Our Team Leaders: Shauna, Shar & June
EcoNets developed when doing research on Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance for my daughters 20 yr old mare, Precious. In a very short period of time in the fall, she gained tons of weight, her coat color became much darker, and fat pockets appeared all over her body. She had become ravenously hungry & grumpy...not at all like the usual sweet polite mare we knew & loved.
From my research I learnt that she wasn't able to handle the high sugars in the fall grass & had lost the chewing sensors that told her when she was full or needed to eat more. Thus she constantly felt as though she was starving. No wonder she was so hungry & miserable, but how to control her intake to get her to lose weight & yet satisfy her ravenous appetite ??
I started putting her hay in multiple nets (3-4 at 1 time) of the cheap, old fashioned nets (with the big holes) to make it harder to access, but she was destroying them in a few days. So I began ordering, making & testing various types of net to find something that would last longer than a few days, before she destroyed them.
Eventually, after many, many trials + errors, I found a net that stood up to her vigorous ‘testing’, restricted her intake enough to slow her down and that she would actually eating from. Slowly, I gave her unrestricted access to full nets which satisfied her chewing needs so she could happily nibble away, continuously, but was getting smaller amounts and she wasn't destroying them. Because the hay was always available she began to relax and not be so anxious/aggressive. She was also starting to lose some weight, even though she was still constantly nibbling away at the hay. The smaller the holes-the longer it took her to eat the hay, significantly reducing the amount she consumed, and her weight & attitude slowly returned to normal (she even lost the fat pockets and got back a nice shiny coat).
Along the way I had begun making round bale nets for the rest of the herd. Immediately the hay was lasting longer & there was virtually no waste. As one horse was nibbling from the net, any hay that fell to the ground was quickly cleaned up by another horse. These 2 things combined were making the hay last almost double what it was previously. And like Precious, the mare, the rest of the herd settled & relaxed. As some were eating, others were sunning or getting a drink. By the time they were ready to eat again, the horses at the bale were going for a drink, to sun or to play. There was this easy going rotation that had never happened before.
Friends were hearing & seeing the difference and wanting to use the nets for their horses, before long I was kept busy making nets for them. Through trial & error of my own research/testing and that of friends, the sizes of the openings that worked best for different horses were developed along with the netting itself. The Economical benefits of extending the hay, Ecological benefit of less manure/waste & Environmental benefit of almost no wasted hay, is how “EcoNets” was named.
EcoNets are available in select tack & feed stores and from our Brand Reps. We make nets in most of the common sizes used to feed hay - from 1/2 a Flake up to 8′ x 8′ Round bale & in 5 different sizes of mesh. We work with customers to create nets for feeders they already have & also line feeders with DIY netting. We help Horses & their Owners.
Local Phone 1-780-387-3331
PO Box 338 5015a-45 Ave
Millet, Alberta T0C 1Z0 Canada