Soaking your Hay
“Before I was introduced to Haygain, I was soaking hay for Brentina to make sure that it was more palatable and dust free. Then I found Haygain and not just Brentina but every horse in our barn is so happy. Now after our horses are fed the only sound you hear are the horses chewing. I no longer hear sneezing or coughing due to dust or mold spores. Once you have fed Haygain you will never go back!”Debbie McDonald, Team USA US Equestrian Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe Olympic medallist, two World Cup medals, two Pan American Games medals, World Champion
“We had been soaking our hay and that was a real nightmare. They love not having to do that anymore and the horses are happy and healthy.”Liz Halliday-Sharp, Team USA Ambition to become first woman to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and ride for Team USA
Some people believe that by watering, wetting, rinsing or soaking their hay they are removing the airborne dust and solving the problem of irritation and respiratory inflammation. Unfortunately, soaking comes with a number of downsides.
Problems with Soaking
It has been shown that if you spray hay you can reduce airborne respirable dust by 43%, but if you completely submerse hay for 10 minutes you can increase this to 90%.
But it creates problems:
Soaking only dampens down the respirable particles and only by 90%; and the bacteria, mold and fungal spores are ingested and can elicit an inflammatory response
Soaking increases the bacterial content - a 10 minute soak increases bacteria by 150%
Soaking reduces the palatability
Significant levels of nutrients are lost
Produces a post-soak liquid that is 9x more polluting than raw sewage
Uses 60-100 litres of water
Is messy and difficult to handle
The Solution? Haygain Hay Steamers
Reduce respirable particles by 98%
Dramatically reduce bacteria and mold content
Only uses 4 litres of water
Clean and easy to use
Prices start from £725 or £124 per month for 6 months, including free delivery and 12 months warranty
What the veterinarians say
“The difference between soaking and steaming is chalk and cheese... soaking does a lot of negative things to your hay"
Professor Meriel Moore-Colyer
Dean of the School of Equine Management and Science, Royal Agricultural University, UK
References1. Stockdale, C and Moore-Colyer, M.J.S (2010) Steaming hay for horses: The effect of three different treatments on the respirable particle numbers in hay treated in the Haygain steamer. European Workshop for Equine Nutrition, Cirencester, Sept 2010. The Impact of nutrition on the health and welfare of horses. EAAP publication No. 128. Ed Ellis, A., Longland, A.C., Coenen, M and Miraglia, N. p136-1382. Moore-Colyer, M.J.S and Fillery, B.G. (2012) The Effect of three different treatments on the respirable particle content, total viable count and mould concentrations in hay for horses. 6th European Workshop for Equine Nutrition, Lisbon, Portugal, June. 101- 106.3. Moore-Colyer, M.J.S. Taylor, J. and James, R (2015). The effect of steaming and soaking on the respirable particle, bacteria, mould and nutrient content in hay for horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Aug 20154. Moore-Colyer, M.J.S. Taylor, J. and James, R (2015). The effect of steaming and soaking on the respirable particle, bacteria, mould and nutrient content in hay for horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Aug 20155. Wyss, U. and Pradervand, N. (2016) Steaming or Soaking. Agroscope Science. Nr 32 p32-336. Moore-Colyer, M.J.S. and Payne, V. (2012) Palatability and ingestion behaviour of 6 polo ponies offered a choice of dry, soaked and steamed hay for 1 hour on three separate occasions. Advances in Animal Biosciences. Healthy Food from Healthy Animals. Vol 3 part 1. 1277. Brown, E., Tracey, S and Gowers, I. (2013) An investigation to determine the palatability of steamed hay, dry hay and haylage. Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science Conference, Nottingham April 2013. p 1048. James, R. and Moore-Colyer, M.J.S. (2013) Hay for horses: The nutrient content of hay before and after steam treatment in a commercial hay steamer. Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science Conference, Nottingham April 2013.9. Moore-Colyer, M.J.S. Taylor, J. and James, R (2015). The effect of steaming and soaking on the respirable particle, bacteria, mould and nutrient content in hay for horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Aug 201510. Warr EM, Petch JL (1992) Effects of soaking hay on its nutritional quality. Eq.Vet.Edu. 5:169–171.