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Round Bale Slow Feeder Review

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  • Round Bale Slow Feeder Review

    I had a thread a week or two ago about the Texas Hay nets. I liked the concept and the look of them so I went ahead and ordered a few. I got the Cinchchix net which was comparable to the Texas Hay net but about $20 a net less expensive. I wanted to document for myself and everyone if they are really effective or not.

    I chose the 4 broodmares who managed to demolish and eat the same size round bale (700 lbs) in 3 days. That was over 50 lbs of hay per mare a day. Obviously that is way too much for them and very wasteful. So these girls are my guinea pigs. I also gave a net feeder to 4 geldings who ate even less than the mares but who have more pasture. The mares have very little grass right now as they are up near the barn in a small paddock while we are weaning foals.

    Anyway, here are the pics:

    First day. There was a bit of slack in the net as it's meant for a larger bale so I tucked it under and dropped my feeder over it to keep it neat.


    Learning to use the net is tricky



    2nd Day. I must not have had it closed right as one mare managed to open the closed area and was feasting...so it got eaten a bit faster than it should have. You can see the lower spot in the bale.



    Day Three...this is when they polished off the unnetted bale a week or so before...still about 50% left.


    Day Four. We added another mare so there now 5 on the feeder.


    I missed taking one yesterday on day 5 but it was about what you'd expect.

    Day Six...just a short while ago.


    No mess or waste...absolutely none:


    To say the least, I am delighted. If this net survived four voracious Spanish Mustang broodmares, it must be well made and durable. It seems to do exactly what it advertises and it slowed my mares' consumption by 100% and made the bale last twice as long...or longer considering a 5th mare was added halfway through. That puts their consumption between 20-30 lbs each a day..closer to 23-5 I think considering the addition of another mare and the fact there is a still a bit left.

  • #2
    That looks like a lot safer setup than the metal round bale feeders. Heard of horses getting hung up in those so I steered clear of them.

    Have you noticed any problems with dust?

    Thanks for posting - I fed round bales last year and had to scrape up a lot of goop in the spring. Once they got down to a certain point, they'd just drag it out and poop and pee on it. Argh!
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • Original Poster

      Yes, I really like my old plastic feeders. Sadly, I don't think that brand is made anymore. I can pick them up with my tractor loader and drop them over the bales also saving much back strain. They have proven very safe over the last four years I've had them as well as durable.

      Round bales fed without a feeder are very wasteful; and even with a feeder, they pull hay out and spread it around, stomp it, and waste it. I have one feeder left without a net now and I'll order another one to go with it.

      I have had some dusty bales occasionally but I buy from one farmer that I trust and he does a very good job. I've not had any problems with his rounds. Some of the local hay I've found is more likely to mold and be dusty due to our more humid environment. This hay came from northern New York.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
        I dunno DDB, it ate one of the horse's heads!
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Nice to see such a good review on the Cinch Chix's round bale net.

          I bought their West Coast hay net to hold 2 of my 50-pound square bales. Since I don't want it on the ground in the mud, once I stuff it full, I sling the rope over a tree branch and hoist it up, then tie it off. I then connect a caribiner to a chain that's around the tree onto the lower section of the net to keep it steady for slight easier munching.

          Stuffed full, that hay lasts almost 36 hours, with two mares (a full percheron and a Clyde-X) nomming at it.

          I am now considering getting their Round Bale Net for the coldest months here, just so I know that they'll have enough hay at all times. It's especially important to me, because I do 100% self care at a private farm but can only go once a day. That'd be a good peace-of-mind item for me
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #6
            Originally posted by JB View Post
            I dunno DDB, it ate one of the horse's heads!
            Can't you just imagine someone calling Animal Control? Officer, there's a horse with his haid stuck in a tiruh. Nosuh, I ain't been drinking.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              lmao I can SOOOOO hear that conversation, JSwan.

              DBB- have you seen any other round bale feeders like that else where???? I REALLY like that idea.
              If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


              • Original Poster

                Well, the girls survived the attack of the head eating feeder. I actually took out another bale tonight and dumped the little bit of hay left over out. About a bale or a bit less was in there I'd guess. They, of course, were finishing that. Looks like the geldings will need hay tomorrow.

                Catersun...no I have not seen any others like these. I like the other plastic ones I've seen but they are pricey. I was thinking that a plain metal ring would be OK but I don't like the ones where a horse could put a leg in them. I've thought of trying to build some more out of plywood but I suspect they will not hold up as well.


                • #9
                  Thanks so much for posting this!

                  I think I'm going to get a couple of these and put the large square bales inside them inside the Duplessis feeders - we need the Duplessis to keep the snow and rain off the hay...and then the Cinch Chix hay net to stop them imitating your mares - yes, the pregnant look is "in" for our geldings these days, apparently.

                  But - how on earth do you wrap a big (3' x 3' x 8') bale in the haynet?

