Using a feeder reduces feed waste and also the risk of contaminated feed – good from economic and hygienic points of view. Just as you need to plan for allowing horses out to graze, you should also plan for taking them in from grazing. Avoid rapid changes. Rapid changes of feed entail a risk of disturbances in the horse's large intestine, which can lead to diarrhoea, colic or laminitis. Allow the horse at least two weeks to get used to winter roughage.
A further factor in avoiding the risk of intestinal complaints is to maintain good food hygiene, even during feeding in the pasture. Trampled feed quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and mould. Left-over feed should be removed from the pasture at regular intervals.
Using a feeder reduces feed waste and also the risk of contaminated feed – good from economic and hygienic points of view.
On my farm, with 200 horses, I reduced my feed costs by around 20% after I invested in a feeder! //Janne
How do you choose a feeder?
Depending on how many horses you have in the same pasture, the size of the horses and whether you choose to feed an entire bale or to portion out the feed, there are various types of feeder.
If you have one horse, or a horse that enjoys its feed and takes a little longer to eat it, Feeder box (34-FHK05) is a good choice.
If you have one or more horses in the same pasture you can use a circular feeder. They are available with or without a tombstone rail and in diameters suitable for portioning out roughage or putting out an entire bale.
In order for the circular feeders to minimise the feed waste as much as possible, there needs to be an air gap of around 20 cm between the feeder and the bale, so that the horses do not pull the feed over the edge.
If you want to get the feed up off the ground and protect it with a roof, you can choose rectangular feeders - the grille gates can be opened and you lift the bale in with a bale grapple or pallet fork.
Important to bear in mind when choosing a feeder for horses
Even though horses all belong to the same species, there are many different breeds, and therefore different behaviours, from long nerve fibres to short explosive nerve fibres. You know your horses' behaviour and what is best for them, and in order to avoid injuries we ask you to think about how the horses react in various contexts where a feeder is involved.
The number of horses that can gather around a feeder is decisive for the size of the feeder and how many feeders are appropriate. Remember that the less space there is around a feeder, the greater is the risk of injury.
You yourself are responsible for your choice of feeder model, since you know your horses best.