The SLOW GRAZER hay feeder is a "slow feeder"
designed to offer continual limited
access to forage while eliminating waste.
Slow feeders are designed to
limit the rate at which a horse can consume hay, by only
allowing them to remove one small mouthful of hay at a time from
the feeder. Horses by nature are trickle feeders, designed to
constantly consume small amounts of forage rather than ingest 2
or 3 large meals and spend long periods of time without food.
The horse's stomach is always producing acid, and if they don't
have access to forage all the time for the stomach to digest,
health problems can result.
Our SLOW GRAZER was born out
of necessity. There were several problems we were trying to
solve on our boarding farm. One, we wanted our horses to have
free choice access to hay because we know it's healthiest for
them. This is sometimes done by offering round bales or large
amounts of hay in traditional pasture feeders. However when we
tried this our horses gained an unhealthy amount of weight!
In addition to the
overconsumption issue, our horses also wasted a ridiculous
amount of hay. Round bales were quickly spread out and soiled,
and traditional feeders and bins allowed our horses to pull
large amounts of hay out at once where it was then trampled into
a deep, muddy mess.
We also wanted our horses to
be able to eat in a natural head-down position, but feeding from
the ground or on mats also led to 50% of our hay being wasted
and presented the additional dangers of consumption of dirt and
Finally, our horses are kept
in a natural herd environment with as much turn-out as possible,
so we needed a feeder we could use outdoors and that would stand
up to horse-play. At the same time, we needed something safe
that our horses couldn't get wrapped up in (no hay nets
When we discovered the slow feeding movement, we
realized this was the best way to feed horses, hands down.
However after much searching, we couldn't find anything that met
all our needs at a reasonable price, so with input from some
great horsey friends we developed the SLOW GRAZER hay feeder.
The SLOW GRAZER is a very stoutly built wooden box.
Hay is placed in the box and a specially
designed 2 gauge wire grate with 2.75" square openings is placed
on top. The weight of the grate keeps it pressed against they
hay below, and the size of the openings allows horses to remove
just one mouthful at a time. When fed the same amount of hay in
the box versus on the ground, horses generally have hay
available for 5 times as long (for us about 20 hours per day), and not a scrap gets wasted!
Check out our video below to see how quick and easy it is to
load your Slow Grazer!