To best understand feeding management for horses, we first need to define what proper feeding of our horses is all about. The primary goal in feeding our horses is to provide good nutrition essential for growth, reproduction, performance and overall health. Horses should receive feed that is adequate but not excessive in required nutrients. However, it is not enough to just provide the best feed to your horse. For optimal nutrition, how and when your horse is being fed are crucial components of feeding management for horses.
Carefully consider the type of system being used to feed your horse (group, individual, manual, or automatic). Now carefully consider when your horse is being fed (timing, frequency and consistency). The best feeding management for horses will encourage adequate consumption of feed and limit waste, while promoting the best for your horses’ physical and mental health and wellbeing. Previous efforts for better feeding management were focused on providing enough pasture land and hay to a horse, but with today’s confinement needs, limitations on the amount of pasture lands, and performance demands, feeding management has to also consider our horses need their forage supplemented with grain and other feeds to ensure proper health.
Horses are grazing animals that would, in the wild, spend the majority of their day eating, with small breaks in between small meals. Horses do not require the same amount of rest and sleep as humans do. Their evolution, met with many current feeding practices that provide larger amounts of feed at lesser intervals (twice to three times daily), results in unnecessary suffering and death from colic and ulcers, as well as promotes anxiety, boredom and stall vices. Feeding management for horses must evolve to leave behind scoops and coffee cans, and better simulate natural conditions, so we can have healthier horses, both physically and emotionally.
The innovative technology of iFEED was designed with horses’ overall health in mind and designed to save horse owners time and money. By allowing horse owners to divide meals into multiple small (1-2 ounce) timed feedings stretched over 24 hours, owners provide their horses feeding conditions that best simulate nature, allowing the horse to get the full nutritional value of the feed and allowing owners to do more with less.
The iFEED system consists of a low voltage (24V) power supply with a built-in timer that can operate from 1 to 80 hoppers and determines WHEN and HOW often you feed your horse. They system’s patented iFEED hopper – installed inside or outside of the individual stall – is customized to determine how much each individual horse is fed based on the portion control setting. It is made from durable polypropylene and stainless steel with smooth edges to safely feed your horses and compliment any barn.
iFEED can be used in a variety of feeding environments, both in groups and individual. Before, the convenience of group feedings outweighed the disadvantage of it not allowing for tending to the specific need of individual horses. With iFEED it is now labor efficient to feed individually and you can tailor each meal to the need of each horse while saving feed. We recommend 10-12 feedings in a 24-hour period but each individual horse will have unique needs and a unique schedule. Even in a group environment with a feeder available to each horse, iFEED will ensure that every horse gets the appropriate share of the feed.
Feeding management for horses with iFEED saves you time, money and improves the health and performance of your horse. It gives you the peace of mind to know that each horse is tended to with the right amount at the right time. Contact us today to discuss systems to benefit you and your horses, and your specific situation.