Why Use the Slow Hay Feeding Method?
Slow feeding, as recommended by both health care specialists and veterinarians, is noted as the best feeding method for grazing animals who have limited access to pasture. Although slow feeding benefits all grazers the advantages for equine, in particular, are substantial.
When they are left on pasture horses will graze continuously because their stomachs are designed for small but regular meals. When access to pasture is limited, horses are typically placed on a twice per day feeding schedule. Unfortunately, though, this leaves them without the ability to access fiber for long periods of time, putting them at risk for both health, and behavioural issues.
Hydrochloric acid is constantly being produced by the stomach of a horse. When a horse chews and eats, saliva is produced (up to 30 liters per day!). In addition to lubricating food, saliva's role is to neutralize the effects of stomach acid. When fiber is not being consumed saliva production stops, resulting in the buildup of acid in an empty stomach. Ulcers can begin to form and bring about symptoms like cribbing or colic, and behaviours such as bucking, rearing, and ear-pinning.
So how do NAG Bags help? NAG Bags slow down the rate at which grazing animals consume hay, thereby allowing time for appropriate digestion and improved nutritional uptake. This translates to healthier, better-behaved horses!
In addition to improved horse health and behavior, NAG bags benefit owners, managers, and breeders by saving both time and money. Feeding frequency can be cut down to once per day, or in the case of round bale covers, as little as once per month depending on your herd size. When you go away for the day, that means there is no more rushing home to feed. An added benefit is that horses are always ready to perform or play, and this means more riding time! With the elimination of wasted hay, NAG Bags can reduce your feed costs by 30-50%.
To keep your animals ‘grazing’ longer, we have made the openings of our NAG nets smaller than tradition nets. There are many different styles and sizes to fit all kinds of feeding needs, whether you feed by the flake or by big bales.
Know that when you utilize a NAG Bag to slow-feed your grazing animal, you will be using the most effective feeding method for keeping them healthy and happy. It can take a few days for your animal to adjust to using a slow feeder, but once they do, 98% will choose it over loose hay. They know what makes them feel good!
Be sure to visit our “FAQs” section to learn which NAG Bag is right for your animal. If you find that you need a little help getting started, please give us a call – we would love to be of assistance!