                  I'm thinking I could wrap the haynet around the bale while it's still on the tractor's bale-spikes, and then drop it, wrapped, to the ground.

                  What do you do, OP, anyone else?


                  • Original Poster

                    What I'm doing is I set the bale down on the flat end. I put the net over it as best I can and make sure it is hanging all the way to the ground on all sides. Then I use the tractor to push it over on it's round side. I try at that time to pull the net closed at the flat end which is now up. Today was the first time I had to use the tractor to lift the bale a bit to get under the net. Usually you can just pull it out from underneath.

                    Cinchchix has a video on their site that shows them putting it on a round bale with it sitting on the round side. She then rolls it on the round side to get to the other side of the net. Since I have the tractor, I don't have to do it that way but it will work as long as the bale is round and not oblong.

                    I think with your big squares you'd have to set them down and do it the way I do and then use a tractor to flip them over. Maybe someone else will think of a good idea also. I'm not fond of those big squares. They are harder to handle for me than the rounds.


                    • #11
                      Do yoou move big square bales with a tractor?
                      If so, maybe it's easiest to net the bale when it's on the tractor?
                      Or lay the net out on the ground and place the bale on it, then lift the sides up and over the top?

                      Just thinking out loud, I only have small squares here. I do feed with small hole hay nets, but a few flakes at a time. So I just hang my on two screw hooks in the wall about 18" apart and stuff them full. Then slide them off the hooks and close.

                      The smaller hole hay nets rock, don't they? My hay lasts almost 3x longer with them so the horses are eating longer and not going without for long between feedings. In winter they get the next net full about an hour after they finished the last one.
                      You jump in the saddle,
                      Hold onto the bridle!
                      Jump in the line!


                      • #12
                        Just thinking out loud here. My pasture is already getting bare with my horses having lived outside 24/7 the past year. If I were to get a couple for the small bales, then place them in a rubbermaid container (that had drainage holes) or even if I found some old rubbermaid stock troughs, would that be good enough or will I need something heavier on top so they won't pull out the hay net? I have one horse that is shod all way around and 2 barefoot, so I don't want them getting tangled up in the net. I don't have trees to hang them on readily, but I guess I could hang them on fence. I would just rather place them in a big trough around the field.


                        • Original Poster

                          GMan...you'd want to secure them somehow. If it were me and the smaller nets, I'd try to hang them I think. You can leave the nets on the bale in the open but they don't recommend that for shod horses nor ones with "chips and cracks" in their feet. I prefer using the round bale feeder for safety and need to pick one more up soon as I'm short one now that I can feed more of my horses this way.


                          • #14
                            If you don't plan on using those troughs again for water...you can use an eye bolt with washers and nuts to fasten to either the bottom or sides of the rubbermaid trough. Drill holes a bit smaller than bolts first. Use washers under the bolts when attaching so they don't pull through.
                            Then get a few double end snap clips and attach the hay net to one end of each clip and to the eye bolts on the other end.
                            Voila! It can't go anywhere. Not to say the horses won't lift the trough up once in a while, but you can always bungee it to a fence post so they don't flip it.
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!


                            • #15
                              DDB, thank you so much for posting this! My husbands all over this idea now (yes!)...nothing like pictures for proof . Hopefully we'll be able to find a solid ring this weekend, and we've ordered the Chix net. This will make life SO much easier!


                              • Original Poster

                                Hey, I'd better order another one of those nets before they go out of stock! Glad you all found the review helpful. I'm truly thrilled that they work. I HATE tossing hay off those bales all winter with a pitchfork.


                                • #17
                                  DDB- thank you so much for posting this!! I was just telling my dh last week about them & have been seriously considering getting a couple. I feed with small mesh hay nets now & would love to be able to use a large round bale in my other field, across my stream. The Cinchchix said the holes were about 1 3/4" when I emailed them. Is that correct?
                                  Unicorn Dreams Wholistic Touch
                                  Proudly owned by: Kopper & Fuego~my super cute bay & chest Arabians , Precocious Leader~aka "Mr. Withers," my dark bay OTTB
                                  Lightning Bug~ RIP my b/w tobiano TWH.


                                  • #18
                                    Wow, what a cool idea! I want one! Unfortunately, $150 for a hay net is out of the question at the moment. This is the round bale feeder I have. Obviously, there's quite a bit of waste because my horses are ungrateful slobs . I wonder, if we dropped a round bale in the feeder, could the net be tossed over the top and secured around the top of the feeder? As you can see, the feeder narrows a fair bit just below the top, so that might work.
                                    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                    VW sucks.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Yes, that is about right for the hole size. They are pretty small.

                                      Amastrike...yikes...yours are wasting a lot of hay. I think you could make that work with a net.


                                      • #20
                                        I love the idea too, but wow, that's a pricey hay net!!!
                                        Y'all ain't right!