Ulcer is one of the most common conditions affecting horses, and the reason is that quite simple. Horses are meant to continue grazing throughout the day, and their stomachs respond to this natural tendency by continually producing acid. Unfortunately, when a horse doesn’t have hay or some sort of feed in its stomach at all times, the acid begins to act on its stomach walls. Before you know it, the horse gets ulcer. This situation is even worse for performance horses. So, you need the best slow feeders for horses to prevent ulcers and promote an overall excellent gastric health. In this article, we’ll look at some of the things you need to consider before buying a slow feeder, as well as 15 of the best slow feeders available for horses.
- 1 Guide on How to Pick a Slow Feeder for Your Horse
- 2 15 Best Slow Feeders for Horses
- 2.1 Nrtfe Hay Net Slow Feed Bag for Horse Feeder
- 2.2 Freedom Feeder Full Bale Slow Feed Hay Net
- 2.3 Partrade Trading Corporation Ultra Slow Feeder Hay Net
- 2.4 Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net
- 2.5 Texas Haynet Square Bale
- 2.6 Kensington Slow Feed Hay Bag
- 2.7 Derby Originals Super-tough Bottom Supreme Slow Feed Horse Hay Bag
- 2.8 Derby Originals Xl Go-around Patented Feeder
- 2.9 Derby Originals 1″ X 1″ Slow Feed Leisure Hay Net
- 2.10 Westride Large Slow Feed Hay Bag
- 2.11 Anqia Full Day Slow Feed Hay Net
- 2.12 Tough-1 Slow Feed Square Bale Net
- 2.13 Easy Loading Wall Mounted Hay Hoops Horse Slow Feeder with Net
- 2.14 Hay Chix Slow Feed Hay Net
- 2.15 Shires Greedy Feeder Haynet
- 3 Our Final Thoughts on Slow Feeders for Horses
Guide on How to Pick a Slow Feeder for Your Horse
There are three factors to consider when buying a feeder for your horse. They are Durability, The size of the holes, and The distance from the ground.
The durability of your slow feeder is extremely important. Your horse is going constantly chew on the feeder, and you need something strong enough to resist wear and tear. As a rule of thumb, the tougher the feeder, the more expensive it’ll be. But do you really want to buy a new feeder every month? Or just get one once and for all?
The Size of the Holes
The average size of holes in slow feeders is about 1” to 1.2”. There are many schools of thought on which hole size is best for horses. Sometimes, it comes down to how quickly your horse can eat the hay and how much you actually want to feed it. But, you can get a feeder that has holes of about 1.2” and see how that works out for you. Not to worry, most of the products on this list have holes that are about the same size.
Distance from the Ground
Distance from the ground isn’t usually a problem for most feeders because they already simulate the natural grazing position. You could get a feeder that you hang from a rope, or you could get one that you nail to the wall. But, as long as the hay is close to the ground, you’re good to go.
15 Best Slow Feeders for Horses
Nrtfe Hay Net Slow Feed Bag for Horse Feeder
This slow feeder is available in two different sizes. One with a small-sized hole and one with extra-large sized holes. The size of the holes that you get should be in line with your horse’s feeding needs. The bag is big enough to contain a whole day’s worth of hay.
Speaking of the product, NRTFE Hay Net itself, it’s made of a mesh poly rope material that’s soft and malleable. This makes it easy for the horses to feed without hurting their gums. The holes are also designed to release the right amount of hay. Too much and you’ll overfeed the horse. Too little and you’ll frustrate the animal.
Freedom Feeder Full Bale Slow Feed Hay Net
The Freedom Feeder boasts of an incredibly durable net material. This durability is important because you need the feeder to resist the horse’s teething and chomping. It’s also quite easy to use, like all the other feeders on this list. You simply load it up with hay and position it.
The Freedom Feeder can hold hay of up to 125 pounds, enough to feed your horse for the whole day. It has three different mesh opening sizes for different feeding requirements. The product comes with straps and appendages that make it easy to hang it in the air or lay it on the ground.
Partrade Trading Corporation Ultra Slow Feeder Hay Net
This bag comes in a single size of 1” x 1”, and that means that it might not be ideal for all horses. It is available in multiple colors, instead of the gray and hay brown that most of the other products on this list are made of.
This product can hold between 5 and 6 flakes of hay at a time. Depending on how much your horse eats, this hay amount can last for the whole day. This feeder can actually be used to feed any grazing animal, not just horses.
Weaver Leather Slow Feed Hay Net
This product is made specifically for shows, although it can be used in the barn too. It has a rope net design, which means that it’ll hang from a high place, instead of being on the ground. Its small holes are designed to let feed out slowly, which is the actual purpose of a slow feeder.
Because this hay net is designed for shows, it’s not as durable as the other ones on this list. This means that it will develop holes much quicker than the other ones on the list. But, it is very affordable, which compensates for the low durability.
Texas Haynet Square Bale
This hay net is designed for being on the ground. It has a square design that allows for optimal release of hay. It also extends how long your hay lasts because horses can feed from it much slower than they can with normal bales of hay. The mesh is made of a nylon material that’s durable and long-lasting.
The one problem you might have with the Texas Haynet is that loading hay is into it is more stressful than with other products. Since it’s on the ground, simply pouring the hay into it is out of the question. Other than that, it’s a fantastic product.
