Look what’s steaming…..
Steam Your Way to Healthy Hay for Your Horse
Many horses suffer from digestive and respiratory
problems. These problems are often caused by ingesting and inhaling
dust, bacteria and fungal spores (mold) when eating dusty, moldy, or
poor quality hay. There is also the issue of some hays containing
too much water soluble carbohydrates, fructans, and other types of
polysaccharides found in cold season grasses.
Soaking hay can wash away essential nutrients, vitamins and
minerals. Soaking also reduces the water soluble carbohydrates,
potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, copper, and zinc, as well
as the fructan levels in all hays.
The longer one soaks, the more the nutrients are
removed and leached into the water.
Be aware. Bacteria and fungal spores are not always
destroyed or washed away by soaking. Feeding hay that has been wet
for a long time can expose your horse to mold and other
containments. Ensure that hay is totally submerged into clean water
while soaking, do not re-use the soaking water and drain all water
Hay steamers are designed to do the same as and even
more than soaking hay without the inconvenience of dustbins full of
waste water and heavy wet hay nets. Good steamers are easy to use
and maintain. Each hay steamer introduces steam to the hay to
penetrate at approximately 100 degrees centigrade. Steaming at these
temperatures ensures that the majority of fungal spores, bacteria
and dust mites are killed off and all potentially airborne dust
particles are sufficiently dampened down and neutralized. The hay
remains nutritious with all of its vital minerals and vitamins
complete. Water soluble carbohydrate and fructan levels after
steaming remain essentially unchanged or only very slightly reduced
by up to 2%.
This tip was brought to you by KAM Animal Services,
home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take
place monthly. These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s weekly tips.
www.kamanimalservices.com to sign up for the next webinar.
The FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session,
so be ready with your nutrition questions.