My horses eat out of nets all the time. Less waste, lasts longer, better for them. I have a NibbleNet, a couple of the CinchChix nets for full bales, and lots of the generic slow nets from Shires/Tough-1/Dover etc. The nibblenet is definitely the easiest to load since I can leave it hanging in the stall and just unclip the two snaps and slide the flakes in, but they are definitely much more $$$. Was looking around and came across similar ones from Derby and Professional's Choice and was wondering if anyone had experience with either of them.
I use marine grade roped fishing net (1" holes). It's extremely durable and it cost about $15 and I've made 3 large nets (that hold about 5 flakes each) and 2 smaller ones that held about a flake each.
Got it off of ebay. I had a nibblenet and actually gave it away to a friend after I got the fishing net. So much better!
I've used the Derby and was very happy with it for awhile. It just didn't hold up that well for my boy. He was pretty rough with it and after a couple months I had to trash it. But, I got one for my BF's older gelding at the same time and his is still in really good condition.
I bought 2 of the Derby ones to use in my horse trailer. Can't comment on durability, as I haven't done as much trailering lately as I thought I would, but the one thing I noticed in the very beginning is the top of the bag... There's no way to cinch or hold it closed to keep the horses from simply pulling the hay out in giant mouthfuls instead of through the small holes. And in the trailer, there's no way I can hoist them high enough to prevent this, either. I came up with a semi-solution-- I bought a pair of chifney bit snaps for each bag, and on the metal dees where the hanging straps attach, I clip the front and back together, which helps hold the top closed and prevents the smorgasboard eating.
Update from my original post: I bought one of the Derby Originals nets and can't say I would recommend it except maybe for occasional use in a trailer or something. I used it for one week in my horses stall, in the evening, and there is a huge hole in the side of it. Clearly not a durable material on the sides. I e-mailed the company and this was their response:
"Thank you for sending us the picture of your hay bag. We forwarded it to our factory for examination.
My supervisor reviewed your picture with our sales team and they came to the conclusion that this rip is not a result from any defect in the hay bag.
We do not recommend leaving an empty hay bag in your horses stall for any extended period of time. This is not only hazardous, but also may result in your horse chewing on it or getting caught in it."
I will not be purchasing products from them again. If something like a hay bag can't stand up to one week of use by a horse who is not hard on things and the company is not willing to stand behind the quality of their product and workmanship then I won't be doing business with them again. Just thought others may find this useful if they are looking into these bags. I'll be purchasing another NibbleNet. Much more expensive but most definitely worth it!
I second what Zwarte and hundredacres said. I originally bought a few of them from Dover's, and 2 years later, after daily use and abuse from up to 4 horses at a time (I hang mine in the run-in shed in my drylot), they're just now starting to look shabby.
Sounds similar to our broken trough heaters that "become brittle when cold". Last I checked, they were not a warm weather product.
And that reminds me of some flat backed water buckets I bought at TSC once - they all got squished out of shape and they wouldn't bounce back to shape (they were the black rubber type) and TSC said, "Don't let your horses lean on them". LOL I called the company and they admitted to a formula problem and sent me new buckets even without a reciept, simply on my word. I thought that was awesome!
i bought three of these - one for each of my horses. only one of them is still completely intact - the one for my mare who isn't hard on anything. my coming 3 year old basically destroyed his in a matter of 2 weeks. my 18yr old gelding can still use his as i flipped the side with the HUGE hole in it against the wall and have continued using the bag. i will be ordering a nibble net for my youngster to see how it holds up to his wrath. should that prove positive i'll be ordering more for my other two. i wouldn't waste my money on the derby ones again.