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10 Best Slow Feeders For Horses

skid loader loading hay on covered hay feeder for horses

There are plenty of horse feeders in the equine market. This article is dedicated to giving you the top 10 best slow feeders for horses. Before we do that, it’s important to make a critical distinction: this list does not include hay nets. If you’re interested in a hay net, our “The Best Hay Feeders for Horses: 2022 Guide” includes slow-feed hay nets in its list.

With that clarified, here’s our top 10 list:

Best Slow Feeders For Horses Summary:

FeederTypeBale SizeFeeding LocationMaterial(s)ProsCons
HF608SF by FarmcoCovered Large FeederLarge RoundOutdoorMetalpays for itself, is simple to use, keeps hay off the ground, keeps hay covered, trough catches scraps, durable steel construction, Expensive
Savvy Feeder by The Savvy FeederSmall Square FeederFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPolyethylene (Plastic)Versatile, sturdy, safe on teeth,
horse safe
Limited amount of hay
HelixFeeder by KiwiFeederSmall RoundFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPlastic/Synthetic FabricsNo Strings, Netting, or Ropes, UV Rated,
Does not absorb liquid, mold, or rot holds 50 lbs. hay
Durability, relatively new product with limited real-world feedback
Slow Feed Hay Ball Feeder Toy by Equi-EssentialsHay Feeder ToyFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPlasticDurable, hybrid feeding/boredom buster, can be hung upLimited capacity, time-consuming to fill
Porta-Grazer™ by Porta-GrazerSmall Round FeederFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPlasticEasy to clean, Easy to loadCan tip over on its own
Slow Feeder Saver by High Country PlasticsSmall Rectangle FeederFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPlastic & MetalPays for itself in a year in hay savings, simulates natural grazingMetal grates (controversially damaging for horse’s teeth)
HayGain Forager by HayGain®Plastic Round FeederFlakesOutdoor/IndoorPlasticEasy to load, easy to assemble and break down, Durability
Feeder Haybox by KerblSmall Square FeederFlakesMostly IndoorPlastic & MetalVersatile, great for horses with allergies to dust, hay can be fed dry or wetMetal grates (controversially damaging for horse’s teeth)
DIY Slow FeederTypically RectangleFlakesOutdoor/IndoorTypically WoodenAllows for creativity, typically much cheaperRoom for error, requires time, 
45H by FarmcoCovered Small FeederFlakesOutdoorMetalVery durable, protects hay from mold exposure with roof, cheaper than HF608SF, “horse safe”Fairly expensive

1. 608SF by Farmco

Link: https://www.farmco.ag/horse-feeders/slow-hay-feeder/

Type: Covered Large Feeder

Bale Size: Large Round

Feeding Location: Outdoor

Material(s): Metal

Pros: pays for itself, simple to use, keeps hay off the ground, keeps hay covered, trough catches scraps, durable steel construction, 

Cons: Expensive

farmco horse hay feeder with roof

Ok, we admit we’re biased toward our own products! With that said, we do genuinely think that the 608SF is one of the best slow feeders for horses on the market! So, yes, we admit bias. But we also challenge you to find a horse feeder that competes with the combined quality, durability, and hay savings that a 608SF does. Here’s why we think the 608SF is one of the best slow feeders for horses.

By protecting the hay with a 29-gauge metal roof, our covered hay feeders for horses reduce hay waste and protect horses from potential mold exposure. 

Built with reinforced heavy-duty 12 gauge steel, the 608SF is able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use and live for decades.

The 608SF allows space for a large round or square bale to easily be placed inside the feeder. From there, the net panels (made of woven polyester with 2.5” holes) are laid down across the hay, and just like that, your horses can enjoy a lasting, good meal while also keeping hay waste at a minimum.

The most frequent complaint for this feeder is usually related to its price. One thing to keep in mind though, the SF series slow hay feeder pays for itself with hay savings, usually within 24 months. 

That means that in a decade, your feeder will still be strong as ever, while at the same time saving you up to possibly 5 times the cost of the feeder in hay savings. If you’re interested, you could request a free quote.

