Take advantage of the least palatable varieties of forage to naturally slow consumption rate by feeding them seperately. Immature cuttings of cool season grasses and alfalfa are very palatable and highly digestible (more concentrated source of calories per pound). For most horses, donkeys, goats and other barnyard buddies if you blend palatable and less palatable varieties it will result in the same enthusiasm and rate of consumption.
Warm season grass hays such as Bermuda/Coastal, Teff and Tiffany are typically less palatable than alfalfa and cool season grasses such as Timothy, Orchard and Rye. In addition, very mature plants tend to contain large amounts of indigestible fiber and tend to be even less palatable; naturally slowing consumption rates. Review A Safer Always Have Hay Source – Mature Grass Hay to learn more.
If your companions do not have forage available 24/7, try a mature warm season grass hay if available or mature cool season grass in an effective slow feeder such as a bale net or multiple slow feed hay bags as an always have hay source.
Helpful How-to Resources for Slow Feeding
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About the Author:
Monique Warren invented the Hay Pillow® slow feeder and is the owner of Hay Pillow Inc.
Warren has been an equine guardian for over forty years and slow-feed advocate for over 10 years. She contributes equine nutrition and digestive and hoof health articles to publications such as Equine Wellness, The Journal, The Naturally Healthy Horse, Natural Horse Magazine, Nicker News, Horse Back Magazine, The Horse's Hoof, and Miniature Horse World Magazine. Equine nutrition and horses feet are her passions. She resides in Southern California.
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