And I've been dealing with some vertigo. *double sigh* So maybe it's a good thing that riding is off the table right now.
This post has been juggling a bit around in my head for a while and now seems like a good time to write it.
Haynets- the struggle is real folks.
When Carmen first arrived she was a bit thin and a bit fussy in her eating.
Hindsight being 20/20 I realize she probably had ulcers but I'm not beating myself up about it now. Then she began to *ahem* thrive and it became clear that I needed to control her intake. Add in that Carmen was a fast eater I realized a slow feed hay net had to be the way to go.
|definitely not underweight|
Since that time I have been through a few and I spent some time to find the magical net that would meet my needs and not be destroyed. Here are the ones I have tried and how I found them to hold up:
1. Tough 1 Hay Hoop & Net.
I love the hoop- it's easy to load and locks nicely on the wall. It's much easier then trying to stuff a haynet.
The net though didn't last more than 2 months. Pro-tip: I bought a crochet hook and it works well to remove the old net.
Recommended: hay hoop yes (5/5 stars) . Hay net no (1/5 stars).
2. Generic Slow Feed net: sold by your local tack store.
They have knotted holes. I find that they last about 4-6 months with daily use. Replacing them in the hay hoop is a pain the butt but they work well if you are travelling. I use these for shows and clinics and they have held up well. Stuffing them is a pain (like most hay nets). Most of these are 2" which is not great for a horse like Carmen. She needs 1.5" or 1".
Recommended: 3/5 stars. If you have a gentle horse they probably will work well for you. If you have a shredder like Carmen you will get frustrated with how often you have to replace it. Like I said for short term events like shows/clinics they are great to have in your trailer.
3. Handy Hay Nets:
Cost: $35-75 depending on size. $35 for my hay hoop.
These are made without knots which is easier on the horse's muzzle. For Carmen in the hay hoop it was about 6 months before the first hole appeared. After that she began to put holes in them more frequently. I have gotten good repairing them with baling twine. The website is full of great information and they are made in Canada.
Recommended: 4/5 stars. I would give 5 if it was more durable.
4. Derby Web Nets
With Carmen being so hard on nets I decided to try a web net. I bought a small (generic) one to try and I liked it.
I figured out a way to hang it on my hoop. For the summer it was great. I loved it so much that I bought the larger one to go outside for both horses and I love it. It's easy to fill and holds 3/4 of a bale. I take the remainder of the bale and put it outside for them to walk to get the food.
|I bought purple because it was cheaper. :)|
However, this winter the holes (2") for the one in Carmen's stall were too easy for her to empty fast. I looked around and decided to try another version of a hay net.
5. Nag Bags:
Cost: $35-65 depending on size (fyi shipping is costly)
These are advertised as 'the safest, most durable on the market'. I have friends who have good luck for them. Shipping seemed expensive so I dithered. After Christmas there was a sale 3 trailer bags for $115 so I decided to pull the trigger and bought 1.5" size holes. With delivery and taxes I paid $150 for three nets. They arrived early January and I installed one early January.
I was really annoyed when I went out last Friday to see that there was a hole chewed in it:
So the most expensive net I bought didn't even last a month. I posted this photo on Instagram with a disgruntled comment. Someone from Nag Bags reached out to me and said that this was unusual and that they should last 2-3 years. I was advised to fill out a damage form. Which I did. A couple questions came to me via email to show where I had it hung and what was the distance of the hole from the bottom. All of which I responded to.
I then got an email saying that this hole was where she was feeding from (no kidding). And that I should add an extra net and/or put hay on the floor. Sure. Carmen would love that. And she would be fat and be at risk of founder. So no to an extra net. I do put a little on the floor at night but not much more than half a flake. The final comment was to see how the net held up over the next few days.
Sure. It's been 5 days and as of this morning there were no holes. Now that it's been hung for 3 weeks. Clearly it must be fine.
That is all sarcasm as you can tell. Anyone, I have these nets and will keep them for shows. I will keep this net on the hanger until it's too annoying to repair anymore and will put the Derby back up.
Recommendation: 0/5 stars. No. Not worth it. Even my cheapest net lasted 3 months.
This is my experiences with various hay nets. Clearly yours may vary. I will also add that I am not receiving any compensation for these reviews. But if there are any hay net manufacturers who want to challenge Carmen to try their nets let me know.
I was always interested in the hay hoop especially when I boarded at a barn that had holes in the ceiling to dump hay. I figured it would be easier to dump hay in. I briefly borrowed one of the webbing ones but it didn't really hold enough hay for the thoroughbreds overnight (they eat... a ton).ReplyDelete
I have the horze slow feeder hay net. It looks like a freedom feeder hay net but is 1/3rd the price. So far I don't have any holes or anything, it doesn't get daily use because mostly spicy is out but I've had it almost 2 years at this point and besides being a little stretched out and dirty it's not too much the worse for wear...
I like it because it's easy to load and holds a TON of hay. You could probably fit a full bale in there if you were feeling really ambitious :P
I will check them out.Delete
That's so incredibly frustrating (Nag Bags).ReplyDelete
I use some Shires nets and they've held up really well for me over the years. I had to buy Batty a 1 inch net because he was a pig and emptied his 2 inch net too quickly. Then he learned to empty the 1 inch just as fast... When I lost him, I pulled Subi off the slow net and just on a regular net as I didn't want to slow his access down at all, but he wastes a lot of hay so I don't know. He eats what he likes and tosses the rest. I'm struggling with what to do with Nay. He just doesn't like the slow net and isn't eating enough hay for my liking. He was doing well and now is slowing down (I started giving him a tiny bit of alfalfa and I guess now he's holding out for the good stuff?). He's not eating enough hay for my liking so I might try a simple bag? I don't really need a slow net for him, just something to prevent waste (he and Subi waste when on ground). 3 inch holes would be perfect...