2. Savvy Feeder by The Savvy Feeder

Link: https://savvyfeeder.com/

Type: Small Square Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Polyethlyene (Plastic)

Pros: Versatile, sturdy, safe on teeth, horse safe

Cons: Limited amount of hay

plastic grey slow feed hay feeder

Photo Credit: The Savvy Feeder

This hay slow feeder type is smaller and very compact. Although able to carry relatively small amounts of hay at 18-22 lbs., its versatility and durability will compensate. Savvy Feeders are very durable; the only part that will need to be replaced every several years is the grate over the hay. 

Secured by a heavy-duty fabric, the grate gradually lowers as less and less hay is in the feeder, allowing the horse to eat practically all of the hay stored in the feeder. 

This slow feed hay feeder itself is only 25 lbs., so it’s very easy to transport along with your horse.

The grate that covers the hay is also safe. Unlike metal grates (that controversially cause equine dental damage), the polyethylene (plastic) grate that covers the hay is safe for your horse’s teeth. 

The Savvy Feeder prolongs eating time by 4-10 times compared to natural grazing. This helps keep your feeding supply routines to a minimum.

We’ve alluded to it already, but the Savvy feeder is also very safe. Worst-case scenario, the horse could catch it’s foot in the plastic grate, but if too much pressure is applied, the grate will just pop off the feeder.

A downside to this feeder is the lack of hay that’s able to be put into one feeder. Although it might be enough for a day for one horse, it’s not very practical for several horses. 

3. HelixFeeder by KiwiFeeder

Link: https://kiwifeeder.com/products/collapsible-slow-feeder-for-horses

Type: Small Round

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Plastic/Synthetic Fabrics

Pros: No Strings, Netting, or Ropes, UV Rated, does not absorb liquid, mold, or rot, holds 50 lbs. hay

Cons: Durability, relatively new product with limited real-world feedback

helix feeder best slow feeders for horses

Photo Credit: KiwiFeeder

Made from plastic/synthetic fabrics, the HelixFeeder has no strings, no netting, and no ropes, making it an exceptionally safe feeder (including for shod horses) and enough to put it on the “best slow feeders for horses” list.😊 

What’s even better is that this feeder does not absorb liquid, mold, or rot. What stands out with this particular product is that the height of the feeder adjusts with the amount of feed. So, whether you have 25 lbs. or 50 lbs. of hay in the feeder, this hay slow feeder will adjust. 

Unlike barrel feeders, the HelixFeeder allows a horse to see what’s going on around him while he eats. Plus, it’s portable and durable. 

Additionally, the feeding plate that covers the top of the hay is customizable. Depending on whether your horse is eating too slow or too fast, you can choose the appropriate plate hole size so your horse can eat slowly, but free of frustration. 

Although durability has been a complaint from some reviewers, most customers have been more than happy with this product. The main issue with this feeder is that it is so new it has limited real-world feedback.

4. Slow Feed Hay Ball Feeder Toy by Equi-Essentials

Link: https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/Equi-Essential_Slow_Feed_Hay_Ball_Feeder_Toy-Large/descpage-ESFH.html

Type: Hay Feeder Toy

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Plastic

Pros: Durable, hybrid feeding/boredom buster, can be hung up

Cons: Limited capacity, time-consuming to fill

feeder toy for quality best slow feeders for horses

Photo Credit: Riding Warehouse

This is basically the “Prius car” of the slow feed hay feeder world. It is a 16” diameter plastic ball with 12 – 2 ¾” holes for eating. On one side there is a screw opening to place hay where you can place up to 7 lbs. of hay, according to the manufacturer. However, some reviewers have given a lower hay amount at 2-3 lbs. Without any hay, this slow feed hay feeder weighs about 4 ½ lbs.

The genius of this design is that while your horse can snack on hay throughout the day, it also is a boredom buster, keeping your horse safely occupied and happy. For these reasons, we thought it’d be a good addition to our “best slow feeders for horses” list.

