Yes, I do think its harder to pull hay from a less-full bag, especially when its double bagged, the stems aren't bursting out on their own.
I have a 33yr old that I work hard to keep walking all day long, and both my horses are hay hoovers. I split their hay ration up into many less-full bags and hang several all over the place so instead of parking out in front of one bag and eating it until its gone, they are encouraged to walk around from bag to bag and eat more slowly and digest as they walk in between.
I do sometimes put their hay on the ground, and I sprinkle it like a trail so they have to walk and pick up the wisps.
I too put up several kinds of hay and when I stuff a bag I put in a mix of all that I have. Usually 3 small flakes, one flake of each type of hay. This further encourages my horses to walk around as they go from bag to bag nibbling their favorites.
Nibble net didn't work for me, even the small holes are too big and my horses destroyed the bag beyond fixing in a very short period of time. They destroy the small hole mesh bags too, but at $10 I don't cry nearly as much replacing them.
I tried using a small-hole hay bag and my horse simply destroyed it. He would purposefully grab the strings and yank them until the whole thing was a frayed mess. Same thing with double-bagged in regular hay nets. I now spread their hay out all over the paddock, but it's not uncommon for them to go close to 8 hours without hay. They get dangerously fat otherwise.
Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**
I double-bag mine. I use a "busy buffet" bag, then a small hole net on the inside. I lace the net to the top of the busy buffet bag. Very easy to open and fill.
What do you mean "lace the net"? Can you explain in detail and/or provide a picture? Thanks!
Some of these ideas are good, especially the trash bag holder for filling up the nets. I have a sensitive TB mare who is not a super fast eater but gets very upset with the 2" Nibble Nets. After 2 weeks of her barely consuming anything out of them I got worried enough that I switched back to regular hay nets.
My easy keeper arab cross can finish off her allotted hay much faster than any other horse in my barn. She has a "Nag Net' small mesh hay bag in her stall, but that barely slows her.
I started using The Nibble Net in 2008 and never looked back. They slow the horse down, are safe and are easy to use. They pay for themselves in hay not wasted in no time. They are made of the highest quality materials here in the USA. Yep, they do cost a bit more, and they are worth every penny. I have some that are used twice daily and are almost 4 years old. Get one with the 1 1/2" openings, hang it properly according to the instructions on the Nibble Net website. I also use the Nibble Go Round for my own easy keeper Arabian...it hangs free and keeps his little mind occupied. He loves it! In my opinion, there is no better hay slow feeder on the market.
I don't know what your setup is like but could you suspend her hay net from somewhere in the middle of the stall. I think if they can pin it against something, it's easier to get the hay out.
JBD, yes, there is one at our barn that refuses to eat out of a small hole hay net. He just stands there yelling for his dinner when it's right in front of him!
Our ponies got very angry when we first used the slow feed nets. One mare pins her ears and attacks the net now, before she would pin her ears and look at me as if demanding I remove the hay from the offending net.
I'm another NibbleNet fan. My BO thinks it's "torture" to make Miss Mare work for her hay, but a 1.5 inch NN does slow her down quite a bit. Otherwise she eats hay twice as fast as any horse in the barn and fusses when everyone else is still eating and she has nothing left! I may go down to an even smaller hole at some point.
When I first got it, she found it very spooky and wouldn't go in her stall. I took it out, put her in the stall, and left it next to the stall door, and once she was done snorting at it, she realized it was a source of FOOD and never looked back.
"You have to have experiences to gain experience."