About Healthy Feeding Systems, Inc.
Healthy Feeding Systems' mission is to offer safe, healthy and helpful feeding supplies for animals. The Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker was designed by devoted Iowa horse owners, Jim & Julie Turner. Their products are thoroughly tested with and used for their own horses, so you can be assured they safe, durable and effective!
Owning horses with completely different, but equally concerning health issues, the Turners were constantly researching new ways to manage their health. One mare had always been slightly over weight and had foundered from eating grass on a drought stricken pasture recently stimulated by a much needed rain. The other mare was diagnosed with PSSM (Polysaccharide Storage Myopothy) at a young age, a muscular disease with the inability to digest and utilize simple sugars. Both serious conditions which required precise and careful feed management.
The foundered mare would always be on a restricted low calorie diet, much to her chagrin, for she loved to eat and could finish a pound of hay in minutes. The challenge for this mare was to feed her less hay to reduce her weight. This, however, resulted in her chewing on the stall walls, a very destructive and undesirable behavior. It was suspected she also had developed an ulcer while she was confined to her stall during recuperation. She likely also ingested wood shavings from her bedding, which was undesirable. For this mare, the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soaker was a blessing in more than one way. Not only did it take her longer to eat her restricted amount of hay, it also stopped her from chewing on the walls! She was a much happier horse each day as she was eating all night long instead of inhaling her food in an hour or two. It also meant the Turners spent less time repairing stall walls and fences she chewed on waiting for her next meal!
The PSSM mare was a bit more of a challenge. Her food must be low in carbohydrates and sugars. She was not a fast eater. Quite the contrary. She would eat her hay so slowly, that the other mare, after inhaling her hay, would push her out of the way and devour her companion’s hay as well. This soon resulted in the foundered mare gaining weight and the PSSM mare losing weight. She was also a messy eater. Before she’d eat her hay, she’d paw through it spreading it all over the stall. Needless to say, what she didn’t eat because it was contaminated with manure and urine, was a time consuming job to clean out of her stall each morning. For this mare, the Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker kept her stall neat as a pin. She also seemed to be quite entertained by the feeder, choosing to dig around in the holes with her nose and teeth, even if there was a flake on the floor!
To add to her needs, the PSSM mare cannot ingest too much sugar in her hay or risk muscle spasms. One safe and effective way to remove sugars from hay is to soak it. The Turners became well versed in the technique of soaking hay for this mare. The less sugar in her hay, the less risk of a debilitating muscle spasm. It involved placing 3-5 flakes of hay in the notoriously dangerous nylon hay net, placing the hay and net in an garbage can full of water, and then filling a bucket full of water to keep the hay submerged to become fully soaked. After soaking, the hay bag was pulled from the water, dripping all over the barn floor and person that then had to carry it over to the stall and tie it to up for the horse to eat it. It was a time-consuming task and left everything a wet mess. The Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker solved this problem as well! You simply fill the feeder as normal, fill with water, pull the plug to drain and feed! You never have to get wet. The stall stays dry. Simply wonderful!
These horses also have to be on dry lot until the high sugar content grows out of the pastures each Spring. Their dry lot is full of sand and mud. This posed the chance of ingtesting sand, thus increasing the chance of colic. The Slow Down® Hay Feeder Soaker solved this problem too! They no longer have to feed hay on the sandy ground. The hay is not trampled in the mud or blown away from the strong Midwestern Winds. In addition, much money has been saved by merely not wasting precious hay!
When the Turners go on camping trips, the Slow Down® Hay Feeder/Soakers go along. Feeding off the ground in soiled dirty pens left from previous horses was always unappealing and unhealthy. Now the feeders go in the pens, keeping the hay off the ground. They wish they would’ve had them when Julie was showing. But know many others will be able to reap the benefits for their horses that travel as well!
The Turners continue to develop other useful products for horses and other animals, so keep checking back. What a joy to see their products making such a difference in the health and happiness of horses, livestock and pets everywhere. Click here to BUY NOW!
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