The Forager allows your horse to eat slowly, in small bites and over several hours -- as they would while grazing in the wild. Your horse will eat with his head lowered, allowing respirable particles to drain and supporting the natural neck and back alignment.
"THE FORAGER IS MY FAVOURITE STABLE ACCESSORY!"
"It's a great hay saver at shows. The difference between the wasted hay in the stall with it and without it is night and day!". Erin Michalski, Ranch Horse Versatility rider and cattle rancher at Eagle Rock Ranch in Colorado.
BENEFITS OF THE FORAGER SLOW FEEDER
1. Digestive Health
• The Forager enables horses to eat slowly, in small bites and over several hours. As a grazing animal, the horse has a digestive system that is designed to process forage as it trickles through. In the wild, horses spend up to 18 hours a day grazing and it’s generally recommended that 4 hours is the longest horses go without access to food.
• Ulcer and colic risks can be reduced by maintaining a steady supply of forage in the digestive tract. Extended chewing time creates a steady supply of saliva that can buffer the stomach lining from naturally occurring gastric acid.
2. Weight Management
• Extended mealtimes are especially beneficial for horses that require restricted diets. Intermittent meals with long spans without access to food can trigger fat-storing responses that can lead to obesity.
• The Forager’s external ring lowers as the horse consumes its hay. This makes it easy to monitor consumption, which is part of managing our horse’s weight.
3. Physical & Psychological Health
• The Forager allows horses to eat with their head in a lowered position. This facilitates the natural drainage of respiratory particles and maintains the natural alignment of the head, neck and jaw.
• Longer mealtimes make for happier horses that are less prone to boredom behaviours including cribbing, pawing and stall walking. And it reduces food scarcity stress.
4. Clean Forage & Less Waste
• The Forager contains hay in a durable, ventilated cylinder that keeps it clean and prevents the hay from being trampled into bedding and manure.
• Ideal for keeping hygienic Haygain Steamed Hay clean and appetising!
Frequently asked questions
Does The Forager really slow down eating? The holes look quite big.
The regulator of The Forager is less flexible than a haynet and therefore increases the difficulty of extracting hay through the holes. Testing was completed on several different variables, including loose hay and hay nets, and showed an average 61% and 35% respective reduction with the easy white regulator and 106% and 73% respective reduction with the standard green regulator.
How does the feeding rate compare to a trickle/small-hole haynet, as opposed to a standard haynet?
Research by Ellis et al., (2015) looked at 4 haynets of varying sizes to establish the effect forage presentation had on intake behaviour. All smaller-holed haynets (25-30 mm) were equally successful in slightly slowing feed intake down with an increased intake time of around 5 minutes/kg compared with the ‘large-holed’ haynet (75 mm). Night observations showed no difference in the time to finish eating between the hay nets.
Ellis, A, D. Fell, M. Luck, K. Gill, L. Owen, H. Briars, H. Barfoot, C. Harris, P. (2015) Effect of forage presentation on feed intake behaviour in the stabled horse. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 165. 88-94.
In-house testing of the Haygain Forager has shown a reduction in intake rate by 35% compared with the white regulator and 73% with the standard regulator when compared to a haynet. CCTV footage has shown horses eating into their ration into the early hours of the morning, with the added benefit of being able to eat in a natural feed position.
How long does a regulator last?
The longevity of the regulator will vary depending on use but most customers can expect their regulator to last 3 months or longer.
How does the regulator stand up to horses’ teeth?
The regulator is made from a flexible engineered food-grade plastic. This material is designed to be more durable than a haynet but more flexible than a metal grid (which has also been known to damage a horse’s teeth). The regulator will experience normal wear and tear from repeated use and will need to be replaced occasionally, but a worn regulator should not pose a safety or health hazard to your horse.
How Is the regulator secured to prevent removal by the horse?
The regulators are secured using an EasyOn click and secure system, which allows you to easily fill The Forager while remaining secure when locked into place so that the horse is unable to remove them.
Is The Forager kick-proof?
The Forager has been designed to withstand a normal amount of horse interaction, including pawing, kicking, and scratching. We have observed horses interacting well and only in a playful manner with The Forager and have not seen them get frustrated enough to cause damage.
What is the purpose of the steel ring?
During the development of The Forager it became clear that regulator needed to be attached to the outside of the feeding area. The steel ring is what the regulator attaches to and what prevents the horse from tipping or by-passing the regulator. It is one of the components that makes The Forager unique and is an important part of its successful design.
What are the methods of securing The Forager? / Can The Forager be pushed over easily?
You may fill the base of the Forager with ~20 kg/45 lbs kiln-dried sand, or you may secure it to a metal tie-up ring on a wall on one or both sides using the tie up holes on the green top ring. The tie-up ring should be roughly the same height as the tie up holes.
I soak my hay - how does The Forager cope with wet hay (especially if you must weigh it down with sand)?
The sand is enclosed within the base; therefore, you can use soaked hay/dry hay/steamed hay/haylage in The Forager. The additional benefit of feeding soaked hay through The Forager is the drainage channels between the side walls.
What size pony can feed from The Forager?
The Forager can comfortably feed ponies as small as 10 hands.
DID YOU KNOW?
Optimum digestive health requires a constant supply of forage. Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) affects up to 63% of performance horses and 93% of racehorses in training.
THE HAYGAIN WAY
As a component of Haygain’s management-based approach to long term horse health, the Forager is an ideal complement to Haygain Steamed Hay. The Forager contains the steamed hay, preventing the contamination that occurs when hay is mixed in with stall bedding, manure and urine.
The hygienic quality of Haygain Steamed Hay lasts at least 24 hours and the Forager enables horses to enjoy and get the benefits from that healthy hay for extended periods.
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