When I first started Confetti on a bale bag back in January, I noted that she went through a bale in about five days. Sigh, I thought, maybe it will get better? She used to get 1 flake twice a day, going through a bale in a week.
It briefly improved, sort of, when I started splitting it into three third-bales of hay and putting it in the full bale bag flake-by-flake so it was looser, then went back to going through a bale a week. But this required me refilling the bag every time I was at the barn. Progress over needing to pay someone, not-progress over me feeding all the time. I also frequently worried whether I’d put in enough hay to last her til my next visit. The ‘free-feed’ concept is defeated if she’s running out of hay every two days.
I finally decided that was dumb. Back to full-bale bagging.
It is now November. We have been doing this thing for more than ten months. I have absolutely zero progress to report. A bale lasts five days.
Also, my bale bag now has holes in it that have been nicely patched with pink paracord since I can’t find the repair string that came with it. What can I say? She’s really hard on her haybags.
Currently, my conclusion is to do nothing differently. She’s at a good weight. If I’m really being picky, maybe a tiny bit heavier than I’d like, but not overly so. She has worked hard this year. She is getting older, and I suppose I’d rather see her a smidge too heavy rather than showing ribs, especially going into winter. Not that we get much winter.
Even if I tried doing something differently? Well. I was not up for re-stuffing the entire bale, one day, and opted to stuff it with a half-bale that was left over from my last ride. This was at least 5-6 full flakes; a full bale around here is approx 14 flakes. I came back the next day and found the bag completely empty. Argh!
The only thing I may change is to pick up a Freedom Feeder with 1″ holes rather than getting a Nag Bag again when mine dies. I frequently spend 10 minutes (down from 30 – I realized it has to go on a certain direction) getting it over the bale, versus the Freedom Feeder casually getting dropped on. I have to patch them either way. So: Nag Bag is not actually Haflinger-proof, cannot completely recommend.