Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More slow feeder hay nets!

I'm really keen to be able to offer my donkeys more access to food but at the same time keep their weight down.  Sound like an oxymoron? I'm trying to get my head around this concept and have been reading a lot about slow feeders (see my other posts.)

The idea is that animals eat slower, imitating grazing to a point and this slows down digestion.
Hay also helps to keep them warm (by fermentation in the gut) and forage buffers gastric acid in the stomach which can cause ulcers.
I still offer some loose hay, especially for Deenah and I always feed loose hay if I think they are especially hungry, i.e. first thing in the morning.  I am watching to see if the hay nets are causing frustration and if/ when I see this, as they are still getting used to them, I offer some loose hay beside the net.  The donkeys now seem to enjoy the puzzle.

Having a whole bunch of slow feeder hay nets placed here and there, might just be a great thing! When I feed hay, I always have more piles than donkeys (this minimizes squabbling) so having more than 3 hay bags seems like a good idea.

I can pre-fill them and they are ready to go and if I'm not going to be home, I can know that the donkeys have something to nibble!

These new ones are small and I am using them as little stuffed pillows lying on the ground.  They are from N.A.G Bags - a BC company that makes many different sizes:  www.slowfeeders.com

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