One customer loves that this hay slow feeder keeps her horse busy while another customer compliments the sturdiness of its design. Plus, this slow hay feeder can be hung up as needed.

As you’ve probably guessed, this design is not necessarily a great resource for actual feeding. Its purpose is more as a horse boredom buster while also allowing your horse to simulate natural foraging throughout the day. 

5. Porta-Grazer™ by Porta-Grazer

Link: https://porta-grazer.com/product/xl-porta-grazer/

Type: Small Round Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Plastic

Pros: Easy to clean, Easy to load

Cons: Best to be secured

quality horse feeders for horse hay feeder with roof article

Photo Credit: Porta-Grazer

The Porta-Grazer is another “best” slow feeder for horses that comes in two parts: a barrel and a one-grazing pan.

To set it up, you take the empty barrel and add about 3 flakes of hay to it (although this will depend based on the amount of moisture in the hay as well as the compaction of the hay). Then just take the one-grazing pan and drop it on top of the hay.

You might be thinking that your horses will be able to pull the grazing pan easily, the manufacturer affirms that the lid needs to be lined up nearly perfectly in order to be taken off the hay. In other words, your horse will have a tough time pulling the lid off. 

Here are several ailments that a Porta-Grazer hay slow feeder can help prevent:

Based on the type of hay you give your horse, you may want to adjust the grazing pan hole count. You can further determine that by reading this article.

Although several customers have complained about a breakdown in customer service, most customers seem to be ecstatic about their new Porta-Grazer purchase. Here’s another note. Although it can stand on its own, it’s probably best to secure this feeder to a fence post or somewhere in the barn.

6. Slow Feeder Saver by High Country Plastics

Link: https://highcountryplastics.com/products/sfs-slow-feeder-saver

Type: Small Rectangle Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Plastic & Metal 

Pros: Pays for itself in year, simulates natural grazing

Cons: Metal grates (controversially damaging for horse’s teeth)

amazing hay slow feeder for horses

Photo Credit: HIGH COUNTRY Plastics

According to the manufacturer, about a year is all it takes to pay off this feeder in hay savings. Now that’s worth an enlistment as one of the best slow feeders for horses! As featured above, this feeder keeps horses from wasting hay by only allowing for smaller bites of hay. With a sturdy poly floor, this feeder keeps colic at bay by keeping all the hay safely off the ground. 

Additionally, this 39.5”x28.5”x19.5” (LxWxH) weighs about 55 pounds, dubbing this product fairly heavy-duty. 

To use this slow feed hay feeder, you just have to slide the removable steel feeding grate forward, place (according to one customer) 4-5 flakes in, and move the grate back over the hay. 

One customer complained that the grate width was too wide, thus undermining “slow feeding” philosophy; another reviewer commented on the difficulty in removing the grid. But overall, customers loved this hay slow feeder and commented on the efficiency in hay savings and product quality. 

On another note, using metal grates to promote slow horse feeding is a fairly controversial topic due to complaints that metal can damage a horse’s teeth. If you want to learn more about this topic, we’ve got an article dedicated to slow feeder safety.

7. HayGain Forager by HayGain®

Link: https://www.haygain.us/products/forager-equine-slow-feeder

Type: Plastic Round Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Plastic

Pros: Easy to load, easy to assemble and break down, 

Cons: Durability

haygain forager hay slow feeder

Photo Credit: HAYGAIN®

The HayGain can best be described as one of the front-runners in slow feeder technology. In fact, the birth of the HayGain® company, resulted from a concern to horses’ health while they were eating. Back in 2017, they developed a slow feed horse feeder to reduce risks such as colic, obesity, gastric ulcers, and laminitis. Hence, the HayGain Forager was born, which is a highly-technological slow feeder. Alright, that story right there allows the Forager to be put on the “best slow feeders for horses” list.

Although the Forager regulator grid allows for wider spaces, the grid is not very flexible, which keeps horses from taking large bites of hay at a time.

There are several ways to keep this slow feed hay feeder secure. The first way is to weigh down the feeder at the base, where you can place 45 lbs. of sand. Or, if that doesn’t satisfy you, you could always attach it to a fence post, stable wall, etc. 

