If your horse attacks their hay or herd mates for food, this is not "normal". They may be Insulin Resistant - a voracious appetite is one of the many signs of IR. Or they are stressed due to waiting for and receiving meals - instead of always having forage available.
If your current "slow feeder" is not slow enough, it will take time and experimentation to supply your equine with a limited amount of hay AND have it available 24/7.
The Hay Pillow slow feeder was designed to allow horse owners (willing to take the time) to accomplish two seemingly opposite goals:
By using more than 1 bag, your horse will willingly take "breaks" as they move from one to the other thus encouraging movement. This is far more natural. Horses enjoy purpose to anything they do. Even eating and moving. It is not realistic to expect any one feeder/bag to be stuffed full and automatically last the entire duration between feeding times.
Before I created the hay pillow, I designed and prototyped numerous feeders. Either the feeders fed too fast or they could not eat at all. None of the bags or nets on the market were slow enough to allow for limited hay 24/7.
The only solution is netting, this allows a smaller size opening and enables them to eat from it. Unfortunately, there is no indestructible netting available, which can be a challenge for voracious eaters. A voracious eater will naturally use their teeth to "attack" food.
Recommended Approach for Fast Eaters
In the long run you will have a healthier equine that is no longer voracious. Always consider nutrition when dealing with any health or mental issues. Feeding a balanced low nonstructural carbohydrate diet and forage available 24/7 is healthiest for all horses. Equines were not meant to thrive on a high calorie, nutrient deficient diet.
Find out if horses can eat more hay without weight gain: Learn about the surprising factors.
There is a wealth of information on the internet available for testing hay and balancing a custom supplement to it. In my experience, this is far more economical.
Helpful How-to Slow Feeding Resources
Additional Diet Resources
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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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