View Full Version : Who has hay steamers???

Apr. 9, 2011, 09:37 AM
I saw hay steamers at a booth at the Rolex two years ago and LOVED the idea. They were being imported from GB.
I have not found any barns that have or even places in America that sell hay steamers.
Hubby offered to make one for me but, does anyone have one yet? Would having one help attract customers to my boarding stable?

Apr. 9, 2011, 09:51 AM
WE had one at the barn I worked at in FL last summer. The smaller one, you can only do maybe 4-6 flakes at a time.

I'm not sure what your question is...it worked great, we had two horses that were sensitive to dust and hay allergens. For those horses, it did its job and was much easier and more effective than soaking the hay.

I don't think that particular item would attract boarders unless you happen to have an oddly high population of horses with allergies/respiratory issues. I mean, I would be happy if I boarded at a barn with that as an option, but it wouldn't be something I'd search out, nor would it be a deal breaker.

One thing to consider, is even the large ones that will do an entire bale, take 2-3 hours to steam one. So...if you are running a boarding facility, how many horses do you have and how many bales to you need to steam a day to offer that as an amenity to your boarders? You can only steam 5 or 6 bales a day MAX and someone has to load and unload the steamer every time. Not super efficient or easy...and not a lot of hay if you have a big barn.

If you have a small place, it could work.

Apr. 9, 2011, 09:55 AM
What about using it for healthy horses as a preventative? I read heaves is caused by feeding dusty hay over time.

Apr. 9, 2011, 12:45 PM
Really, no one else?

Apr. 9, 2011, 01:55 PM
What is the advantage of steaming hay?

Apr. 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
If you are thinking about buying one simply to prevent heaves, I would just focus on buying clean hay. If you already have a horse with heaves then I could see where it would be worth the money. I've always wondered if the steamers denature the protein in the hay, therefore making it less nutritious.

Apr. 9, 2011, 04:24 PM
They are sold in the US; I have a friend who has one at her barn for her breathing-issue horse. It's cumbersome to set up and use but she does like the results.

Apr. 9, 2011, 04:31 PM

Apr. 10, 2011, 08:01 AM
I saw one at the WEG - it was intrieging for sure, and if I had a horse who needed hay soaked, it would be a boon in the cold winters. But I don't. And while it's true that feeding bad hay can cause heaves, the better solution is to feed good hay. Bad hay is bad hay.

It was expensive and I'm guessing it uses a fair amount of electricity. But the hay smelled really good! I hadn't thought about the time it would take to steam a whole bale - 3 hours would mean you'd be steaming constantly if you had more than a couple of horses.

Apr. 10, 2011, 10:21 AM
I think there are also benefits for horses that are sensitive to dust and other allergens. The one stallion that we steamed for in FL also had to have special bagged shavings. The hay we had was great and grown on the property. We had 100 horses eating it and 2 needed steaming. These horses were also sensitive to other things, skin allergies, hives, etc.

basically the steam kills anything that might be in there and essentially "sterilizes" the hay. Plus, all of it is evenly moist so no dust issues, etc.

Apr. 10, 2011, 02:20 PM
Both the Happy Horse steamer and Haygain are available in North America. I'm in Canada, in Alberta and found local dealers for both brands. I even managed to trial the Haygain over Christmas. I like the concept and the horses liked the steamed hay. However, as my barn is not heated it is impractical for me. We had it in our attached heated garage, but the odour got to be a bit much - it was pleasant initially, then not so much.