Attaching haynets to Rubbermaid troughs

I have a follow-up question to my earlier thread about hay feeding in turnout. I really appreciated the many suggestions in the other thread and have decided, based on cost and availability, to try Rubbermaid water troughs with haynets for this winter. Thing is, I can’t figure how to attach haynets into the troughs in such a way that I can still fill them and also the horses don’t just pull them out. Any help?

PS. Happy Thanksgiving! In keeping with tradition, I do believe a haynet attachment suggestion strong enough for a moose would also work for my warmbloods. :grin:

I’ve made two of these that are a few years old and still look new. I drilled two holes on each end of the trough, maybe six inches apart and tied a short loop of rope where I could then attach a double end snap. The other end of the snap clips to the haynet. With both ends of the haynet snapped down tight, the horses can’t pull the net out. They can, however, flip the tub over, but that’s easy to fix by either securing the trough to a tree or fence post. Make sure to drill plenty of holes in the bottom of the trough for drainage too!

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We use the troughs to hold the hay but the thought of using a hay need to hold the hay in , all I can think of which horse will be the first to entangle its hoof in the net then panic as the trough and hay attack it … they have had much less items attach them.

The way we control the waste is to limit the amount of hay I put in the trough. If the horses do not eat every little bit then no more is added.

Even so I rake the area clean at least once a week.

I did this for awhile by putting a cinder block in the Rubbermaid container, wrapping a chain around the cinder block and clipping the hay net to the block. Horses still managed to pull the block out of the container. I’ve never had a horse get it’s feet caught in a slow net but when a board horse was shod, she would occasionally get a shoe caught and very calmly pull the shoe. After this happened a few times, the boarder split the cost of an AGI ring with me, then ended up pulling the shoes!

I’d recommend saving up and buying one of those slow feeder savers by high country plastics. They are spendy but IMO if you need to feed a lot of hay and don’t want to hang a net they are the best. They fit a (east coast) size bale.
My friend has one that she uses with her horses that has been in use for 6+ years so they do hold up really well.

I’ll be buying myself some this winter.

This is what I did for a while using the slow feed bags that hold a whole square bale. It worked great, although I had to start tying it into the corner of the shed after my big draft mule started taking hold of the hay net, picking up the whole thing, and dragging it out of the run-in shed and into the middle of the pasture. :slight_smile:

I used the high sided troughs and never had any problems with any of the equines putting their feet in them.


Now I clip hay nets to plastic pallet with an eye bolt through the middle. That keeps the hay off the ground and they don’t usually flip the pallet until the net is empty. If you can find a plastic pallet, it’s quite handy.

I have a hole at each end of my bale sized troughs (about 1" diameter). I bought some super jumbo carabiners at home depot. I attach one end of some baling twine to large caribiner on outside of trough, attach baling twine to haynet and attach end of baling twine back to large carabiner. So the hay is secured on the two long ends of the trough. This has been working pretty well so far. It just keeps horse from flipping hay net out of trough which is all I am trying to accomplish.

Here are a couple of suggestions from the Hay Chix FB page - the second one only works with an actual Hay Chix net with “hoggle.” I use the snap method and it works well.

One thing to note is that depending on how big/heavy your trough is and how enthusiastically your horses pull hay out of the net it might tip over. So you may need to either secure it to a fence or add some sort of weight like a cement block or heavy piece of wood. (I tossed a couple of pieces of oak firewood in each since our woodpile is next to the paddock.)

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I drilled holes along the edges of the tub and put in eyebolts. I hook the net to the eyebolts via caribiner or double end snap. I have to fasten mine 8 ways to hell or the ponies remove it from the tub

Just wanted to add that I’ve since replaced my haynet/trough feeders with the County Mfg Slow Feeder Savers and they’ve made chores exponentially simpler. And practically zero waste. Just a thought…

Do you have a link to what you are talking about?
Google is not finding anything with that name for me.

Lol probably because I got the name wrong! Here is is…

With the number of horses, stalls, paddocks & pastures on our farm, we’re not huge fans of “stuffing” hay nets…of any size, so I’m always trying to come up with a faster & easier way to slow feed. Here’s how we use a Rubbermaid tank as a hay feeder… Facebook

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My friend made wooden lids for their troughs. Trough is attached to an eye bolt in the shelter (so no rain issues), lid has hinges on one long end and a chain/carabiner/eyebolt combo on the other, and the top is mostly an open frame (with edges filed down) where the net is attached on the underside of the lid.

It’s super easy to fill since you just have to lift the lid, and it adds enough weight that the horses don’t really flip it unless it’s completely empty.

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Is there any chance you could post a picture? I am curios how many attachment points you have. Thanks!

Thank you!!

Such great ideas here. I use a compressed bale on a diamond mesh platform under a shed. Its about 4 ft on each side. DOes anyone know which of the nets ya’ll have would go over it? I’ll be able to use carabiners or clips to secure it to the sides of the platform. RIght now, my mini eats from the bottom and the horses from the top so it falls apart quickly and I need to corral the pieces before they get on the ground…

I bolted a couple of pieces of 2x6 to the bottom of the tank to add weight and elevate it for better drainage. Like others, I use a net to hold a small square bale clipped low at each end of the trough. It’s easy to slide the net over the bale before cutting the strings, and this set-up has lasted well for 4 winters.