They both are great outside with the shires nets...
I shall check them outDelete
Yup - the hay net struggle is definitely real. If Val gets six months out of a net I am super lucky. The bargain priced one I added onto my Riding Warehouse order right before Christmas had holes within the week.ReplyDelete
Also lately I've been wondering about tooth/gum damage and the effect on neck muscles with a vertically hung net. There's a set of Hay Pillows coming tomorrow. They should be easier on his mouth and neck with a more natural eating posture - and hopefully his nose running with gravity will help with allergies. Fingers crossed!
Both horses are shod so they m worried about anything on the ground.Delete
Putting mine into a heavy rubber trough. We're on 100% sand here and I'm nervous about feeding on the ground even with a bag...Delete
I just stock up on the cheapest nets when I catch them on sale for under $5, since Ruby and Cinna are pretty hard on them. I have an old tub I stretch them out over which makes filling them a little easier. I was using these really neat plastic boxes hung in the middle of the stalls and j loved those, but rehanging them once the horses ripped them down got too annoying so I stopped haha.ReplyDelete
I can't believe that about the nag nets, that they wouldn't give you a refund. Definitely will never buy from them if they can't stand behind their products! I had a mare put a hole in a $15 tough-1 net after about a week and I complained and the company sent me a new one for free (it hangs in the trailer now, it's obviously not strong enough for daily use).
I know, right? So not impressed.Delete
Thank you, I need posts like this cuz I feed strictly out of nets 4-5 times per day. It's so frustrating cuz my animals will not eat hay that touches the ground. It's poison to them. Lately I've been picking it up off the (clean) ground and stuffing it back in the net, and then pushing new hay all around, mixing it up. That seems to work to trick them into eating hay that has touched the ground.ReplyDelete
I wish I had a better option. I've been stuffing nets for years and it makes me laugh that I still suck at it, something I do over and over.
It seems that sometimes I get more hay in my bra then in the net! But the hoops work well.Delete
Daggon. You've really been through the gamut with these things! I'm grateful mine are doing as well as they are at this point after reading your experiences, too!ReplyDelete
Very curious about how the hay hoop works. Looks like it kinda folds/slides into itself? I should find a youtube video or something. Quite interested in MacGyvering something like that eventually.
OH! And re: hard to load...I recently put two hooks up on a wall that I can then hook my nets on and load much easier. Strongly recommend! (I'll be including this in a video on the blog soonish)
Yes- it looks like a basketball hoop and then slides up and locks. I have tried looping over a hook but I should set it up better.Delete
Thanks for sharing! Sorry you spent all that money on the worst one. That's lame.ReplyDelete
I haven't used nets though I was thinking about it for Jampy after he foundered. I ordered one of the web ones, so I have it should I need it (possibly for Shiny...) and I'm glad to know you liked that one best.
It is irksome. It’s good that you have one. It’s good to have on hand.Delete
I use Hay Chix nets. They come in various hole sizes and hold up well, I’ve been using the same nets for years.ReplyDelete
I’ve heard good things. It’s just often expensive getting things from US. Sigh.Delete
I have the best luck with HayChix nets.ReplyDelete
Are the donkeys hard on them?Delete
I have a used Nag Bag that came to me with rips and holes already (I knew before I bought it). I've had it for about 3 years now and it looks pretty sad, but my horses are pretty "gentle" with it so it is still useable so long as I use twine to snug up the open bits.ReplyDelete
I bought a EcoNet before bringing Maizey home and am pretty happy with it. I haven't used it much yet, as I am waiting for the Nag Bag to finish it's slow and untimely death first lol.
Hmm haven’t tried the EcoNet.Delete
I think the mesh on the Econets seems a tougher than that of the Nag Bag. I have both but they've had little use so I can't say anything as to durability. But I would probably buy an Econet over a Nag Bag again.Delete
You can get Econets that have knotted segments, or non-knotted segments. I opted for the non-knotted, as I feel the knotted would irritate the horse's sensitive lips.Delete
I like these: https://www.statelinetack.com/item/ultra-slow-feeder-hay-net/E015309/ReplyDelete
I don't know if you can get them in Canada though. The smaller holes actually slow my horses down as opposed to the regular nets that only serve to keep hay off the ground briefly. Nilla has destroyed some pretty quickly (a few months), but I have several that are years old now and still going.
We have similar here.Delete
We have used Orange Slow Feed bags for almost two years, inside stalls and pasture feeder (large square bale) https://orangeslowfeeder.com/ Have not had to replace any to date. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. I recommend buying the heavy duty orange carabiner they offer.ReplyDelete
I have been quite interested in the orange nets. The problem is that the shipping to Canada is actually more than the net.Delete
Hay nets are a PITA but my daughter came up with a solution to our hay net needs. She had a blog a long time ago, although she no longer posts, here is a link to what we did and so far it's worked fairly well: http://glenshee.blogspot.com/2011/01/hay-net-helpers.html You might like the idea or you might not but it's worth a look see.ReplyDelete
Your daughter is very clever!Delete
Have you checked out Hay Chix? I use their free up nets. Even a 4 year old can load AND I’ve used the same ones for like 6 years with no holes.ReplyDelete
I did years ago . I can’t remember if they were too expensive with delivery to Canada or that they didn’t deliver to here.Delete
We have gotten really good at repairing hay nets with baling twine. We use the ultra slow feed nets and use multiple sets so they get rotated. As for filling, we put two hooks on the hay stall wall and easily drop hay inside. Hard to believe how expensive some bags are and how short a time they last.ReplyDelete
I am good at it too. Horse stuff can be really expensive. Especially the stuff they destroy!Delete