An automatic horse feeder is one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can have for your horses. This device dispenses food with minimum effort, requires little maintenance and it is very easy to use. It saves time, money, and energy which allows you to focus more on other activities that need attention on your farm, like looking after other livestock.
It is a device that gives horses as much food as they need out of a hopper.Automatic horse feeders are especially useful for horses who do not have enough grass to pick from during the wintertime since hay doesn’t freeze and nothing is stopping them from eating all of it at once. Some automatic horse feeders even have a special setting where horses can eat for 20 minutes at a time, which encourages them to pump their heads.
Automatic horse feeders can be used as an emergency source of food when there is no time to manually give it to the horse. Many models offer a storage compartment where extra hay and grain can be kept, with automatic feeders for horses usually having enough space to keep a few days’ worths of food.
The basic principle behind the automatic feeder is the same as with any other dry feed dispenser: food drops down from a storage area to a tray where it can be accessed by your horses. However, several important differences set this device apart from other similar ones. For starters, most automatic horse feeders have their water supply which mixes water and food in the same container. Many models can also mix additional vitamins or minerals into the food mixture which is then pumped to the feed tray where it is distributed in small portions throughout the day.
Main Advantages Of An Automatic Horse Feeder
There are several benefits of using automatic horse feeders (or slow feeder) for your horses and other livestock:
- The automatic feeder works with minimum supervision, so you don’t have to be present whenever your horses are eating;
- Horses can’t overeat, especially if they are allowed to eat as much as they want at once. This is an advantage for several reasons: horses that overeat often develop digestive problems since their stomachs cannot adapt quickly enough to large quantities of food being processed all at once; it is easier to regulate the amount of food our horses eat. It is much easier to monitor the amount of hay eaten by your horse than trying to estimate how much your horse consumes. Overall, it helps to maintain healthier horses;
- You can feed just one or more horses at a time and even leave for vacations without having to worry about someone feeding them: they work automatically and you don’t have to be present during feeding;
- You can choose grain feeders and hay feeders each with a feed capacity that suit your needs: if you have more than one horse, a larger feed capacity is necessary, but it might be too big to fit into the space you have available. On the other hand, if you only own one or two horses, then a smaller capacity is all you need. In any case, there are several models to choose from and most of them can hold the food for one or more days at a time;
- You can feed your horses with a mix of dry feed and water. Moistening the food makes it easier to digest and it also helps keep your horse’s teeth strong;
- You can feed your horses at the same time every day if you want, or you can change it up and offer them food only once a week for example. It is all up to you: the automatic feeder has flexible programming options so you can program it to dispense food at different times every day;
- With an automatic feeder, horses can’t spill their hay and there is a very low risk of them choking on it or getting hurt because of that. In addition to the fact that cleaning up after them becomes a lot easier, you also save money because your horses won’t consume as much hay, especially if they are allowed to eat as much as they want at every feeding;
- Your horses will always have access to clean drinking water, even in a pasture where the container might get dirty or in winter when it freezes and is difficult to access;
- You can easily regulate how fast food drops from the automatic feeder which allows you to control the quantity of food eaten by your horse. This is especially important if you are using the feeder to control how much weight your horses gain or lose because it allows you to adjust the amount of food being consumed every day;
- Automatic hay feeders can be used even in the wintertime, so you don’t have to keep an eye on the weather and bring the hay inside if it starts to rain every day;
- The horses’ feeding schedule can also be adjusted to suit your work schedule which is great because you don’t have to worry about what time of day it is or try to estimate whether or not you should feed them at a specific time. At the same time, they let you track the amount of food your horses have consumed which is great for knowing if they are eating everything you give them;
- Some are equipped with cameras so you can check on your horses even when you are miles away. This is very convenient if you worry that something might be wrong or just want to see how they are doing;
- The amount of hay a slow feeder can hold depends on its capacity, which is measured in pounds or kilograms. It is important to think about how much food you will need for your horses and measure the space you have available before purchasing one, so it doesn’t become too bulky for the area you want it to fit into or so small that you have to get a new one;
- They are especially useful if you own more than one horse because it is easy to forget about their feeding schedule, even for just a couple of days. This can lead to your animal not getting enough food which has negative effects on horse health and behavior.
