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How to lead a horse to eat
It's not that hard when horses are hungry to feed them, especially when you have these horse feeders handy. These run the gamut from large troughs to pellet dispensers, and from those used for fast feeds to slow feeds, which most vets recommend for horses. They provide a way to give horse owners a chance to provide, in turn, much needed nutrition for their horses, so they can continue to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. These horse feeders make horse feeding an easy chore rather than a challenge, and sometimes they make it more convenient than it usually is!
As the proud owners of a couple of horses, we know that horses need a human touch as much as any other pet. We have tried using these different horse feeders in our small farm and we have had an interesting time using them. Each of them serve special purposes, and especially with very active animals like ours, we saw how each of them worked despite the circumstances. We hope that this list will provide you much needed information about items for feeding horses and we trust that you can make an informed choice based on what we have offered.
The Quick Feed Automatic Single Feeder is the single feeder variant of the item we reviewed above at #7. As with its double feeder variant, it has a built-in timer so that you can figure out what time to feed your horses and how often. Some owners, like us, prefer to have several small feedings during the day. Others may want to have bigger portions less often. This provides for flexible feeding times. Moreover, the amount of feed can be regulated uniformly across feedings. The horse feeder can drop up to five cups of feed at any given time. Again, you don't have to worry about frequent refills; the feeder can accommodate up to 50 lbs of feed in its capacious container. This makes this very convenient for the horse owner who has very little time to feed their horses the usual way.
One benefit the manufacturer notes is that it is not only useful for feeding horses. This horse feeder can also feed your dog or cat too. Simply connect the piping to your dog or cat's feeding bowl and let the food drop in predetermined portions at the times you select. We decided to take this inside and mount this on the wall to try it out with our dog. The best thing about it is, we can mount it high enough on the wall that our dog could not reach it and try to grab more food. It is a matter of careful construction and planning. So whether you are feeding your horse, cat, dog, or any other animal using this, you may want to consider the possibilities of such a flexible device.
The Rugged Ranch Products Pasture Feeder is probably worth the price, one of the most expensive we have reviewed. Its size, which at its longest is 4 feet, can accommodate several farm animals with hearty appetites. It can fit up to 8 flakes of hay into its galvanized steel rack and lots of feed in its trough. We tried this with a friend who had several miniature horses and he tells us that the results pleased him. The horses, who were mildly aggressive eaters, fed on the hay without their owner worrying much about how they would try to break into the rack. The horse feeder also works with sheep and goats, and you can load hay into the feeder without wasting a lot of it during feeding because of the rack's structure.
What we find best about the Rugged Ranch Products Pasture Feeder is its durability: with the trough itself being made of galvanized steel too, you will be able to use this feeder for years on end. The most challenging part about it is the assembly. Though we know it is easy to assemble, we have heard customer concerns about how in some cases it took a while to put together because of minor issues with the product as shipped. In any case, it took us and our friend roughly fifteen minutes to put together, and when it was done, we had a horse feeder that also has its uses for other livestock. This kind of flexible use makes it a valued addition to farms and animal owners that have a variety of animals.
Anyone familiar with the concept of slow horse feeders will tell you about the health benefits of slow feeding. It is good for horses because it prevents obesity, and it allows them to absorb the nutritional content of food more often. It is also their more natural way of feeding, close to grazing. This is especially true with hay, a food that is hard to digest in itself. The Derby Slow Feed Hay Bag is one of several in the market that help you and your horse master the art of slow feeding on hay in a convenient and low-cost way. The bag measures 24 in. x 24 in. x 12 in., meaning it can hold a large amount of hay for your horses to feed upon, slowly but surely. One element that intrigued us is how it can feed several horses at a time, because of the number of holes they can feed on hay through: 116 on all sides of the bag. How convenient is that for them?
You need not worry too about how to carry it around, because the Derby Slow Feed Hay Bag has two carrying straps on top. However, you might need to sew a number of straps to hang it so that horses can easily reach the bag. Another worry you will avoid with this horse feeder is whether the horses can break the bag when they become too aggressive, or hungry, or both. The manufacturer assures us that the bag is reinforced with 174 stitches. So whether your horse feeds on alfalfa, timothy, clover, oat, wheat, or any other type of hay alone or in a mix, you are assured that no single stalk goes wasted, and horses will get the nutrition they need from the hay they consume.
