When it comes to feeding horses, it’s important to ensure that they eat at a slow and steady pace. This is where slow horse feeders come in, as they help to prevent horses from consuming their food too quickly, which can lead to digestive issues such as colic. In this article, we’ll be exploring the best slow horse feeders available on the market in 2023. We’ll cover a range of options, including automatic feeders and hay nets, to help you find the perfect slow feeder for your horse’s needs.
Owners adore the nets since they simplify prolonged trailer rides and stop hours of starving boredom for pet horses. Horses must be pleased as they can nibble in their hay for more hours rather than gobbling everything and then standing around having nothing to eat and nothing to do until the next feeding. With a slow feeder, the gastrointestinal tract is at peace as it receives a slow but constant source of fiber.
At first, all slow hay feeders appear to be quite similar. All of them hold a massive volume of hay (anywhere from half a bale to many bales) and limit how much hay a horse could extract out from the feeder in one bite, typically with many tiny openings instead of free access through big holes.
It can be complicated to find the best slow feeder for horses, so we analyzed dozens of these to list the best quality ones, and also the most precious slow horse feeders according to their prices, build quality, Amazon rating, along with user-testimonials. We narrowed our search to 5 of the very best slow horse feeders of 2021 that can supply your horse with optimized feeding throughout the day.
The Best Slow Horse Feeders
Slow feeders would be the ideal feeding option for horses, especially if you would like to furnish them with a healthful, cost-effective, and replicate a natural grazing option. Slow feeders restrain the pace at which the horse could eat the hay supplied, which can be natural for equines and promotes a healthy digestive system and also a better feeding posture.
You can view them as a “set and forget automatic horse feeding station “, just top it up with hay every so often and allow the horses to eat in their leisure, instead of allowing the horses to eat hay openly without restraining it and depriving you a great deal of cash.
Have a look at our top-rated slow feeders for horses that we’ve reviewed and chosen, to determine which one is ideal for feeding your equine.[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]
[highlight color=”yellow”]Our Best Pick:[/highlight] Derby Originals Supreme Slow Feed Horse Hay Bag
Our best No.1 pick is this USA-made product by Derby Originals, who’ve been serving the equine market with quality products for more than 20 decades.
This 4 sided slow feeding horse hay bag has a total of 116 feeding openings, where every single opening measures 1.75″ X 3.5″, and each opening has a capacity to hold 2-3 cups of hay.
The bag measures 24 x 24 x 12, and you also get the choice of 5 colors along with a 1-year warranty.
What makes us position this bag as the best slow feeder for horses, is the product’s premium quality, durability, and smooth functionality. It is designed with 1200D nylon and is reinforced using 174 stitches, making it a bag that is designed to not tear or be ripped from the horse. The bag also includes adjustable hanging straps which ensure it is perfect at a barn, or for use on a pasture fence.
After seeing the quality, one can confidently say that this slow feeding bag can last for ages and this is the reason why you receive “no question asked 1-year money-back guarantee”.
One thing you need to be careful when using this hay bag is the horse’s hoof getting stuck inside the net or if you use it for a cow or goat, then make sure they don’t get their horns stuck inside. Therefore, try to hang a feeder at such a height that horses don’t reach their hoofs on it. One more thing we might point out is that the velcro could be enhanced, as it is sometimes challenging to close the bag.[/box]
[highlight color=”yellow”]Our Runner-Up Pick:[/highlight] Kensington Slow Feed Hay Bag for Horses
This Kensington version has a great deal going for it and is very much similar to our no.1 pick. Kensington also offers a larger bag that can hold 4-flakes of hay, however, we were only able to try our hands on the 2-flake version.
This slow feeding bag can hold two large flakes of hay, features a Textilene net, measures 171/2″ x 261/2″ x 8″, includes 1 adjustable strap, and is available in black color only.
The quality is there, and also the material is premiumly designed to withstand rips and tears, this can be backed up by the simple fact that Kensington has a high-quality control assurance and sets the bag through rigorous tests to make sure it survives even the toughest conditions.
It is a horse slow feeder which could hold two large flakes of hay rather comfortably. It is simple to hang and fill out, relieving stress and strain that comes with feeding your horse. This product is ideal for using in the stables, hanging on the fence, or even in a trailer.
Although of less importance, we found a couple of drawbacks to this product. The very first is that there’s only one adjustable strap. It would have been much better if two adjustable straps were there, to make the bag hang up as secure as possible. The second drawback is the size of the holes. Even though the holes are not very enormous, like our top pick, small animals may get stuck if you aren’t careful with the placement of the hay bag.[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]
[highlight color=”yellow”]Best Hay Capacity:[/highlight] Freedom Feeder Extended
Freedom Feeder FF is famous for its slow horse feeders, and the one which we have reviewed here is their 1″ extended net version. It measures at 9 x 8 x 2 inches and can hold up to 50 pounds of hay, that’s intended to last as many as two days and contains two carabiners for hanging the unit up.
