The maintenance of a stable diet is a critical part of any horse’s health. Of course, as an owner, it is a top priority to ensure proper eating habits for your horse. This could include a variety of methods such as pasture grazing, grain feeds, as well as using hay feed bags.
Using a feed bag is a great way to keep your horse’s meal off of the ground in a mobile net, while pacing the horse’s eating and preventing hay waste.
Comparison Chart of the Best Horse Feed Bags
Derby Originals Supreme 4 Sided Slow Feed Hay Bag
Shires 50" Premium Poly Cord 2" Hole Hay Net
Intrepid International Poly Hay Bag
Gatsby 100% All Natural Slow Hay Feeder
Professional's Choice Feed Hay Bag
How Much Hay to Feed a Horse?
In the wild, horses will graze for much of the day, so the large majority of a horse’s diet should be roughage. The generally accepted rule for how much hay to feed is 2% of their body weight every day.
For the average horse, about 10 to 20 pounds of hay, typically split into two or three meals. This is where feed bags become useful to control the timing of a horse’s food intake.
Types of Hay for Horses
The two types of hay are grasses and legumes. Many find that the two types complement one another nutritionally.
The most popular grass hay is timothy, and the most popular legume hay is alfalfa. It’s important to note that alfalfa is very high in sugar, so it is not recommended to feed high amounts of this daily.
Many horses will have allergies or intolerances to certain types of hay and have different nutritional or caloric requirements, so it’s critical that you consult your vet before deciding on your horse’s diet.
Review of the Best Horse Feed Bags
Now we're going to switch gears and take a look at some of our favorite picks. Here we'll be discussing why each feed bag made our list and some top things to be aware of before making any final decisions.
1. Derby Originals Supreme 4 Sided Slow Feed Hay Bag
Made of 174 cross stitches on all 4-sides, the Derby Originals Supreme Hay Bag is designed for slow and easy feeding.
The patented 4-side design makes for convenient access to the hay, while the strong nylon cross stitching and heavy duty bull snaps allow for long term use.
This hay bag can easily fit up to 2.5 flakes of hay and keeps it from falling out with Velcro top closure.
This Derby hay bag is a popular option for its strength and durability. The 4-sided cross stitch design does the job of slowing eating while allowing convenient access for the horse. With the manufacturer’s warranty, this is a solid investment to help conserve hay.
2. Shires 50" Premium Poly Cord 2" Hole Hay Net
This budget-friendly hay bag provides ultimate storage with the 50” size holding up to 20lbs of hay, with some customers able to fit an entire bale.
The thick premium poly cord makes up 2” holes in the netting, so hay is easily pulled out, while still pacing a horse’s eating and keeping excess hay from falling.
With a strong top tie cord, this bag can hang for long periods of time while holding large weights. The Shires Hay Net is known to last for years and hold up well with daily use.
For a large and cost-effective hay net, this Shire bag will do the job, but be weary of the cords coming undone or trying to fit too large of flakes.
3. Intrepid International Poly Hay Bag
The Intrepid International Poly Hay Bag is a strong choice at a low price. At 40 inches long, this lightweight, but sturdy rope feed bag can hold four flakes to even a full bale of hay. It is easy to use, with a large top opening and flexible shape.
The knotted poly-nylon rope lasts through quite a bit of wear and tear and does not un-twine easily. In red, green, or blue, this hay bag will not break the bank, it's about as budget-friendly as it gets.
For an economical, but durable hay storage option, the Intrepid International Hay Bag is a solid way to go. However, if your goal is to really slow down your horse’s eating or limit any hay waste, you may want to go with bag that has smaller holes.
4. Gatsby 100% All Natural Slow Hay Feeder
This slow feed hay bag from Gatsby is a sturdy and effective option for conserving hay. With a 27” tall square grid made from thick natural fiber strips, hay can be conveniently pulled out of the 1.75” openings.
The tight stitching and strong material allow this bag to hold higher weights, and with a larger top opening, can fit about 2 flakes of hay. The Gatsby Slow Feeder is designed to last through regular use and at a modest price, it's a great investment.
This Gatsby Slow Feeder is a popular middle of the line pick for hay bags. The strong grid design can be very effective, but if your horse is too rough, tearing in the back panel will put this bag out of commission.
5. Professional's Choice Med Feed Hay Bag
The Professional’s Choice Medium Feed Bag is a strong option designed for the more densely packed hays like alfalfa.
At 25” wide, it will hold 5 to 10 pounds of hay, depending on the variety. This hay bag has convenient top load features, with a fold over flap and hook-and-loop closure.
Professional’s Choice is a well-loved brand for the durability of their products. The medium size comes in 10 fun color options and rings competitively compared to other bags.
This hay bag is a good option for those who tend to feed with heavier hay and only use bags for the occasional trailering. Due to the higher price point and tendency to break down quickly, this may not be the best bet for daily use.
Our top hay bag choice goes to the Derby Originals Supreme Hay Bag. Although it lies at the higher end of the price range, its strong, long lasting material and convenient 4-sided design make it a great investment for conserving hay use.
What really makes it worth the price is the warranty and replaceable straps, which will help to save money in the long run.