It's been 12 days now since I installed the hay net and wow, what a difference. They now consume about 1/3 less hay than 'before net'. Our bales weigh between 40 and 50 lbs mostly, so for three thousand-pound animals (average of the three) they should consume 45 - 60 lbs of forage a day (one bale), depending on their work schedule, which right now is very slight, although they are out 24/7 on a dry lot of about 1/2 acre, so they move around quite a bit. I used to have to feed 1 1/2 bales a day to keep them even slightly happy. Now one bale in the net usually still has a little less than a flake in it after 24 hours, and they seem more than satisfied. It also looks like they are beginning to drop a little weight, which is a good thing as they came home too tubby. Besides, the more weight Jesse puts on, the crabbier she gets. She is way happier slimmer (aren't we all?).
The biggest drawback for me so far has been handling the net when it is wet and below zero. The cinch and rope are still easy to handle but you freeze your fingers. Bill found me some very slim waterproof mechanix gloves to try, but it hasn't snowed again yet.
Give haychix.com a look see. They come in all sizes. I am already considering a couple travel ones for the trailer because I don't like all the wasted hay on the floor at the end of a long day of travel, plus when we get to our campsite, we can just toss the pre-loaded one in their corral and know it will get them through the night.
This will probably be the last update, unless something truly devastating happens this summer, but I can't imagine what right now.