This is a superb choice if you would like a slow feeder that has a huge hay holding capacity and is simple to fill up. It can store up to 50lbs of hay, which will be sufficient to ensure a continuous supply of food to your horse for 2-3 days. It is also among the simplest feeders to fill up with hay. Hanging it to a fence is simple, and the attachment hooks are strong enough to keep the net properly secured. The holes of the net are also small enough so they don’t result in any problems, like the horse getting his face or hoof stuck inside.
The only drawback we found for this horse slow feeder is the quality of the netting. The material isn’t the very best and is likely to tear or rip when larger horses are utilizing it. Much far better and durable quality netting and carabiners will be a significant improvement with this selection. Plus, you may need to buy some additional ties and hooks to attach the netting.[/box]
[highlight color=”yellow”]Best for Multiple Horses:[/highlight] Freedom Feeder Full Bale Slow Feeder
Got multiple horses on your farm? The Freedom Feeder Full Bale Slow Feeder is the best option to consider. It can hold up to 125 pounds of hay, measures at 11.7 x 9.4 x 4.7 inches, features 1″ openings, and weighs 1.81 pounds. Additionally, there are two breakaway carabiners for hanging or tying the feeder to something.
The feeder is somewhat similar to the Freedom Feeder model we have reviewed above, with the only major difference is that it is insanely huge!
It’s so large that when stuffed with hay, it can easily keep a big-sized horse properly fed for a week. This is a good option if you do not wish to manually feed your horse regularly or have multiple horses on your farm. The holes of the net are little, and should not lead to any safety issues.
We found the quality of the net as the only downside of this product. The material utilized is not the most lasting and is susceptible to ripping or tearing later on if larger horses utilize it. Even though it includes two carabiners for hanging up it, it’s a really big net which may be rather heavy when filled up entirely using hay, which is likely best put down instead of hanging. It is also the most expensive slow horse feeder, but that is because it is the largest and is created for someone trying to find a slow horse feeding station with huge hay capacity.[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]
[highlight color=”yellow”]Best Budget Pick:[/highlight] Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net
This item is excellent for feeding horses the way nature intended them to eat. It’s a rope net layout, meaning rather than being on the floor it will hang from a top location. Its holes are intended to allow feed slowly, which is the intention of a slow feeder.
Each hole measures 2-inches – which means no worries about heads getting caught – and you can fit 1/2 to 3/4 of a bale of hay depending on the size of the bale.
It is not as durable as the other slow feeders on this listing. This usually means it will develop big holes faster. However, it’s extremely cheap, which compensates for its durability. Overall, it works WONDERFUL![/box]
Who Should Buy Slow Horse Feeder
Slow horse feeders help lengthen out the period of eating, which can be better for both the mental and digestive wellness of equines.
Horses when in the wild environment tend to search for food for 18 hours each day, keeping their tracts full of high-fiber forage. In a domesticated environment, on the other hand, horses are usually fed in large quantities twice a day with large gaps in between.
This has negative effects on the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in problems like gastric ulcer syndrome (GUS) because of the reduction of loading of stomach acidity through fasting, along with impaction colic as a result of adjustments in intestinal motility.
Additionally, horses that don’t have continuous access to hay or pasture tend to come up with pica (eating of non-food substances) and may develop persistent (stereotypic) behaviors like biting, weaving, and stall walking.
Other studies have shown improved body state fertility levels and friendly societal interactions when horses are supplied with continuous slow feeding.
Many horses have been incapable of restraining their feed intake whereas some with limited exercise tend to become fat if permitted to eat their fill. There’s also the chance for wastage with hay if it is supplied in too much quantity at a time, without any no-waste measures.
And this is where Slow Horse Feeders come to the rescue. All these”slow feeders” securely contain the hay in one place and make it challenging for a horse to obtain the feed, therefore slowing consumption. A horse pulls one bite at a time from several holes at the feeder rather than taking huge bites of food and finishing it all in an instant.
When horses are provided with 24/7 access to food via a slow feeder, they develop better eating habits by taking into exactly the feed they want instead of developing the behavior of eating everything. Overall, the slow feeder can help to extend the period of eating, which is better for both intestinal and emotional health.
Important Features to Consider
The size and capacity. How many flakes or pounds of hay can a feeder hold? How many horses will use the feeder? Based on the number of horses or for how many days you need to save yourself from the hassle of manual feeding, you have to make sure that you buy the right one that suits your needs.
Material quality. Your feeder has to have the ability to resist the strong energy of horses, their strong pulls, jumps, and kick as well as withstand different weather conditions. You’ll need a substance that is prone to ripping or tearing although this also depends upon the sizes and quantity of horses that will utilize the feeder.
Ease of use. Make sure that you buy a feeder that is easy to fill up and easy to attach.
