Equine Health Care

Steaming Hay...The Future of Equine Health


A recent study by Dr Dauvillier & Dr van Erck-Westergren found that...

84% of 482 horses examined suffered from Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) and that in 72% of all horses the presence of different types of fungi in the airways was present.

One of the main causes of IAD is respirable dust, which is plentiful in hay. The presence of IAD has a really negative impact on the athletic horse’s performance and is an issue that really needs addressing.

 What is IAD?

 IAD is a respiratory disease that affects the horse, from as young as one year of age. Coughing, poor performance and mucus discharge are common symptoms, although may not always be prevalent. Horses can in fact have serious problems with their respiratory system without having obvious symptoms, causing owners to struggle to pinpoint what’s actually going on. Your horse could have lower airwave inflammation and not necessarily show any of the symptoms associated with the disease.

The most convenient way of diagnosing this problem is by scoping horses - this gives Veterinarians the best opportunity to notice signs of infection, inflammation or allergies. From this scope, Vets can do respiratory samples to identify the real issue. But wouldn’t it be great if this could be avoided in the first place?

 What causes IAD?

 IAD is caused by the harmful moulds, fungal spores and bacteria that live in your horses bedding and forage. Due to the lack of symptoms that IAD presents, reducing the chances of a horse developing IAD is of utmost importance. Even if your horse looks healthy, they have a 3.8 times greater chance of being diagnosed with IAD if fungi were found in their airways.

 In using steamed hay, you’re protecting your horse against chronic lower airway inflammation and therefore improving the health in the long term. This isn’t just aimed at competition horses - managing IAD across the equine spectrum should be encouraged.

The results are staggering; the study by Dr Dauvillier and Dr van Erck-Westergren showed that feeding horses Haygain steamed hay reduced the incidence of IAD by a staggering 63%. Soaking hay is often deemed to be an appropriate alternative to steaming, when in actual fact has a negative impact on the horses health and performance. Soaking leaches the vital nutrients and increases the bacteria levels hugely, compromising the hygienic quality of the forage. 


Steaming hay has been shown in numerous studies to have none of the disadvantages shown when soaking hay. Studies show that steaming hay in a Haygain hay steamer resulted in a 100% reduction of fungi or yeast and a 98.84% reduction of bacterial contamination. Minimising exposure to these respirable particles is hugely beneficial to the health of the horse, whether used for leisure or competition. Even good quality hay contains a high number of respirable particles which can lead to respiratory diseases. Clean hay means healthier horses. That’s pure horse sense.  

Try Before You Buy

 Haygain are delighted to announce they’re now offering a try before you buy scheme for their revolutionary hay steamers. With prices as little as £100 for a 2 week trial (which will be deducted upon purchase after the trial period has ended) you can really test the product in your own surroundings before committing to the purchase. For more information on this new scheme, please visit https://haygain.co.uk/pages/tr....

If you’d like to speak to a Sales Executive in your area about how the Haygain collection can help your horse, please call;

 Northern Sales Executive - Kim Cox, kim@haygain.com, 07854 773539

Southern Sales Executive - Jemma Woolford, jemma@haygain.com, 07825 988293

 For more information on the Haygain hay steamer

collection and to see the plethora of research surrounding this topic,
including the source material for this article, please visit https://haygain.co.uk

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