Another pro is that if you use soaked hay, the water will drain out of the feeder through side wall drainage channels. 

One other design tweak that the HayGain Forager utilizes is a steel ring that wraps around the exterior perimeter of the hay slow feeder. To keep the hay regulator grid on the hay, the grid snaps on to the ring quickly and easily, which then is lowered as your horse consumes more and more hay. The grid then snaps onto this exterior ring through pre-cut openings in the sides of the feeder. That way the regulator grid rises and falls, depending on the amount of hay in the feeder.

A potential downside to this slow feed hay feeder is the actual durability and quality of the product. Several reviewers have complained that the feeder broke within the first several days. All in all, it’s a piece of ingenuity that may lack some durability. 

8. Feeder HayBox by Kerbl

Link: https://www.fundis-equestrian.com/us/stable-care-feed/stable-supplies/buckets-feeders/11567/kerbl-feeder-haybox

Type: Small Square Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes 

Feeding Location: Mostly Indoor

Material(s): Plastic & Metal 

Pros: Versatile, great for horses with allergies to dust, hay can be fed dry or wet

Cons: Metal grates (controversially damaging for horse’s teeth)

dark green best slow feeders for horses

Photo Credit: FUNDIS

Similar to the Slow Feeder Saver, the Feeder Haybox also has a metal grid to keep the “slow feeder” idea alive. 

One plus is that this feeder is very efficient because it is easy to clean and quick to fill up with hay. You can fill it up with about 17-22 lbs. of hay (depending on compaction and structure).

Like the #7 HayGain Forager, this hay slow feeder works great for damp or wet hay because it also allows for water drainage. What’s more is that there’s a perforated base plate below that catches dust from the hay. 

Like many of the other best slow feeders for horses that we listed, Kerbl HayBoxes help prevent digestive and behavioural problems in your horse(s). 

Similar to the Slow Feeder Saver, the Feeder HayBox also utilizes a slideout metal grate to encourage slow feeding. However, metal grates used in this way have been a controversial topic since metal may damage a horse’s teeth. You can read more about this topic from this good read.

Anyway, take your side on the metal grate argument, and go from there because this is a really efficient and easy-to-use slow feed hay feeder. 

9. DIY Slow Feeder

Link: https://cowgirlmagazine.com/diy-slow-feeder-hay-boxes/

Type: Typically Rectangle

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor/Indoor

Material(s): Wooden Or Metal

Pros: Allows for creativity, typically much cheaper

Cons: Room for error, takes time

awesome quality best slow feeders for horses

Photo Credit: COWGIRL

We don’t underrate your ingenuity. That’s why we added a do-it-yourself feeder to our “best slow feeders for horses” write-up. If you have a bit of construction experience and love doing DIY projects around the house and farm, then there are plenty of ideas that you can draw from to create a slow feeder that is both efficient and safe while at the same time keeping costs to a minimum. 

Several downsides to this route are that it does allow room for error. Again, we don’t doubt your creativity or construction skills, but it does allow for a possible mistake or error that could potentially lead to a failed “slow” feeder build or, worse, a horse injury. 

10. 45H Slow Feeder by Farmco

Link: https://www.farmco.ag/horse-feeders/outdoor-horse-hay-feeder/

Type: Covered Small Feeder

Bale Size: Flakes

Feeding Location: Outdoor

Material(s): Metal

Pros: Very durable, protects hay from mold exposure with roof, cheaper than HF608SF, “horse safe”

Cons: Fairly expensive

black roofed farmco 45H model horse hay feeder with roof for sale
excellent farmco 45H model covered hay feeder for horses for sale

The chief concern with #1, the Farmco 608SF, was the price. The Farmco 45H is a horse hay feeder with a roof that also costs substantially less than the 608SF. Of course, it doesn’t hold as much hay; but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold a substantial amount of hay. In fact, this hay slow feeder can hold as many as 4 small square hay bales at a time. 