Make sure it is safe for the animal. Safety concerns surface once the holes of hay feeding nets are too big, which creates the danger of horses sticking their hoofs or face or goats getting their horns trapped inside the bag or net. Therefore, make sure that the holes are of the optimal diameter and do not pose any choking risk as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a slow feeder for horse?
Slow feeders give horses access to hay and also the capability to “graze” throughout the day, yet only consumed a wholesome quantity of hay. Commonly a slow feeder includes some sort of netting which covers the hay. The horse must pull the hay outside through the holes. This slows down how quickly they could eat and replicates the natural manner a horse pulls on the grass in the field. There are various kinds of horse feeders out – out of which hay net feeders are the best and most reliable ones.
Does horses like feeding from a slow feeder?
Yes. Horses are grazing animals – in their natural environment, they’d be eating small quantities of feed for almost 18 hours. Their feed could include other crops and grasses that they would search, pull out from the ground and chew. In view this, slow feeders are an ideal feeding partners for horses.
Other Slow Feeders We Have Reviewed
Although we best recommend the top 5 horse feeders listed above, but still there are many other options as well which you can consider. Though they aren’t as good as the top 5 ones, yet worth the investment.
This slow feeder is offered in two sizes. One with small holes, and one with large holes. Therefore, you can buy the one which matches your horse’s size and feeding needs. Each bag is large enough to keep your horse properly fed for a day or two.
Speaking of this product, NRTFE Hay Net itself, it is created from a poly rope fabric that is malleable and soft. This makes it effortless for the horses to feed without damaging their teeth. The holes are designed to discharge a balanced quantity of hay – neither too much nor too low.
This feeder comes in a dimension of 1″ x 1″ and comes in multiple colors. It can hold about 6 flakes of hay at a time. Based on how much your horse eats, this hay quantity may endure for the entire day. This feeder can be used to nourish some other grazing animals as well.
This hay net was created to be on the floor. It sits on the ground and has a square design that allows for the release of hay. The mesh is made from durable nylon material. The only issue with this item is that stuffing it with hay is much more stressful than other feeders.
This one comes with a 1-year warranty and is a bit more costly. But it is exceptionally sturdy and durable, quite big, and may hold two to three complete bales of hay.
It’s made from durable poly rope that is designed to last for ages. It’s roughly 42″ in dimension, and it may hold about 3-5 flakes of hay, which will be enough for the horse’s entire day eating. This Derby Originals feeder is also great for other livestock animals like goats and sheep.
This product features a rectangular shape with straps for hanging. It is big enough to hold a big amount of hay. In addition, it comes in numerous colors, such as light blue, purple, black, and red. Loading the Westride Big Slow Feeder is rather simple and everything you have to do is put the hay to the bag. The material quality is excellent as well.
This hay net comes in 3 distinct sizes to your convenience and choice. Its pockets are approximately 1.2″ in diameter, yet maybe perhaps not overly big to trigger overfeeding in your horses, and not too little your horses can not access to it.
The feeder has been woven out of a nylon net using high tensile strength. It could resist horse bits, jumps, pulls, and kicks. This makes it one of the most lasting and economical feeders to buy. The company, ANQIA, also provides a complete refund if you are not satisfied with the item’s functionality or quality.
It’s a slow feeder, so it provides your horse a continuous supply of hay throughout the day. It’s big enough to store a complete bay of hay. Tough-1 Slow Feed Square Bale Net has a woven net that is made from nylon. That makes it very lasting for a commodity in its budget.
It’s wall-mounted and has a rectangular top layout with a net hanging from beneath. It is somewhat similar to a basketball net. The feeder is unbelievably simple to load; as you simply have to pour the hay right into it. This item will only take about two flakes of hay, and that means you might need to load it every day. But as it is simple to load that may not be an issue. The net consists of nylon, and it is very durable.
It has a wall-mounted design with easy hay fill up functionality. The one issue of this feeder is that after you attach it on the walls, you can not adjust the height without using tools. In addition, it could only hold about two flakes of hay at one moment and is made of good quality material.
It’s a sturdy and fantastic slow feeder for your horse. It’s cheap and features a rope hanging design. The product quality isn’t exceptionally good, however, it will get the work done.
The Roma hay bag is an ideal product for horse shows. It is easy to transport and use.
This feeder enables your horse to maintain a natural grazing posture while feeding on its hay. It is ideal for a single horse and can hold up to six flakes of hay. Loading it up with hay is super easy. Simply remove the nylon top, and fill hay inside. As your horse eats, the feeding tray inside keeps on lowering down.
This feeder can hold an entire inside this gigantic-sized hay net! There is less hay wasted and horses can munch on optimal quantities of hay throughout the day.
The Forager is a ground-horse-slow-feeder. You remove the grate and stack hay inside. It is easy to use, and the tub is quite durable. Customers love the design of this plastic horse feeder, plus it functions much better by remaining stationary inside the horse stall. It works great in pastures as well, all thanks to its anti-slip design.