Do you struggle with your pony's weigh?
Ponies in their natural habitat spend 60% of their time feeding whereas horses who are regularly stalled spend just 10% of their time feeding? Evolutionarily, horses are designed to trickle feed rather than have starchy feeds several times a day, which is now more common practice.
The high levels of carbohydrates are essential for energy, but consuming high levels of carbohydrate without appropriate exercise, particularly for horses kept in stalls, can lead to excessive weight gain.
How can Haygain help?
The Haygain Forager slows the rate of feeding to imitiate natural grazing. It can make a significant contribution to reducing the intake, and rate of intake, of forage.
Mimicking trickle feeding, the Forager is the natural way to slow the pace of eating, and helps to prevent gastic ulcers from increased chewing and the production of saliva.
It also provides a more natural feeding position to help drain the respiratory tract and prevent muscle tension in the back and neck, and stops cross-contamination of forage and bedding, and saves time and money in stable cleaning.
Why Not Soaking?
Soaking hay in water wets airborne particles to keep down dust, but there are a number of obvious disadvantages to this method:
- It is a physically arduous, cold, wet and messy task
- It uses 60-100 litres of water
- Soaking leaves live micro-organisms in the hay; these quickly multiply, particularly in warm, damp conditions, thereby compromising the hygienic quality of the forage
- Soaking hay reduces respirable particles but leaches nutrients out of the forage and, as with partial steaming, bacteria levels increase by two to five-fold. This produces poor quality, more contaminated forage which can raise the risk of enteritis and colic. High losses of WSC, protein and minerals occur when hay is soaked for as little as 10 minutes
- These nutrients in the waste water produce a post-soak liquid 9 times more polluting than raw sewage which must not be disposed of in storm drains.