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Should we be feeding from a small holed hay net?

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Research from several universities across the UK have been showing small holed hay nets do not significantly slow horses eating down more than from the floor and increase frustration which may be causing unwanted behavioural issues.

 

So how do I slow my horses eating down?

Research from Writtle college showed the horse slowed down more by placing haynets around the stable this slowed the horse down and encouraged movement more like natural grazing. You never see a horse eat from one part of the field they move around foraging.

 

Hartpury College found the small holed hay nets slowed their horses down a little bit but not as much as a HayGrazer Play. This is because the horse uses their lips to find the holes again more like natural grazing , but what was most interesting was the small holed hay nets increased chew rate and increased frustration and in some cases brought about unwanted behaviours. Eating from the floor lowered the frustration but the HayGrazer Play had the lowest frustration rate from all methods.

 

Why is the Play so good?

 

  • The horse searches for the different shaped and sized holes keeping them mentally stimulated and more natural
  • Teaches the horse to eat in between the webbing rather than string from stopping the hay coming out, this makes them search more and much kinder on their teeth and lips whilst reducing snatching.
  • Top half is slow feed so the horse can get the initial bit of hay out quicker when they are hungry and as the play empties it turns to a trickle feeder.
  • Hang two up for optimum stable boredom relief and slow feeding methods.
  • Safer to hand much lower, deceases frustration and kinder on the muscles.

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http://www.befred.org/docs/3001.pdf

http://www.dengie.com/friendly-feed-advice/study-questions-hay-net-benefits/

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