Hay Nets for Livestock and other animals

We quite often get inquiries from people asking if our hay nets can be used with other animals, not just horses!

Limit Waste with Quality Hay Nets

Not just for horses!
Over the years we have sold many hay nets to customers who own goats, donkeys, cattle, sheep and alpacas. 

Our hay nets are commonly used by hobby farmers who don't want their hay wasted and with livestock such as cattle, sheep, alpaca and goats. We have the odd feedlot also using our nets.

What is the best hay net hole size?

Although this is a common question when people ring us to discuss using the hay nets with their livestock, there isn't a simple answer!

There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding on the best hay net hole size. Weather, palatability of the hay, and what you are aiming for (slow feeding or just hay wastage reduction) are just a few of the many factors to consider.

Surprisingly some livestock are capable of eating from the 3cm / 1 ¼” sized nets, however, 4cm / 1 ¾” is the most common size. Again it comes down to what you are aiming for! If saving on wastage is your primary concern, then 4cm / 1 ¾” or 6cm 2 1/2" is ideal. If you are wanting to regulate hay intake and save on wastage then 4cm / 1 ¾” is ideal and if you are really wanting to slow them down, then 3cm / 1 ¼” is suggested as it will slow the eating speed down as well as save on wastage.

Although this FAQ  page was primarily written for horses, it also contains some information relevant to livestock so is a great read to aid in deciding what size mesh you should choose for your animals.

Hay nets with 4cm and 3cm holes are the most common size for livestock. 6cm holes are occasionally used if the aim is for no slow feeding and only hay wastage reduction. Hay nets hold the hay together and stop it from being tossed about, laid on, used as a toilet, or from being blown away.

Knotted or Knotless
This is purely a personal decision and not relevant in terms of which is better for livestock. So far we haven't found either the knotted or the knotless to be better than the other for livestock. Both are used by our customers without issue.

For more information on these materials, we have some great information here.

Keep hay together and stop it being blown away in the wind, and tossed about.
Regulate the speed at which the hay can be eaten by adjusting the hole size of the hay net. The smaller the hole the slower they will eat.
Stop spoilage of the hay by keeping the hay confined inside the net which stops it from being laid on, and used as a toilet or a comfy bed.
Great in droughts to prolong the life of each bale of hay.
Can also be used in flooding situations to keep hay together, tied up to a rail, tree, or secured inside a shelter?
Our range of GutzBusta Hay Nets are not JUST for horses, ponies and donkeys! They are equally as valuable for livestock such sheep, cattle, alpacas and goats. To read more on using our hay nets with livestock, please visit here.

Not recommended for horned animals due to the risk of possible entanglement. Although the goats in these photos coped just fine, it isn't something we recommend.
Ear tags can be an issue, especially for cattle that tend to rub. This makes them ideal for hobby farmers or where ear tag replacement isn't an issue.
It is important to take into consideration the hoof size of the animal. Livestock are not as flighty as horses, so we have never heard of an issue of livestock feet stuck in a net, but there is always the possibility.



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