A review of the scientific literature and common management practices to explore the link between feeding practices and horse behaviour.

This paper looks at:

  1. The co-evolution of the horse and grasslands
  2. Feeding behaviour and evolutionary adaptation, including domestication
  3. Domestication and horse welfare priorities
  4. Meeting the needs of a domestic horse


New study shows that feeding Haygain steamed hay reduces the incidence of horses developing IAD by 63%.

The abstract of this new study by Dr Dauvillier and Dr van Erck-Westergren was presented last month at the Journées de la Recherche Equine in Paris, and parts of which were previously presented at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in June 2016.

Spring steam!

As Spring arrives horses can spend more time outside grazing but be aware of the sugar rich grass, which is low in fibre. You will need a Haygain hay steamer.

Petri dish: before and after hay steaming

Steaming hay in the Haygain hay steamer drastically improved the hygiene quality of whole bales of hay. The microbial contamination was reduced to zero for fungi and yeasts and by 98.84% for bacteria.

European Workshop for Equine Nutrition, Cirencester, 2010

The only nutrient lost after a 50 minute cycle in the Haygain HG1000 was WSC (sugar), which was a small but significant reduction

Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science Conference, 2013

Steaming reduces the RAO-affected horse’s response to hay, coinciding with a reduction in viable fungal content of hay

Proceedings of the Annual ACVIM Conference, 2012

Soaking hay for 9 hours followed by steaming for 50 minutes is the most effective method for reducing WSC and microbial contamination

PLoS One, 2014

A 50 minute steam in the Haygain HG1000 was effective at reducing respirable particles in all hays, whether slightly dusty or very contaminated

European Workshop for Equine Nutrition, 2010

The HG600 steamer is the most effective treatment for improving the hygienic quality of the hay, while soaking was found to vastly increase bacteria

6th European Workshop for Equine Nutrition, 2012

This study found that the HG 600 is significantly more effective at reducing microbes in hay compared with home-made steamers and soaking

Proceedings of the European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, 2013

This study underlined that horses preferred to eat steamed hay compared to haylage and dry hay

Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science Conference, 2013

Steamed hay was preferred over dry and soaked hay: once tasted, Haygain hay was always the first to be consumed

Advances in Animal Biosciences, 2012

Steaming hay in the HG600 significantly reduces microbial growth, even after 4 days of being left open

Proceedings of British Society of Animal Science Conference, 2013