I am asked more and more lately about slow feeders for horses and whether or not our company is coming out with a slow feeder anytime soon. ProPanel Inc. has been manufacturing a slow feeder for nearly 20 years now right here in the USA.
To understand slow feeding we need to understand how a horse is programmed to eat vs. how we would like them to eat. Horses are grazers by nature and if you take the time to observe them in a natural setting you will notice that their head is down and they are eating approximately 17 hours each and every day that feed is available to them. On average a horse will eat close to its own body weight each month. This is nature’s way of slow feeding. It has worked since the beginning of time and long before horse feeders were ever invented.
We transplanted horses from their natural environment to one that was more convenient for our purposes. Box stalls or paddocks removed the access to free choice grazing and the slow steady intake of feed. We tried every unnatural thing we could think of and then some to feed our horses. We hung the feeders high on the wall never once considering that horses teeth do not come into alignment until their head is down. The horse has to pull the hay out of the feeder and eat it off of the ground ingesting all kinds of nasty colic causing material.
We also took it upon ourselves to feed horses a couple of flakes of hay twice a day. It became much more convenient for us but not so convenient for them. A horse has a small stomach relative to their body size. When we feed a couple of flakes twice a day our horses have a tendency to gorge the feed rapidly. The hay and its nutrients are utilized with a very low degree of efficiency. They then wait it out for 10 hours until we show up to feed them again. This whole time their brain is telling them to eat but the availability of feed is not there.
The ProPanel 3-in-1 Horse Feeder serves as a grazing station for your horse. The first time you use the feeder offer 4-6 flakes of hay to your horse and he will probably eat it. You trained him to. Give him more. He will eventually give up trying to eat everything you offer him and start eating out of the feeder slowly consuming the feed 17 hours per day. Just keep hay in the feeder. Most horses will self-regulate their intake to suit their needs. A slow feeder!
I see ads for all kinds of gimmicks to slow feed horses and I am amazed at the lack of understanding we demonstrate as the caregivers to the horse that serve us so well.
Start feeding your horse the way nature intended with the ProPanel 3-in-1 Horse Feeder.
Pat McCarty – Owner