For ease of stuffing, Nibble Nets are easiest IME. The Cinch Chix ones are really nice and durable and easier than "regular" store-bought small-hole nets, but still not as quick and simple as the Nibble Nets. YMMV of course. People get quite passionate about their favorite brand!
Nibble net for me too. They are easy to fill and come in a variety of sizes and styles now if you actually go to their website and order directly from them. Mine have held up well for a year now. Make sure you get the smaller holes.
I love my freedom feeders and loved them so much I decided to become a rep. If you have any questions feel free to PM me. Always happy to do discounts. I think they are very easy to use and I use them at my boarding barn.
That being said, there are a lot of great SMHNs available!
I have Nibblenets, freedom feeders and Cinch chix nets. For the stall nibblenets are easiest and most durable. I like the freedom feeders in the trailer and the cinch chix in the field. They are all great for their respective purposes!
I love my large freedom feeder for where I have it. I did not find it easy to fill inside a stall though. I have it on a fence so I flip it over the fence to fill it, and then flip it back into the paddock for use, the clips and opening are against the fence then. Way easy to fill this way. Works out great. Would not want anything else.
In stalls I have good luck with standard small hole hay nets. I fill them using a muck bucket. Really easy.
I am loving my Cinch Chix round bale net.
I have a nibble net, I tried it for a week, hated it.
Last edited by trubandloki; May. 3, 2012 at 09:12 AM.
Reason: Edit to modify hay net name, got confused.
Have tried Nibble Nets, Cinch Chics, Dover SMHN, and Freedom Feeder. Definitely prefer the extended day Freedom Feeder for stall use (I take the hay to the stall in a cart). If I'm filling where the hay is and carrying the filled bag to stall or fence, the I go with the Nibble Net. However, Nibble Nets did not wear well for me, I had several that all came apart at the bottom, and a couple that wore through canvas at the back where they rubbed against fencing. I had a hole eaten through a Freedom Feeder in the first week, but it was easy to patch, and once the horses got used to the FF it held up well. The Nibble Nets were not easy to fix at home and got tossed. Five of them, tossed. $$$$ Only one held up and is still in use.
After 3 years (including yearlings, oy vey) one of the straps on one of my Nibble Nets did break this winter. I took it to the local person who repairs boat canvas . . . she didn't even charge me to fix it, took her 10 minutes!
I bought this vinyl sheet thing ( http://www.sstack.com/Stable_Barn-Su...ch-StableHand/ ), from Schneiders to hold my small hole hay net open for filling. I roll it up tight, and hold between my knees while I pull the hay net over it, then let it expand inside the net. It is less pain than stuffing in hay without it, works well for me, but would be too much trouble in a boarding barn. Now I hear you can buy similar ones cheaper (not labeled 'horse') as aids in filling trash bags with leaves.
I just have the SHHN from Chick's saddlery because they were the cheapest I could find.
I used screw in hooks about two feet apart on my aisle wall. Put hook thru hay net loop at the top (where the string to cinch tight goes through), and then stretch it open and hook anothe rloop on the other ring. I can stuff about half of a square bale into it, with only holding it open with my other hand. Very convenient! I haven't fought with a hay net since doing it this way. Love it and it was super cheap to set up! LOL!
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
I prefer to use small hole hay nets, they are cheap and will hold 4 to 5 flakes so the horse can nibble all night if he's in. They are also much more affordable then the nibble nets! Over the winter I used them outside on the fence posts and now for the summer I put one in his stall if he's in over night. It keeps him busy and helps to prevent his ulcers from coming back. With out a slow feeder type of net he will throw back an entire bale of hay over night but this helps to slow him down http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/2400/SF1802
I bought the Shire's small hole hay nets from the cheshire horse I think. I had bought them with the intention of making some fancy shmancy feeder, but found it easy enough to fill and hang. Once they used a couple of times and "stretched out", they are quite easy to fill.
I think I will buy the chicks ones next time though so I can get purple!