March 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Trickle Feeders

"The best method for feeding is to give smaller, more frequent meals..."

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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The nibble net makes a great natural feeder. Horses are designed to eat constantly as they are always producing stomach acid. Because hay and saliva together are alkaline, they counteract the stomach acid. Academic research shows that smaller, more frequent meals are healthier for
horses, resulting in increased chewing time, smaller particle size and increased salivation reducing overall health issues—especially gastric ulcers.

The best method for feeding is to give smaller, more frequent meals, mimicking a horse’s natural behavior. Even going from three to five meals a day would be an improvement for a creature designed by nature to eat many small, frequent meals over the course of a day. Leave out additional, lower-
quality hay in turn-out paddocks (high-fiber, low-non-structural carbohydrate) for your horse to browse on during the day, giving them more “chew time.”

If your horse is bored, or if you just want to make your hay go farther with less waste, consider the slow feeders. We have switched our trailer hay bags to nibble nets. They have the same advantages of the Natural Feeder tubs, but are more easily transported and can be hung in box stalls.

We use Dura-Tech® Slow Feed Hay Bag and NibbleNets is another style. Horses have to pick carefully at the hay to get it out, only removing one small mouthful at a time. This means less waste, more time spent eating, and a noticeably happier horse.

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