Archive for January 3rd, 2012

Freeze Dried

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Freeze-dried jeans portend cold overnight temps.

As the temps dip into the single digits tonight, I’d like to talk about slow feeders again.  Horses stay warm by the heat created during fermentation of forage in the cecum.  Calories from grain will provide energy and add fat to the horse, but giving forage helps to heat them.  Horses need small amounts of forage over long periods to keep the fermentation going.  To slow down the consumption of hay, I use slow feeders.

I showed a picture and video of the horses with a cheap, easily constructed slow feeder in May 2010.   Fudge has figured out how to strip the hay out of the small mesh hay bag pretty quickly, so I now use two small mesh hay bags over the muck bucket.  The resulting small holes mean the horses can only pull out one or two strands of hay at a time.  It trickle-feeds the horses through the cold night.  Remove the cord from both small-mesh hay bags.  Place one bag inside the other, and re-string one cord through both nets.  Add the cord loops and a two-ended snap.

Caveat:  Horses with shoes should not use this type of slow feeder, or small mesh hay nets near the ground.  The heel of the shoe will get caught in the net when they paw at the hay.