Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hay net hole size - September 2014

Greetings readers!

In this month's issue the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science is a study** that describes how hay net design affects the rate of forage consumption.  As expected, they found that horses will consume hay more slowly when fed using a slow-feeder hay net than when fed loose hay on the ground.  They also found that the smaller the hay net opening, the longer it took the horses to finish the hay.

This studies reassures us that using a slow-feeder is a useful tool in slowing down hay consumption. That is all this study reveals, which is fine to know, but as horse owners we need to put some real-world evaluation into this study's results.

When using slow feeders is is very important to allow the horse to gradually become accustomed to them by feeding hay free-choice on the ground as well as in the feeder.  Furthermore, the hole size needs to be one where hay can be easily accessible without inducing frustration. Frustration is a form a stress and creates the hormonal stress response that promotes fat storage.  If your horse is overweight, you can defeat your purpose by feeding in a manner that is stressful.

I offer more insight in my recent article, "The Correct Way to Use Slow Feeders"

All the best,

Juliet Getty :)

**Gluck, Emily C. et. al., 2014. The effect of hay net design on rate of forage consumption when feeding adult horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 34 (8), 986-991.


  1. Any advice on where to buy slow feeders in UK please? Thanks

    1. Hello Elizabeth,

      I know that the Porta Grazer has a UK distribution:

      And the other slow feeders made in the US can likely be shipped to the UK such as the Hay Pillow:
      Freedom Feeder:
      NAG bags:
      Cinch Chix:

      Juliet Getty :)