I have been experimenting with Cookies hay arrangement. I bought 2 hay nets & re-tied them so they would be slow feeders. She can blaze through her meal in about 15-30 minutes when I put it all in her manger. So I needed a way to slow her down a little bit & the hay nets did the trick. So, I put 1/2 of her hay in 3 nets & the other 1/2 in her manger. I did this for about a week to see how much waste there would be & if it would be better for her. I hung the hay nets each in a different area so she would have to walk to get to them. Plus, having it in a hay net helps to keep it off the ground & less chance of her eating a bunch of sand/dirt. I then made little notes each day of her attitude & how much hay was wasted. By the end of one week, she was not a happy camper. Taking into consideration the weather on a few days was bad with wind & rain which she gets spooky & irritable in.
The week before, she had several visitors each day over about 4-5 days. She had plenty of carrots, apples & pecans that week. lol She looked forward to her visitors by standing next to the fence & wait.
This week, we had rain 2 days & the rest has been fairly decent, so I spread her hay around the paddock in small piles. She has a better attitude, though she hasn't been cleaning up some of the hay. A little bit of waste is to be expected & if I'm not out there when she believes I should be to feed her on the dot, she does go around & pick up whatever was left. I have noticed also that she drinks better when "grazing" this way.
She still gets her wetted alfalfa & flax also at later times. Usually around 2-3 pm & again at 9-10pm.
Today, I placed several small piles all around & hung up a slow feed hay net. When I go out to give her the second alfalfa & flax, it will give me an idea of how well she likes that arrangement. The only reason I am working in the hay nets is to slow her eating down a little so that she is able to eat for a longer period. Grazing has slowed her down some, but not nearly as much as I would like.
I also would like to note here (mostly for my records) that she is now up to aproximately 1120lbs -Tape weighed-. When she first came home in November, she was just under 1000. She was ribby & hippy & now has a nice layer of muscle & fat. She's not mutton withered, but doesn't have a flat backbone. It's just about in the middle of the 2. Her mane has also grown about 2-3".
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