The AGI Products Hay/Grain Feeder offers more feeding volume at a cost similar to the all-steel type we reviewed (#5). It can accommodate three to five flakes of hay in its steel rack, which can withstand even the most aggressive pet horses. In addition, it could fit 17 quarts of dry feed in its feeding trough, which is sizeable enough for pellets, grains, or a mix of the two. It can be mounted on any wall in one's barn or ranch where it is convenient for feeding. As we mentioned earlier, its flexibility means that it can be used with other pet or farm animals that rely upon grain or other types of feed in particular, such as sheep or dogs. This flexibility is good for pet owners who do not need to buy dedicated feeders to feed all of their animals. It is a matter of training animals to figure out that this is the place to get the food they need.
One modification that one can easily do with the AGI Products Hay/Grain Feeder is to connect the trough with an automatic horse feeder such as the one we will review below (#1). It is a matter of connecting the PVC pipe system and mounting the feeder in such a way that the feed will easily fall into the trough. With a 17 quart capacity, this can accommodate even the biggest portions. If you are into feeding your pet horses grains, for instance, you might want to try this with a mix that includes corn, which is one of those high-energy foods for horses that, in careful proportions, can meet their daily energy requirements. Of course, if you do not have an automatic feeder, be prepared to clock in as needed.
The Hay and Grain Feeder by Intrepid International is for the horse owner who is concerned about durability and reliability. Unlike the horse feeder we mentioned earlier, this one has an all-steel construction, both in its hay and its grain feeder. The wall mounted feeder can fit into any wall surface in your stable or barn, allowing for flexible placement. The feeder in fact is flexible enough for different kinds of farm animals, including sheep, with which we found out some owners use this particular feeder. In fact, we can imagine a way by which the grain trough is useful for feeding smaller mammals like dogs or pigs if we mount it low enough. The construction is tough enough to handle the most aggressive animals.
The size of this feeder (24x30x12) means that it can accommodate up to two flakes of hay and any good-sized amount of feed in its trough. It accommodates grain feed, which makes up most of the nutritive needs of horses these days. You can basically feed them the amount of high-fiber oats horses need to take in order to keep their digestive system in good shape, something which is also recommended for humans! Again, as with the previous one, you do need to make sure to set times where you will have to fill up the trough and rack and watch as your pet horse or any other animal on your farm or ranch will eat what is in the feeder and ensure that they get the right amount of food.
If you are in need of a feeder whose portions you can literally control by hand, the Behlen County Wall Feeder is the one for you. This wall feeder can accommodate both hay and grain. Simply load the hay into the steel rack provided and then load the grain into the poly trough. Mounting it on a wall requires a bit of assembly, but its size will mean that you can easily feed a horse or two without any significant problems. This is for horse owners who have the time to clock in and feed their horses regularly. It guarantees the human touch we mentioned that horses will need when it is time to feed them. You do not need to worry about electricity, except probably when the lights suddenly go out in the stable at night.
We have had experience with this grain feeder with one of our horses, who found this to be a challenge to dislodge from the wall. He can be a bit aggressive when feeding, so we were glad that this held up. The best thing about this feeder, like most feeders of its sort, is that the steel rack that holds the hay minimizes hay wastage, something which is critical if you are running a ranch on a budget and you are concerned about the cost of feeding your horses. Moreover, having a dedicated rack for grains or pellets means that you have the flexibility of offering one or the other or both, taking care of their nutritional needs. This is a boon for horse owners who want to scrupulously follow what their vet has to say.
There are generally two kinds of feeders we will tackle here: automatic horse feeders and, well, everything else. What we will talk about now is the Quick Feed Automatic Double Feeder, a device that as the name implies can feed two horses or other large pets. (Yes, we've tried this with our pack of dogs.) The feeder can hold up to 50 lbs of feed, which means that you don't have to worry about reloading the device with feed for a long while. You can set it for up to 12 feedings a day with a 5 cup maximum per feed, so you can regulate the amount of food they eat and thus maintain your horse's health. Setup is easy enough that you can integrate it into your horse's existing trough.
While the Quick Feed Automatic Double Feeder runs on a continuous electrical current using a 12 volt transformer, you need not worry about whether the timer will still work during power outages. A battery backup using two AA batteries keeps the feeding going by keeping the timer on track. The feeder can accommodate pellets, grains, and mixes, according to the nutritional needs of horses. As we have said, it's a matter of integrating it into a trough feeding system, and with some clever construction and wiring, one of the horse feeders we will review could work with this. A slow feed for horses is possible with this device, and as we will note later, it is something that horses prefer to do in their natural state.
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