RESOURCES

We at Happy-Grazers know how important the health and well-being of our horses mean to their owners.  This is why we have provided a guide to help horse owners choose the right feeder to best suit their: environment, activity levels, and physiology, as well as information and resources about what to expect from your horses as they transition

to a healthier slow-feeding experience. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

The following questions are designed to help you choose the best feeder options for your horses

as well as what to expect when introducing slow-feeding into their environment.

 

What if my horse is new to using slow feeders?


As all good horse owners know, monitoring the individual activities, behaviors and social interactions when introducing new horses to any new environment is of the up-most importance to maintaining happy, heathy horses. Taking special care to observe and study forage patterns, water intake, individual and group behavior, as well as the over-all activity and energy levels of your horses ensures a smooth and healthy transition to new environments. Horses new to using slow feeders or living in a new environment with the slow feeders take relatively short period to adjust. Most horses enjoy the novel process and mental stimulation of learning to use the nets. And unlike trying to remove food from the horse’s diet or changing food, which can be dangerous, introducing slow feeders actually increases the overall mental and physical well-being of the horse.
While the adjustment period to slow-feeders is truly an over-all healthy and safe experience, because penned or stalled horse are accustomed to receiving a specific amount of hay, horses new to slow feeding may experience a temporary increase of saliva which naturally and gradually subsides as they adjust to the slower and safer rate of consumption. Therefore it is important to keep plenty of fresh water available to ensure proper hydration.




What size of net should I choose?


Happy Grazers Nets come in two sizes and are measuredfrom the space between mesh or small square areas between the net's fabric where the feed is exposed. Extra Slow Feeding Nets have a smaller mesh and encourage slower eating patterns while the regular Slow Feeding Nets have a larger mesh size and allow for a slightly faster forage. Below are recommendations for chooseing the proper net size according to your horses condition and living environment: Extra Slow Feeding Nets are recommended for horses that:

  1. Are consistently kept in stalled or enclosed spaces.
  2. Experience limited movement when not being ridden.
  3. Are able to easily maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Have their water and/or shelter located near the feeding area.
Slow Feeding Nets are recommended for horses that:
  1. Are ridden often or have other opportunities to get lots of exercise.
  2. Have trouble holding weight either through work or physiology.
  3. Is in a pasture or large paddock with lots of freedom to move around.




How do I decide on net size with multiple horses of different ages, work-loads and body types?


Typically, with multiple horses we feed to the thinnest body type horse or horse with the greatest workload. After horses get accustomed to having 24/7 access to food, they begin to pace themselves rather than the gulping down of hay typical of horses when on a feeding schedule because they no longer have the feeling of being in a constant state of hunger. The horse highest on the hierarchy will typically eat first and alone or with one other horse on the same feeder. This horse will then stop eating and allow the lower ranking horses to access the feeder. If you have multiple feeders, horses may move from feeder to feeder in search of a possible better feeding location allowing other horses plenty of opportunity to eat what they need. Continued monitoring is important because as the article provided indicates, just because a horse has a hay belly does not mean a skinny horse has gained weight or a moderate weight horse has become fat. In the colder climates horses may increase their foraging time on the feeders in order to maintain a warmer body temperature. Contrastly, in the summer when temps are mild or hot, their foraging time may decrease. Again, it is important to monitor forage intake to make sure it is appropriate.




How far should I keep my horse's water or shelter from the feeding area?


We encourage owners to monitor the water intake to assure their horses are acheiving proper hydration. It is gerally considered good practice to keep water sources far from the feeder locations. This encourages the horse to maintain a healthy level of physical mobility as they travel between locations.




How much money can I save by using a Happy Grazers Slow Feeder?


Through many years of personal experience as well as talking with many other Happy Grazers Slow Feeder users, we can confidently say that you will save money by using less hay. Here is a ball-park estimate of what you could save on a yearly basis.





RELEVANT ARTICLES

Find out more about horse physiology and keep up to date with these amazing articles.

Hay Belly vs.

Horse Fat

Accessing

Healthy Weight

 
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Address: 1310 W. Main Street

Boise, ID 83706

Phone: 208-440-3854

Email:  happygrazersinfo@gmail.com

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