Benefits of Steaming
Steaming your hay with a Happy Horse Hay Steamer has many advantages over feeding dry hay, soaking hay or feeding haylage.
Help to prevent respiratory disease
Our increasingly changeable climate means that good quality hay has become extremely difficult to find and repeated exposure to the dust, dust mites and fungal spores in poor quality hay can permanently damage your horse's respiratory system. Steam is used by the Medical and Veterinary professions for sterilization - they do NOT simply wash their instruments in fresh, cold water and the same principles and benefits apply to steamed hay. Steaming your hay ensures that fungal spores, bacteria and dust mites are killed off (something that is not done simply by soaking) and all potentially airborne dust particles are sufficiently dampened down and neutralized, helping to prevent respiratory damage.
Retains the nutritional value of your hay
We have all been told, "If you steam your vegetables you retain all the 'goodness'". When we soak hay we lose much of the nutritional value as essential vitamins and minerals are leached out into the soaking water and then thrown down the drain! In comparison, steaming hay ensures that all the nutritional goodness is retained in the hay, thus ensuring a well balanced, natural diet for your horse.
Help you to save money
A Happy Horse Hay Steamer is an investment. While there most certainly is the initial outlay to consider, many of our customers have found that they save them money in the long run. Haylage is an alternative to feeding hay and is quite expensive. Steaming your hay gives you the option of returning to feeding hay, which is a significant savings in itself. When you soak your hay, the vitamins and minerals lost into the water must be replaced in your horse's diet through extra feed or expensive supplements, but steaming provides the maximum nutritional value from hay. Additionally, steaming removes dust and mold which cause respiratory disease, reduces illness in your horse, and helps to avoid costly vet bills or missed competition expenses.
Easy and convenient to use
Happy Horse Hay Steamers are extremely user friendly. Simply fill the chamber with hay, place water in the steam generator, switch on, and off it goes! If you have ever had the misfortune to need to soak hay on a regular basis, you will know what a messy and unpleasant job it is, particularly in the depths of winter when you end up with freezing hands and dripping wet clothes. A Happy Horse Hay Steamer can make all this mess and hassle a thing of the past.
Helping to reduce environmental damage
Waste water from steaming hay is significantly less polluting than waste water from soaking hay. The vitamins and minerals that are leached out of the hay into the water dramatically increases the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of the water left behind, which is a measure of a polluted water supply. Happy Horse Products engaged Myerscough College to conduct research (view report) regarding the pollutants found in hay soaked waste water. The results showed the water to be highly polluted with an excessively high BOD - up to 6 times greater than that found in the waste water from steaming hay. With thousands of pails full of waste water dumped down drains every day in the UK alone, horse owners are unwittingly polluting our water sources. Additionally, it can take up to 50 liters of water to fill a container suitable for soaking hay, whereas it takes just 7 liters to steam a full standard square bale in a Happy Horse Hay Steamer. The sheer volume of water, wasted from soaking, is a huge issue too.