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Transition from Dry Lot to Constant Feed w/Slow Feeder

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  • Transition from Dry Lot to Constant Feed w/Slow Feeder

    Has anyone successfully transitioned a horse from a dry lot situation to constant feed via a slow feeder of any sort?
    How did you do it? Did you just keep the feeder constantly full and let the horse finally learn that the feed would always be there? How long did that take? Was there any danger of the horse eating so much each day or taking so long to switch over that obesity or colic or anything might have happened? Did you mix in straw to give chew time without the calories?
    I would like to hear about anyone's non-success also. Did you try but had to give up? Why?
    Any information would be helpful to me.

    I would like to switch my Morgans over but knowing what voracious eaters they are, have severe doubts about it.
    Thanks.
    There is no such thing as "bad" horsemanship or "good" horsemanship. There is simply Horsemanship or the absence thereof.

    www.oldmorgans.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Depends on what you're slow feeding and what method you use.

    For my dry-lotted Percheron, she's allowed to have free-choice hay BUT it's in a Cinch Chix Small Hole Net. Keeps her down to grazing speed but it means slow, steady intake of long-stemmed fiber.

    If you get the right nets that work for you/your barn situation and ensure they're the tough ones, you can provide the long chew time they need, the steady intake of forage and avoid the gorging/inhaling and standing around for hours with nothing to eat.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      ChocoMare, how did you get there? Mine now have SmartPak Slow Feed Nets and finish 7.5-8.5 lbs of hay (mostly bermuda) in about 3 hours. That is slower then loose hay, but still not a very long amount of time.
      I've had folks tell me that if I stuff the bags so that they never run out, they will learn to graze instead of gulping till its gone.
      I am thinking that I'll just end up with really fat horses who continue to eat steadily as long as hay is there.
      There is no such thing as "bad" horsemanship or "good" horsemanship. There is simply Horsemanship or the absence thereof.

      www.oldmorgans.blogspot.com

      Comment


      • #4
        And your friends are correct... right now, all your horses know is "While there's hay, eat it!" and they stand there until it's gone. Then stand around with nothing to nibble on, except your fences

        If you get more nets and cram the hay in, hang them around the area so they wander from net to net, once they realize the hay is there, they will stop inhaling.

        The first year I put out a round bale in a Cinch Chix RB net, all of them stood there and ate and ate and ate. After the 2nd bale, it clicked in their head/tummies that the hay wasn't going anywhere. Now they'll eat, go stand somewhere and sleep, meander around the pasture, etc. and come back to the bale.

        It's the same for my Percheron while she's on dry lot exile.

        If you have metabolic or IR horses, soak that hay first too
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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