Haygain is the only steaming system scientifically proven to reduce respirable particles, kill mold spores including Aspergillus, as well as bacteria and dust mites. The nutritional value and goodness of the forage are maintained with improved palatability. Independent scientific tests have proven the effectiveness of Haygain steamers versus soaking in cold water or steaming with a kettle and that horses prefer the taste of Haygain steamed forage!
Frequently Asked Questions
Soaking hay will dampen the spores down and make them swell so they are less likely to be inhaled. With Haygain steaming, the combination of the heat and the moisture actually kills the spores, eliminating the allergenic respirable particles. Soaking reduces respirable particles, but increases TVC and thus cannot be recommended as a treatment for improving the hygienic quality of hay.
The hay will absorb and therefore hydrate, bringing it back towards its original moisture content, approximately 15+% of its original weight, but the hay is neither soggy nor heavy. The HG-2000 or HG-600 will use about 4 ½ litres of water per cycle, some will be absorbed by the hay, some will be released as steam when you open the lid and some will be converted into a small amount of residue (about the volume of an average a tea-cup) of water (the condensed steam) which remains from each steam cycle, which is eliminated via the drain hole in the bottom of the hay chest.
It is best fed while it is warm, straight out of the Haygain, but you will find it cools and dries rapidly as soon as the air gets to it. This has no effect on the hygienic quality or palatability. We recommend feeding the hay within 24 hours to prevent potential contamination from environmental sources.
It takes a minimum of 60 minutes, but can vary according to how densely packed the hay is, the ambient and water temperature your voltage supply and the thermometer on the lid is there to act as a guide. When you first set up your Haygain, you will need to time how long it takes to reach the green zone within the thermometer from the moment of switching on the steam generator. From then on, you can use a timer set for the appropriate steaming time.
Positive results are often reported within days of starting to use the Haygain, but do depend on the individual horse, the cause of the cough and other environmental factors. For example, if you change to feeding Haygain steamed hay but the horse remains on a dusty straw bed, you will probably see some improvement but it will be compromised by the other source of respirable dust. Equally if you make changes to your horse’s feeding and management regime but the horses stabled either side, sharing the same air space, have dry hay and straw bed, then again the improvement may not be as obvious.
Exposure to respirable particles such as mould spores and bacteria can induce allergic responses and develop a hypersensitivity reaction in the horse. Even the best quality hay can be high in respirable particles. These particles make up the “dust” that you cannot see (they are less than 5 µm in size) and have a 50% chance of being inhaled deep into the lungs, causing the respiratory disorder Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO). Minimising the amount of “dust” your horse is subjected to will help to prevent respiratory problems.
The running costs are minimal and you will use considerably less water compared to soaking. The HG-2000 and HG-600 use just 2.9kW electricity per hour, whilst the HG-ONE and HG-GO uses less than 1.5kW. Electricity costs vary between utility companies but typically are between 10-25 cents per kW hour. In order to work out exactly how much it costs you, find out from one of your electricity bills how your kW hour costs and then multiply that number by either 2.9 or 1.5 depending on which model in the range you have; this will give you the electricity cost per cycle. For example if you are using an HG-2000 and paying 14 cents per kW per hour, it will cost approximately 40c per hour.