As equestrians we are ALL on the hunt for any product that either saves money, or makes our lives easier.. We have FINALLY found both of those in the Hay Chix round bale net!
We have reviewed “other” nets in the past and know how big of a time and money saver that they can be! The Hay Chix net was VERY different from the other options that we have worked with. The “stopper” ( a rubber end connecting the two tie strings) was a game changer.
We reviewed the Large Bale Net 4×4 Heavy Duty option with standard 1 3/4″ net openings. We used the Virtual Netspert on the Hay Chix website to determine the size, strength, and openings for our herd. (My mind was blown. It was the most AMAZING selection tool.) Hay Chix offers so many options for net strength, size, and hole opening to PERFECTLY cater to the needs of your livestock. (Hay Chix isn’t just for horses!) Many of the other nets on the market is a “one size fits all” and we all know that is NOT the case in the equestrian world.
The net itself was thick, solid, and I spent almost an hour inspecting it for frays or holes at least once a month. I found NONE in the body of the net. With three horses on the net, two of which can be aggressive eaters, this was honestly shocking! We did have a few holes “pop” open around the end with the tie string, but we had a few oddly shaped round bales that added tension when the end was cinched shut. (The Hay Chix team provides AWESOME customer service and sent us spare string material to repair the “oopsies”.) This net was not as heavy as I expected and easy for even our little equestrian to carry and handle.
The design of the net is innovative, and the stopper built into the tie string end is brilliant. The other end without the tie strings is held together with a heavy duty metal locking carabiner which in my opinion was able to evenly distribute the net around they hay and hold tension much better than the nets held with a ring or another piece of net string. Hay Chix provides EASY visual and verbal instructions on how to properly tie the string using a half hitch and daisy chain method for the safest and easiest use of the net. See the video here!
Hay Chix does suggest the following, and we agree 100%…
Nets may be used with shod horses, but must be used with a hay ring that is flush with the ground or hung high enough so the horse cannot paw at it. Nets may be used with blankets as long as the buckles are covered or there is a barrier between the netted bale and the blanket.
We facilitated this review with a Tarter Roundbale HORSE style feeder. (See photo below)
The bale was netted, placed on plastic skids to keep the hay and the net off the ground, and then the feeder was placed around the netted bale.
Now for the math, this net saved us a LOT of money over the brutal Ohio winter. Our horses are on 24/7 turnout, with a large run in barn. They are brought to their dedicated stalls in our new horse barn weather dependent.
One 4×4 roundbale lasted 5-6 days (120 – 144 hours) WITH the net.
One 4×4 roundbale lasted 3 days. (72-80 hours) Yes, you read that right.
Our hay supplier estimates there are roughly 22 squarebales in one of his 4×4 roundbales. These are the numbers we based our calculations from, and the values can very bale to bale. We also based these calculations on an average cost of $6 per bale for Timothy Orchard Grass Hay here in Ohio on an AVERAGE year.
WITH the net, our three horses are consuming 4.4 square bales per day, at $6 per bale, that is approximately $26.40 per day to feed 24/7 forage to our herd. With NO waste. None.
WITHOUT the net, our three horses consumed/stomped in the mud, pooped in 7.3 square bales per day, at $6 per bale that is approximately $43.80 per day to feed and WASTE hay. (The pony would literally lay in the middle of the bale and smash it into the mud.)
This net payed for ITSELF in the first 6-8 months, and I am positive we will get MANY more years of use!
This net is a game changer for anyone feeding multiple horses in any weather condition! The Hay Chix team has definitely made some innovative designs for ALL of us to enjoy!