping the net against the hay as it gets smaller. I've kinda reluctantly ground to a halt on this. Maybe the bungee cord idea could be put to use here. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. I haven't been able to find any information on slow feeding whole hay rolls. I also want to keep clearance around the bale, so that the pecking order is just a matter of simple rotation. I feel that if I don't do this, poor Walter is going to get cornered at some point.
The good news so far is that the barn renovation is going to be snap. Remove 2 doors, one small manger and take the stall divider walls out of their slots. All I have to do is create a 12' gate to block the aisle from the remaining operations area and add a new floor. The floor area will be "L" shaped with the bale against the one post that will be free standing and they'll be able to walk around it. Outside,....... meaning I could do it right now....I'm stumped.
If I attach this barrel to the side of building to keep it stationery, what would be the best way to do it? Maybe a couple more bungee cords? One thing that I've noticed with them is that they break down in the sun pretty fast. I've had more longevity out of the black rubber straps that they put on tractor tires for traction, but I'm not sure how long they come. They might interest you though, Saltwater...tougher/stronger.
I think the shorter bucket would work, but you'd want to see your horse still busy at it when you got back. When the horses are first put up against these things, some show irritation, which it understandable. Its when they realize that even though its a pain to get at, the hay is always there, then they relax and go with it. I would think that a barrel cut like Saltwater's would be better towards continuity. It's easy to cut a barrel in half.
I water the horses in these barrels in the summer. They're sitting on a slant with water in them and the weight warps the barrels. I have to keep turning them so they stay round. I have a feeling that the plastic grid may have another important function as well for keeping it round, should a horse decide to pounce on it or sit on it or get it pinched somewhere.
Yup! The KISS method! I'm a fan of this idea!
Edited by missyclare, 13 February 2009 - 10:26 PM.