Keep On Steaming!
By Camilla Bingham
I’m so excited to be part of the Haygain ambassador team. We have had a Haygain High Temperature Hay Steamer on our yard for 11 years and use it every day without fail. Previous to that, we used to soak hay; it was messy, time-consuming and the horses never ate everything, leaving their beds messy. As soon as the Haygain came on the market, we knew it was the perfect replacement.
The benefits can’t be ignored. Extensive research has been involved in the technical development of the product and the science behind it is supported by peer-reviewed articles. I have been very lucky that, with good care and maintenance, my Haygain box and boiler (bar one service!) is still cooking after 11 years of use.
Many horses suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems. I believe by giving them Steamed Hay from the get-go, you avoid those problems developing. When you steam your hay, you are killing off mould, fungal spores, bacteria and yeast and any other airborne respirable dust and allergens. This is backed by science: One study even showed that “88% of horses examined suffered from IAD (Inflammatory Airway Disease) and steaming hay reduces the risk of IAD by 65%."
Digestive & Hydration Benefits
The benefits of steaming hay are also found in a horse’s digestion. By killing mould, fungus and any bacteria and yeast, the digestive track is healthier. It also reduces the chances of ulcers and gastral problems found in domestic and performance horses.
A huge benefit of Hay Steaming that I wasn’t aware of before, is that it can increase a horse’s water intake by up to 3 times. Everyone understands the importance in hydration in humans, and it's just as important in horses as it supports all the horse's functions - which directly impacts their performance. This increase in moisture, however, doesn’t come from just any DIY steamer, as they don’t get to the needed temps. That's why I specifically use Haygain’s method of steaming.
It's great to be able to feed my horses something that smells so delicious, and they really enjoy it because it’s so palatable. One of my horses stopped eating hard feed because she'd picked up a virus - but she still gobbled up all her hay, not wasting a bit!
I am passionate about my horses having steamed hay as I really feel the benefit for them physically, which can only benefit them psychologically. Eating (as we know) is a huge part of a horse's lifestyle, and I well know my lot are very greedy for it!! Hay is a necessity for performance horses, so it is important we are vigilant and proactive in finding them good forage and steam it...