by Nan Meek
What does your horse think about his hay? If horses could only speak!
Actually, they do. Horses’ bodies speak eloquently, using impossible-to-ignore external physical expressions of internal health issues including respiratory problems, laminitis, insulin resistance and colic, for example.
Listen to what your horse is telling you: Is he eating all his hay, or leaving some on the stable floor? Does he cough or have nasal discharge, or is his performance just not quite up to his usual standard? Does he have sore feet or gut problems? He may be telling you to look into his hay hygiene.
Here are five reasons your horse will thank you for switching to hay steamed with Haygain® Hay Steamers.
- Nutritional value: You feel better when you’re eating well, right? So does your horse. Steamed hay retains nutritional value, so the level of nutrition your hay contains before steaming, remains in your hay after steaming. Your horse’s feeling of wellbeing depends to a great degree on good nutrition, so make sure your horse’s hay retains its nutritional value – you can do that AND virtually eliminate mold, fungi, yeast, bacteria and respirable particles.
- Palatability: If your horse is a picky eater, you know how important palatability is to ensuring your horse gets the nutrition he needs. “That smells good enough for ME to eat,” is a frequent human comment on the fragrance of steamed hay. Horses agree, and the hay that smells good enough to eat, gets eaten.
- Respiratory issues: “Achoo!” “Cough, cough.” “Ackkkk.” Do you hear any of those respiratory reactions from your horse? Studies show that even when you don’t, your horse could still have respiratory issues. Steamed hay helps by “steam cleaning” naturally-occurring allergens such as respirable particles and bacteria out of your hay.
- Laminitis and insulin resistance: These conditions require feeds low in NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) or sugars. Often, horse owners are advised to soak hay to reduce NSC, but studies show that even a 10-minute soak increases bacterial content by 150%. Steaming hay with Haygain reduces bacteria by 99%, so “steam after soaking” to protect your horse’s digestive system.
- Colic: Poor forage hygiene caused by bacteria and mold has been identified as a risk factor for colic. Steaming hay with Haygain eliminates 99% of both. Especially in winter, providing plenty of fiber and hydration is essential risk reduction. For every bale of hay that is steamed, three quarters of a gallon of water is put back into hay. “Hay hygiene” with Haygain is smart anti-colic strategy.
Haygain hay steamers are the only scientifically proven method to eliminate 99% of mold, fungi, yeast and bacteria in hay and up to 98% of respirable dust particles – contaminants that can be found even in the best, most expensive hay. Steaming hay with Haygain retains nutritional value, improves palatability and helps manage respiratory issues, laminitis, insulin resistance, colic and post-surgery recovery.
Your horse is already thankful to you for many things – a hot bran mash on a winter morning or a cooling shower on a hot afternoon, not to mention that long gallop on the beach or cool trail ride through the forest.
Now you have five more reasons your horse will love you – all for switching to steamed hay. And you’ll love Haygain Hay Steamers for helping reduce these risks to your horse’s health.