With so much information out there, it can be difficult to decide, so at All Horse UK we thought discussing the pros and cons of both will assist you when purchasing a feed bucket. Very often, a greedy or clumsy horse will kick their feed bucket whilst eating, causing a mess, a potential spook, and missing out on the exact levels of food and/or supplements that you may have spent the time to measure exactly. Ground-fed buckets also can be a target for mischievous field-mates out to steal a mouthful if you give feed out in the field. However, there is also research to claim that ground-feeding your horses is the best method in order to benefit repository and digestive function. We know the extent to which horse lovers will go to care for their animals, so we thought this would be a topic worth discussing!

There are many reasons that some horse owners choose to feed from a raised positioning. This can avoid mess and altercations, such as injury if the horse is accident-prone. It also avoids knocking buckets over and the horse ingesting the food from the floor where they could mingle with bedding, or pick up parasites and other nasties. A knocked over bucket could be a tripping hazard, or if you have a particularly spooky horse, act as a horse-eating monster that is definitely worth jumping out of your skin for. (Seriously, we’ve been there!)

However, research has shown that there are many benefits of feeding at ground level. Horse’s natural instincts mean that in the wild they can graze for 18 hours a day.

An equine therapist can be quoted as saying “There are many health benefits to low-level feeding, which mimics natural feeding habits of wild horses, who graze with their head and neck stretched down to the floor.” *

Eating from raised hay nets raises a horse’s head to a higher than normal positioning, which can as a result put strain on neck and head muscles, however this happens as a result of prolonged elevation, rather than short periods of time that it would take to eat their feed from a raised feeding bucket. Standard feed buckets are also portable rather than needing to hang off a stable door. Ground-level feeding also allows the horse to clear his nostrils of dust and so avoids a lack of respiratory cleaning.

So if you are concerned about a horse kicking over a bucket and causing trouble, or perhaps accidentally ingesting something unwanted from off the floor such as sand or parasites, perhaps a raised feeding bucket might help save time, money, and potential risk.

Whichever you decide to choose, we have a range of both raised feeding buckets and standard ground level buckets that will suit both you and your horse. Shop feeding buckets here!

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