Keeping your horse’s respiratory system in good shape is essential to ensuring the rest of him stays healthy, too. So, how can the way you feed him make a difference?
Mild to moderate equine asthma is a common, yet preventable, respiratory disease affecting horses across the UK. While most sufferers develop a prolonged cough, very few show signs of a raised temperature or fever. So, if you’ve noticed your horse has a cough during warm-up or before he’s turned out, but otherwise seems to be his normal self, you might think this is no cause for concern. However, even mild asthma, if left to develop, can lead to more severe respiratory problems – some of which could even shorten your horse’s ridden career.
The primary causes of equine asthma are environmental allergens that can cause inflammation of your horse’s airways when inhaled. They often include…
These environmental allergens can be exacerbated by how we feed our horses their forage. Even the best quality hay is high in respirable particles, and soaked hay or haylage still contains some level of particles your horse could inhale. However, recent studies have shown that using a Haygain steamer to steam your hay can reduce his risk of developing equine asthma by 65%. It also showed that, when compared with dry and soaked hay and haylage, steaming hay was the only method that significantly reduced the likelihood of equine asthma developing.
Haygain steamers are used by professionals the world over, and there are a whole host of health benefits for your horse, too, including…
- a reduction in airborne respirable dust particles of up to 99%
- killing fungal spores, yeast and bacteria
- preservation of nutrients in the hay
- improved palatability
- safe feeding for up to 24 hours post-steaming
Haygain steamers use a patented, high-temperature method that injects steam into the centre of the hay inside, and can reach up to 100°C. The high temperature ensures a 95% reduction in mould and bacteria, while still preserving the nutrients available to your horse.
The hay takes only one hour to steam, making an efficient and practical method, plus studies have shown that many horses prefer steamed over dry hay or even haylage, so your horse is sure to be grateful for it, too. It’s also a great way to encourage him to eat away from home, support his digestive health and keep him hydrated with its high water content.
For more information, visit haygain.co.uk