Automatic Hay Feeder For Horses, Ponies, & Other Livestock
There are two main types of automatic horse feeders: the automatic hay feeder and the automatic grain dispenser. Hay can be used in some models, while others will only accept grain. Nonetheless, many horse owners prefer them because they have less of a chance of getting dirty and hay doesn’t freeze as grain does. Automatic feeders also take up less floor space than open bails of hay do.
Automatic hay feeders are also useful for horses who like to eat all of the available food during mealtime and refuse to leave any behind. Even if there is still hay left in the automatic feeder once they have eaten, the device won’t allow them to take more food until a few minutes have passed.
They should be used with caution, especially if the horse owner has more than one horse because it can lead to fights between horses for food. To avoid this problem, automatic feeders for horses should be placed away from trees, buildings, and fences. It is also important to make sure that all of the slow feeders are working before the winter season begins to avoid these feeding problems.
Automatic hay feeders can be purchased online or at any riding equipment store for between $200-$300, with some costing as much as $500. Even though it may seem expensive, they are usually more convenient and can potentially save a lot of time.
The Importance Of Cleaning Your Automatic Horse Feeder
It is important to clean the inside of your slow feeder at least once a week to ensure that it will not become home to rodents or insects.
They should always be kept up-to-date with the latest models and technology. Some feeders only allow the food to come out every three minutes, which may not be enough for some horses. To avoid this problem, horse owners can purchase automatic feeders that offer a wider period or even one where you can choose the speed at which horses eat.
They are not very complex, but they must be checked often to ensure that they are clean and working properly. Many automatic feeders for horses include specific cleaning instructions with their purchase. If this information has been lost over time, horse owners should always check the manufacturer’s website for more detailed instructions.
Horse owners should also know that automatic horse feeders are not a perfect solution for wintertime feeding, but they do offer faster and more convenient access to food that will keep horses from going hungry. In addition, the automatic feeder can help prevent fighting between animals during mealtime by giving them their own space to eat in peace.
The Best Automatic Horse Feeder For All Round Horse Health
Moultrie supply two sizes of automatic horse feeders:
- Moultrie MFG-13282 6.5 Gallon Directional Hanging Feeder
- Moultrie 5 Gallon All in One with Timer Feeder
Quick Feed also supply a range of single and double automatic horse feeders.
Best Automatic Hay Feeders For Horses
Eezkeeper have a range of automatic hay feeders.
Feed Whiz® Automatic Horse Feeder
A horse owner can make feeding time a breeze with the Feed Whiz® Automatic Horse Feeder. This automatic feeder is placed inside a cattle trough to dispense measured portions of grain and hay separately or together from the top of the lid. The automatic hay feeder comes in two sizes, one for chickens and another for larger animals, that hold a total of 200 pounds. This means a piece of cake for a horse owner, who has to fork over nearly $500 for the automatic hay feeder.
The Feed Whiz® Automatic Horse Feeder is not only convenient but also reduces waste and cuts down on feeding time by up to 50 percent compared with conventional methods. The savings from less feed and less time can add up, and the Feed Whiz® allows someone to spend more quality time with their animals and other livestock.
A horse owner who has many mouths to feed might find it easier and more efficient to use a feed wagon or a trough and bag instead of an automatic hay feeder that holds only 200 pounds of food. The automatic hay feeder has the advantage in that the possibility of spoilage due to waste or moisture is nearly eliminated.
The automatic hay feeder may be a good fit for someone that wants to save time and money while also having peace of mind knowing their animals will always have fresh, clean food and water available when needed.