Review: Century Hay Ring

February 16, 2021

Forever hay problems.

I have hay barrels hung in trees for my ponies to eat out of. This requires filling them everyday. Which sometimes is fine but other times it is not fine. Time and mud are my biggest adversaries when it comes to filling the barrels. Mud tends to be plentiful in the winter (and sometimes the mud freezes into a topographical map like structure that is hard to walk through) and time tends to be very short. Especially if you like daylight while you schlep through that mud.

I also like my ponies to have free choice hay in the winter, but not too free choice.

To sum it up I do not want to spend the time wheel barrowing out hay everyday in the dark, a lot of the time its too muddy to get the wheel barrow near the hay barrels, and while I want them to have a constant supply of hay, I want to slow their ability to eat it.

You see the problem here?

Solution #1, I bought a hay ring. I got the Century Livestock Feeder hay ring for $280 locally, already assembled. Tractor Supply does sell these, and ships them, but to get them shipped, even shipped to the store, you have to pay a substantial shipping charge on top of the $300 price tag. So I found one locally at our Farm Choice store, and it was even priced a bit cheaper.

Design – It is made out of a polyethylene piping. This makes it light weight, about 100lbs, which I can roll around and flip back and forth easily on my own. It is 8 foot in diameter so fits the round bales I get just fine. And it comes with a 7 year limited warranty.

They have three different styles. I wanted the taller style which runs a bit more expensive, but I could not find that one locally, and well, the one I got is more affordable and was ready to roll out in my field that day.

Ok, so now I have a way to have hay out 24/7 but the two pig-faced ponies I have can just stand there and suck hay down non stop like giant hairy vacuums.

Solution #2, I already had a giant round bale hay net I found online the previous winter for $50 on sale. Ridiculous right? It has to have issues right? Well sort of. It fits over a bale just fine. And I get some pretty substantial round bales. But the holes are tiny. Like really tiny. 1.5 X 1.5. The first time I attempted to use it the poor ponies thought they were being tortured with food RIGHT THERE that they couldn’t get out. I would not buy holes this small for a round bale again. It was just too hard for them to work the hay through the holes. Eventually they managed to get some nose sized holes busted into it which equalized the game. It slowed them down, but allowed them access. It also prevents them from throwing hay all over the place, stopping waste and mess.

I am pretty sure I got this net.

I decided to try this set up a few different ways and see how it went.

Trial 1: I rolled the round bale into the net, and then flipped the ring over it. It was easy and pretty clean. It took about two and a half weeks for the ponies to finish it off.

The bale and net in action as described in Trial 1.

Trial 2: I just flipped the ring over the bale, naked of the net. It took about 2 weeks for the ponies to finish it off. It actually lasted longer than I expected and the ring did keep the waste and mess down. I was pleasantly surprised.

Trial 3: I saw a funny photo floating around on the interwebs of a pony standing in this same hay ring, inside a net attached to the bottom of the ring. This made me think, why don’t I attach the net to the bottom of the ring. Then you just flip the ring over the bale and it puts the net in place for you. I am all about making life easier.

This photo was plucked from the interwebs with no idea where it originated. Whoever you are – thanks for the idea, and your pony is hilarious, so thanks for the laugh too.

Unfortunately my net would not open quite wide about yo attach it to the ring. Boo. I suppose I’ll just have to continue to manually put the net on the bale like some chump. – really it’s not that bad.

I’ve been feeding with this net and ring combo now for a few bales and I am pretty darn happy with the purchase. I give it two thumbs up. 👍 👍

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