Slow Feeder Options

Casie

Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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8 Responses

  1. Joyce Dorsey says:

    My horse loves his PortaGrazer-in fact I have 2 in his stall so he’ll walk between them. I also use a hay pillow. My net of choice is made by NagBags, a Canadian company. In addition to restricting intake, I think it’s important that horses eat with their heads in a down position.

  2. Lucy says:

    Hi, I use slow feed hay nets ( small opening) for my horses. I would like to ask if anyone else has experienced their horses teeth wearing down unevenly? My 19 year old mare’s front teeth have worn evenly.

    • Kathy says:

      Lucy, if a net is causing your horse’s teeth to wear unevenly, then it’s likely she has some sort of nutritional deficiency that is making her teeth soft enough for a rope or polypropylene net to cause damage. I just read something about this on a homeopathic site. Perhaps her teeth were wearing before you started using the nets? Maybe she’s cribbing or rubbing her teeth on rails? I’d check with your vet and maybe have a blood profile done (perhaps with a homeopathic or naturopathic vet or an animal nutritionist). Good luck!

  3. Jessica says:

    I use a shires greedy feeder hay net. They have super small holes perfect for my minis. I also have basketball hoops that I hang the nets from in my run. That way the nets are always open and I just chuck the flakes in. Super easy & has worked perfectly for 4 months now.

  4. Megan Clark says:

    I use and swear by Freedom Feeder nets. Before I started using those, my gelding was going through a net every 1-2 weeks, getting better at putting holes in them until a net would only last a day or 2. I have 2 “Extended Day” nets and one “three string bale” net from FF that have been going strong for over 2 years now with 2 horses feeding from them simultaneously. They kick the day nets all over their paddock and seem to have fun doing it when I throw them out as hay pillows.

  5. Kathy says:

    Important to point out that horses need to eat in a HEAD DOWN POSITION close to the ground so their teeth wear more evenly (like grazing) because their lower jaw does slide a bit backward when they eat with their heads elevated, causing uneven wear and points/hooks (see pic of the horse eating out of the white net above). So put your slow feeders on/near the ground. (Tie to a post or use a carabiner to clip to an eye bolt.) I use HayChix nets and a Porta-Grazer and like both for different reasons. Also…. metal grates on any slow feeder can cause damage and uneven wear to teeth as they scrape their teeth on it to get to the hay. I stick with the netting type or Porta-Grazer (which has a plastic insert and they do scrape their teeth on it but the holes are big enough they can get the hay without much difficulty… and I don’t use it all the time). Hay barns (correct name?) cover a round bale or several small bales and have holes for the horse to put their head in. Those don’t slow the horses unless you use with a net, but they do cut down on waste. There are lots of options out there! Last comment is if you’re a DIY’er – PLEASE don’t use plans that require your horse to tilt their head to eat from the side of a feeder because this creates stress on the neck/back AND makes for uneven wear of teeth. I’m a firm believer in slow feeders! I use them 24/7 and my horses (a large athletic young QH and a small elderly Arabian) eat together and both maintain good weight without being fat. Once they know food is available 24/7/365, they lose their food anxiety and self-regulate. And I don’t go through any more hay than I did by feeding twice a day. Some days they eat more, some days less – but it’s THEIR choice, not my rationing.

  6. Jan says:

    I like the slow feeders with the metal grid that drops as the level of hay drops. However, I have heard that the metal grid is damaging to horses front teeth. Have any of the folks that use this type of slow feeder seen damage to their horses teeth?

  7. Les says:

    I started with the metal grate feeders and one of my horses teeth were badly damaged. The other one had minor damage. I checked the teeth of a couple clients who used them and all their horses had the damage. They wear holes through the enamel on the front of their teeth. I use the Hay Chixs now and love them.

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