To be clear, the above photos are the 45H without the net panels. The 45H Slow Feeder uses the above design but also comes with net panels to be placed over the hay to slow down your horse’s feeding.

At Farmco, we think that every slow feed hay feeder should be 100% safe. To make the 45H hay slow feeder safe, this horse hay feeder has a roof that has rounded corners to protect your horse’s heads as they munch on the hay.

The 45H really distinguishes itself with the possible addition of a 4’x5’ trough and hay rack above it. That way grains and minerals and other fallaway hay can be stored in the trough below while the hay is set in the hay rack above. Now that’s pretty cool!

As with the 608SF hay slow feeder, the 45H is extremely durable due to its metal design. This gives the 45H a decades-long lifetime; if you’re interested, feel free to request a quote.

How Do You Slow Down A Horse Eating Hay?

First, it’s important to understand the root of the problem. Why is your horse eating too fast? Normally, the cause is stress. So, one way to slow down a horse eating hay is by reducing your horse’s stress levels. One reason that your horse may be stressed is if he is in “survival mode.” This can happen if a horse does not have constant access to hay; if this is the case, your horse may think that all the hay must be eaten now and quickly, or else he may starve. 

Slow Feed Hay Feeder

Seems like an obvious solution, right? By allowing the hay to be accessible at all times, a slow feed hay feeder reduces your horses’ stress levels and gives them access to chomp slowly and continually on hay all day, which is naturally how horses forage anyway. So, a hay slow feeder will drastically slow down your horses from eating too much hay too fast.

Hay Texture

To help slow down a horse from eating too much hay too fast, you could also provide your horse with a different hay texture. For example, wetter hay is slower to eat for horses than drier hay.

good quality non metal net panel for best slow feeder for horses

Are Slow Feeders Safe For Horses?

The quick answer is, yes, slow feeders are generally safe for horses. Slow feeders that use metal grates are a possible exception. Allowing the horse to be rubbing its teeth against metal is controversially damaging to a horse’s dental health. You can read more about that topic in this piece of additional content.

Additionally, hay nets are also typically safe for horses. However, haynets on the ground could be a hazard if your horse gets its horseshoe stuck in the net.

Also depending on the height of a haynet or the quality of the setup process, a hay net could be potentially damaging to a horse’s posture or respiratory health.

Why Are Slow Feed Hay Feeders Good For Horses?

There are many reasons why slow feeders are good for horses. Here are three of them:

We have a great piece of content called “Horse Slow Feeders: Ultimate Guide” on horse slow feeders. This article covers the above three benefits in more detail as well as much more information on slow feeders, including cost, ground feeding, and more.

horse eating hay by one of the best slow feeder for horses

Why Do Horses Need Hay Slow Feeders?

Although not always essential for a horse, hay slow feeders are often a must-have because of the following reasons:

Back to your horse’s health, a slow feeder helps reduce colic and obesity while also helping to prevent stomach ulcers by promoting continual chewing.

Do Slow Feed Hay Nets Work?

Generally, yes, slow feed hay nets do work as a slow feed hay feeder option. They also help keep hay waste at bay while, at the same time, are a lot cheaper than a heavy-duty slow feeder, like a horse hay feeder with a roof. 

On the flip side, if hung or set up wrongly, they could possibly negatively affect the posture or respiratory health of your horse. Another danger is that your horse could possibly get its shoe caught in the net; additionally, a hay net could be prone to ripping or tearing. Finally, a hay net sitting in your pasture is exposed to the elements, which allows for potential mold exposure. A covered hay feeder for your horses helps keep the mold exposure at a minimum.

heavy duty farmco HF608SF best slow feeder for horses

Wrapping It Up…

To wrap up, we hope the “best slow feeders for horses” list was a helpful guide in finding the right horse slow feeder for you. A hay slow feeder is an investment, especially if you’re thinking of purchasing a horse hay feeder with a roof, for example. However, our Farmco 608SF usually pays itself off in two years. Did you know that a slow feeder can also help horse colic prevention? Now that’s a quality horse feeder that will last you for years and years to come while also saving you a lot of money from hay savings in the long run!