Kensington Slow Feed Hay Bag
The Kensington Slow Feed is one of the most durable feeders on this list. It is made of a super tough nylon material that is very resistant to the stresses of feeding. It has a lifespan that’s almost twice any of the other feeders on this list. Kensington Slow Feed can hold two large flakes of hay at the same time.
The product basically frees you from the routine of feeding your horse. It also frees you from checking up on the hay every other hour. You simply load it and the hay can last for more than a day. If you’re looking for a premium slow feeder, this is your best bet. It is more expensive than the other products on this list, but it’s worth it.
Derby Originals Super-tough Bottom Supreme Slow Feed Horse Hay Bag
This is another super tough, slow feeder. If you need something that’s highly durable, you need to get either this product or Freedom Feeder. Like Freedom Feeder, this feeder is also meant to be hung from the air.
It is made of double-layered nylon material and it has reinforced stitching. It has all the other features you can expect from a feeder like proper-sized holes and a large capacity for hay.
Derby Originals Xl Go-around Patented Feeder
It’s clear to see that Derby has a knack for manufacturing high-quality feeders. This particular one comes with a one-year warranty. The manufacturer is simply saying that if it doesn’t please you, you can get your money back.
As you can expect, it’s more expensive than many of the other products on this list. Besides being incredibly tough and durable, it’s also very large, and can hold two full bales of hay, with plenty room left over.
Derby Originals 1″ X 1″ Slow Feed Leisure Hay Net
If the last two Derby feeders were too pricey for you, this one is bound to meet your needs. Unsurprisingly, it is made of durable poly rope that’s built to outlast most of the other feeders in its category. It is about 42” in size, and it can hold about 3-5 flakes of hay, which is sufficient for your horse’s feeding.
It’s not just for horses, however. This Derby Originals feeder is also great for other livestock like sheep and goats. Its design allows it to be hung, instead of placed on the ground.
Westride Large Slow Feed Hay Bag
This hay bag is very similar to the Derby Super-tough Bottom Supreme. They have a similar design, with a rectangular body and straps for hanging. Westride Large Slow Feed is also made of heavy duty, incredibly durable nylon,
It comes in a single size that is large enough to hold large amounts of hay. It also comes in multiple colors, including light blue, purple, red and black. Loading the Westride Large Slow Feeder is quite easy and all you need to do is pour the hay into the bag. It can slow feed your horse for an entire day.
Anqia Full Day Slow Feed Hay Net
This hay net comes in three different sizes for your choice and convenience. Its holes are about 1.2” in diameter; not too large to cause overfeeding in your horses, but not too small that your horses can’t get to it.
The feeder is woven from a nylon mesh with high tensile strength. It can withstand the biting from most horses. This makes it one of the most durable and affordable feeders you can get. The manufacturers, ANQIA, offer a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product’s performance.
Tough-1 Slow Feed Square Bale Net
Tough-1 is a manufacturer that’s known for great quality products. This particular one delivers on everything you expect from it. It is a slow feeder, which means it gives your horse a steady supply of hay throughout the day. It is large enough to hold a whole bay of hay.
Tough-1 Slow Feed Square Bale Net has a woven mesh that’s made of nylon. This makes it quite durable for a product in its price range. If you want to get full value from this product, you should not use it for horses that are wearing shoes. It is also recommended for dry lots and arenas.
Easy Loading Wall Mounted Hay Hoops Horse Slow Feeder with Net
The Easy Loading Feeder is the first product in its category that we’re going to be reviewing on this list. It is wall-mounted, and it has a rectangular top design with a net hanging from below. It’s a little like a basketball net. The feeder is incredibly easy to load; you just pour the hay into it.
This product can only hold about two flakes of hay, so you may have to load it constantly. However, since it’s easy to load, that might not be much of a problem. The mesh is made up of woven nylon, and it’s quite durable.
Hay Chix Slow Feed Hay Net
This feeder by Hay Chix is very similar to the previous product. They both have a wall-mounted design that lets you load your hay quite easily. Additionally, you can close the latch with this product so that your horses only have access to the hay through the net.
The only problem with this feeder is that once you fix it onto the wall, you can’t adjust the height without using tools. Also, it can only hold about two flakes of hay at a time. But, it has its advantages as well. The product is incredibly durable and easy to load.
Shires Greedy Feeder Haynet
Last but not least on this list is the Shires Greedy Feeder Haynet. It is a great and sturdy option for your horse. It is affordable, and it has a simple rope hanging design. If you’re used to other slow feeders, then you’re not going to have any problems with this feeder.
The only thing you need to look out for with this feeder is its durability. It won’t last as long as some others, but, it gets the job done.
Our Final Thoughts on Slow Feeders for Horses
The moment you realize that you need a slow feeder for your horse, you’re pretty much in the clear. You can sidestep ulcers and other gastric complications that crop up when your horse doesn’t have one. Picking the best slow feeders for horses too, shouldn’t be that much of a problem, as long as you use the tips in this guide. If you need a medium quality feeder for an affordable price, you can choose Weaver Slow Feed Bag, or Derby Originals 1” x 1” Slow Feed Hay Net. For something a little tougher, you can get Tough-1 Slow Feed, Freedom Feeder, or any of the other Derby Originals.