Horses Prefer Steamed Hay to Haylage – It’s Official

IMG_6870THE latest studies suggest horses prefer steamed hay to haylage according to papers presented at the annual British Society of Animal Science Conference held at Nottingham University in April 2013.

The three independent research projects carried out at the Royal Agricultural University and Writtle College  presented, exciting new results on how steaming affects nutritional content, palatability and the hygienic quality of hay and haylage.

The palatability tests revealed that horses preferred steamed hay to haylage; while the nutritional study reported no loss of valuable minerals after steaming in the Haygain HG 1000. The third paper showed how steaming haylage not only improves the hygienic quality of the fodder but this improvement lasts for 4 days thereby enhancing the ‘shelf life’ of open bales.

All three papers were praised for their usefulness to the horse owner and the questions posed to presenters showed that professionals and students alike were keen to learn more about the benefits of steaming hay and haylage in a HAYGAIN..

The papers presented were:

Hay for Horses: The nutrient content of hay before and after steam treatment in a commercial hay steamer, presented by Rebecca James and Meriel Moore-Colyer from Royal Agricultural University

The effect of steam treatment on the bacteria, yeast and mould concentrations in haylage for horses, by Polly Leggatt and Meriel Moore-Colyer from Royal Agricultural University. An Investigation to determine the palatability of steamed hay, dry hay and haylage, by E, Brown, S, Tracey & I, Gowers from Writtle College.

Dr Meriel Moore-Colyer Senior Lecturer at RAU commented: “The research was very well received with lots of people attending the sessions.

“The audience consisted of university scientists and professionals from the equestrian industry who were all keen to learn about the latest results and asked lots of questions on the research.”

For further information please contact HAYGAIN hay steamers on 0333 200 5233 or

Leave a Reply