Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quality Nosedive, In With the New

Almost a year ago I talked about Slow Feed Hay nets we have used and that the Shires greedy feeder came out as the best one for us. The small holes, combined with the material used to make them put them above the other brands we had bought. Over the last year up till October, we purchased a total of 14 nets ranging in cost from $28-$35. Each order of bags was not consistent with previous orders. The very first bags were the size, 41"x 36" with 1" squares, that was advertised. The material used was thick and durable.
Thick material, barely fit 2 fingers

 The next order of three came and were much smaller, but cost the same. We did not worry since the material was the same quality.
Similar material and hole size
The next order brought bigger bags, but the quality of the material was going downhill. It was not as thick.
Getting thinner...

 Finally in October I made the decision to buy another three bags so we would have two per horse. These bags were huge, could hold a whole bale, but the material was so very thin and the knots were looser. When filled the holes actually opened up to 1.25" to 1.5".
Very thin and extra space by my fingers

 With my horses anything over 1" is not a slow feeder. Not surprising one of the newest bags had a hole in it after only a week. We have had holes in the older bags, but that is acceptable given their age. One week was not good.
A down hill comparison, 3 nets
I sent a message to Shire asking about the change in material and asked if discount stores got lesser quality bags. I don't think many people would have see the change in the product we did. They never did answer. Plus the store where we originally got the first bags, now had the same thin material bags. Sorry I am not paying those kind of prices for lower quality products, especially when they do not have 1" squares. Since we did need new bags, repairing daily gets old, I tried to order the smaller size which is half the price of the large bags. Unfortunately those have not been in stock.

So what to do? Peggy, ever the searcher, found the Ultra Slow Feed Net on Normal price is around $17 and since it was Black Friday time frame Peggy got them for about $11 a net. These nets have the 1" holes and they come in lots of colors.

In with the new
 Peggy could only choose between pink and yellow since the rest were out of stock. She went with yellow and now we are waiting because those too went out of stock. I went there and ordered two hot pink bags to round out an order I had and received the bags yesterday.

Tight two finger, and okay material

 They are very pink, but the material is better than the most recent order of Shires and are so much cheaper. If my horses are going to make holes, I would rather they do it with nets not so expensive.
Roscoe bee lined to the bag last night. I guess the bright color caught his eye. He will be a true test, since he is one of the worst about creating holes.

Secure in his studliness :)
Fingers crossed these bags work out. The original Shires nets lasted nearly a year before starting to need major repairs. Even if these go a few months they will be economical.


  1. My Shire has also started to degrade after about a year - the strings are busting. Thanks for the new recommendation!

    1. So far so good with the new pink ones, survived Roscoe. He is really hard on bags and we make sure not to give him the newest Shire nets.

  2. What a shame, I really liked the Greedy Feeder bag I got last year!

    1. Me too! I kept hoping it was a fluke, but no. I really like the colors of the new nets though especially since I have to find them in the dark sometimes.

  3. I really love the Eco Nets. My round bale feeder is on it's 3rd year and has only needed one small repair. They are on the pricier side but at least the weak Canadian $ would work in your favour.

    1. Your right from looking at their site, they look like great nets. Compared to the Shires, the price is about right for what they offer. The design is great. My fat ponies ought to watch out, I may have to order them that 1/2in one :)