They're great at limiting waste. They're a pain in the butt to put on at times. I have 5 of them (I made them myself), and am currently using zero... we needed to stretch out our hay a bit this season because we were short a few dozen bales. There's a time cost to put them on (5-10 minutes per depending on how big the bale really is... I sized for a 4x5 and if the bale is 4.5x5, I'm working hard to get it netted), and a fuel cost if you're idling your tractor while you're doing it (that 4.5 can take 15 minutes to get the net around it)
Also, if your horses are shod, you MUST USE a ring.... one that goes all the way to the ground all around. No feet. I've collected bale nets sucked out from under the footed rings by creative and ingenious teeth...
Last: If the choice is between sparse green grass and a netted bale? The horse goes for the easy meal. Nets only seem to work out when there's nothing else to eat.
I am getting one of these for next winter! I hvae the hanging small hole hay nets from Chicks adn those things work great! My gelding quickly figured out that he can get mouthfuls from the net, even with small holes. My mare wasn't impressed at first, but figured out that she would go hungry if she didn't at least try to get hay from them. She too quickly figured out how to eat just fine!
We have a bale spear on our tractor, so I am thinking the large net will be fairly easy to get on...spear the bale, pull on net, set down, remove spear, tie net, pick back up and dump into round bale ring.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
You might want to try one anyway. I have found my fussy mare eats better out of a small hole hay net.
If they were a large hole hay net they would be dangerous to use at ground level. Easy to get a hoof stuck in.
Easy to put on. Open the net all the way, put it over the round bale so it is totally covered. Roll the round bale (about quarter turn) so the opening is now facing you. Pull it closed, ta-da, a covered round bale.
We use Bale Buddies on round bales and Cinch Chix on square bales. IME, the Cinch Chix just slows them down, doesn't limit....I like them having something to do all the time they are in the stall so I love Cinch Chix.
I use the CinchChix round bale net. I hay year round so it stays in the weather 24/7. It last about 6 to 8 months before it becomes unusable. Before the net, I was getting about 6 days to a round bale. With the net, a round bale last about 11 days.
My horses were over weight so the added benefit of slowing their hay consumption was a more fit horse.