It is impossible for us to deal with every possible
question here, but there are some common questions
and statements which arise fairly regularly:
How much is in a bag?
The equivalent of a bale of hay - it will provide
the forage requirements of an average 500kg horse
for 3 days.
Does HorseHage have a
higher feed value than hay?
Yes, as it retains 90% of the value of fresh grass,
and has consistent feed values, whereas hay loses
much of its value in the drying process and is much
more variable. HorseHage is also more digestible.
Does that mean you feed
less HorseHage than hay?
No. Generally speaking you should feed the same quantity
by weight as you would hay, but reduce the quantity
of hard feed by up to a third.
HorseHage is too rich
for my Horse.
This is a common misconception. Because we can state
and guarantee the levels of nutrients, and it is available
in several different types, HorseHage can be used
as the basis for all feeds, rather than just being
fed to fulfil the fibre needs, as so much hay often
is. Problems will only arise if too much hard feed
or the wrong type of HorseHage is given. Most people
do not know the nutritional value of their hay, and
need to give hard feed to make up for deficiencies.
You can select the right type of HorseHage for your
situation. Many horses and ponies in little or no
work do very well on just HorseHage with a good quality
I would like to use HorseHage,
but it is just too expensive.
Another common myth. As HorseHage is so much more
nutritious than hay, it can be used to supply other
nutrients, so hard feed can be reduced. It is usually
no more expensive to use a ration based on HorseHage
than one based on hay, and can often be less expensive,
especially when you consider what some people are
paying for hay. A further consideration is the convenience
and ease of use, as well as the fact that there is
no wastage, and every bale of HorseHage is guaranteed.
Hay soon becomes expensive when you have to throw
bad bales away, or rent storage space to keep it in.
Will my horse eat HorseHage
more quickly than hay and become bored?
Some horses will initially eat HorseHage more quickly
because it is so palatable and moist, and for this
reason we recommend a special small mesh HorseHage
net. However, research shows that after about 2 weeks,
most horses revert to their original speed of eating.
Why should I feed HorseHage
rather than soaking hay?
Because soaking hay reduces its nutritional value
even further, as up to 70% of water- soluble carbohydrates
and 20% of protein is lost. Plus, soaking does not
remove, only dampens the dust and spores, so as the
hay dries in the net, it will revert to being just
as harmful. Many horses also find soaked hay unpalatable,
so eat it more slowly, adding to the drying out problem.
With HorseHage there is not the problem of the smell
and disposal of the water used to soak hay, which
has a similar composition to raw sewage, not to mention
the problems of water freezing in the winter.
If I had a horse with
a respiratory problem, I would feed HorseHage, but
my horse is OK, so I don't need it do I?
All horses benefit from being fed HorseHage rather
than hay, due to its nutrient content and dust-free
nature. It has been shown that an environment with
dust and mould present is harmful to horses and humans,
so why wait until you have a problem? Respiratory
disease is a cumulative problem - all horses are born
with healthy lungs!
My HorseHage seems to
have some sort of yellowy-white mould on it - is it
safe to use?
If it is powdery, and can be brushed off, it is a
harmless yeast - in fact some companies now sell yeast
to feed to horses. However, if in doubt, or if the
texture is that of cotton wool or any colour other
than white, contact your stockist for further advice.
(Occasionally mould grows in a bag that has been punctured).
long does a bag of HorseHage keep?
for up to 18 months, and once opened, it should be
used within 5 - 7 days. However, any bags with holes
in should not be used. (unless they are used within
5 - 7 days of the hole being made)
HorseHage be fed to laminitic horses/ponies?
cause of laminitis is too much sugar in the grass
in spring and autumn, and grazing should be restricted
at these times of year. High Fibre HorseHage can safely
be fed at controlled levels to maintain fibre levels
and keep the gut moving at these times. An additional
vitamin/mineral supplement should be fed, and starchy
or high sugar feeds removed from the diet. On no account
should the animal be starved, as this can lead to
HorseHage will give my
pony laminitis because it is too high in sugar isn't
ferments it uses up all the soluble sugars, leaving
the end product containing less than 3% sugar, which
is a lot lower than virtually any hay, so High Fibre
and Timothy HorseHage are a more positive step to
managing laminitis than hay.
My pony is too
fat, should I cut down on the HorseHage?
If not already using it, switch to High Fibre HorseHage,
and reduce the other components of the diet. Check
that you are feeding the correct amount overall, and
use a vitamin/mineral supplement.
If HorseHage is more digestible
than hay, will my horse get more from it and will
it predispose it to Azoturia (tying-up)?
The balance of fibre and energy is important, and
the energy in the hard feed should be reduced to make
up for the energy that HorseHage provides, so that
the fibre levels are still maintained. In this way,
the energy levels in the overall diet will not increase,
and the horse will be at no increased risk.
How quickly can I change
from hay to HorseHage?
We would recommend that you change over at least a
4 to 5 day period to allow the gut microflora time
I have a thin, "fizzy"
horse, whose temperament gets worse if I increase
the hard feed to put weight on. Can HorseHage help
in this case?
It is thought that overfeeding starchy ingredients,
which are not digested in the small intestine, but
which are fermented in the hind gut, may cause digestive
disturbances, which may lead to abnormal behaviour.
Thus increasing the hard feed will increase the problem.
The energy in HorseHage comes mostly from digestible
fibre, so is not likely to cause this problem when
correctly introduced (see above)
As HorseHage is a "high
protein" feed, does it cause "heating"?
Although excess protein in the diet is broken down
and used as energy, it is generally not protein which
causes exuberant behaviour, but energy. Protein is
the "body building" part of the diet. The protein
levels in HorseHage are carefully controlled, so that
they do not exceed that which the horse can cope with.
"Fizziness" occurs as a result of other components
of the diet, together with temperament.(see above)
How does HorseHage compare
Although cheap and widely available, and apparently
dust and mould free, generally speaking, big bale
silage is not ideal for feeding to horses, as there
is little intact protein and the nutrient values are
very variable. It is much more difficult to handle,
and is very wet and messy. The dry matter content
is usually less than 50% and it has a high pH - conditions
which are ideal for the growth of Clostridium botulinum
- the botulism-causing organism. There have been several
well-documented cases of horses dying from botulism
- it is not visible in the bale and is not worth the
risk, no matter how cheap the silage appears. The
low pH of HorseHage tends to destroy any pathogens
which may be present, and although both are at risk
from holes in the bags, the smaller size of the HorseHage
bag means less product will be affected. The differences
can be summarised: