Getting a horse to care for demands a lot from its keeper. It means providing the animal with everything that to perform well. And one of the things that a responsible horse owner needs to keep in mind is to provide the animal with the appropriate feed, including the best slow feeders for horses.
Slow Feeders for Horses
Horses need a continuous flow of feed through its digestive tract. A considerate amount of time without forage can cause several health issues such as colic, gastric ulcer, gorging, choking, laminitis, as well as other behavioral problems. To ensure that your horse will have a steady supply your horse with the right diet, is to allow it to have a steady access to forage throughout the day.
Slow feeders encourage grazing. While in their natural habitat, horses are designed to eat small amount of forage. They do this throughout the day. This keeps their bodies well-regulated and helps them be at their best all the time. Restricted access to grazing, will make these animals feel stressed. And before they develop other health concerns, the right type of slow feeder should be provided to them.
Slow feeders for horses, as the name implies, is a system known to horse keepers that slow down the rate of consumption of forage for horses. As the animal gets to enjoy its meal at a steady rate, it feels relaxed and encourages the animal to eat less but continuously as long as the supply is available. When used as they should be, slow feeders can reduce stress in horses.
The Best Way to Use Slow Feeders
The best method to use a slow feeder is to encourage the horse to feed off the ground. Allowing the animal to eat with its head lowered to the source of its feed is the mos relaxing position that it can enjoy its meal. There’s less to no pressure on the neck, and the animal can move freely while chewing its forage. A straight downward motion does not create any stress on the animals joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. This posture also keeps the dust from getting through their airways and also helps protect their eyes from mold spores.
Start with at least two feeders as well as the horses placed some distance apart. This will encourage the horse to move as it enjoys its meal. It also satisfies the animals curiosity and lessens squabbles among the horses.
Place some of the hay in the feeder as well as on the ground. The horse will get used to this method at its own pace, and you should not force the animal to do so. It is for the horse to enjoy every meal that you want after all.
Observe your horse while it chews on its feed. Watch out for any sign of frustration. If you notice any unusual behavior as the horse starts feeding, make sure to make adjustments with the placement of the feeder.
Choosing the Best Slow Feeder for Horses
When deciding which slow feeder to use, you need to do with one that will be best suited to your horses’ needs. It should also be one that will be easy to clean and, of course will be safe for your horse.
A slow feeder that can easily be reloaded will be much to be desired, as you don’t have the luxury of time to refill the feeder every few minutes. Even if you hire someone to do it for you, there is more to keeping a horse healthy and well that you will need to take care of to just have one to oversee the reloading of the feeder throughout the day (or night). One that can hold enough hay for more than ten hours is a good thing to start with.
You also need to make sure that the feeder has been well-built, and without any ragged or sharp edges that may injure your horse at it nibbles on its feed.
Also consider the location and the number of horses that need to be fed at a time. There should be enough feeders to allow every horse to be fed at a time feel comfortable while chewing on its meal.
Making sure that you use the best slow feeder for horses is one of the essentials of caring for horses. This will help ensure the health and wellness of your horse, so it is best to take it slow and consider all the values that every option can provide before actually buying one.