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Who has hay steamers???

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  • Who has hay steamers???

    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?

  • #2
    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.
    Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc


    • Original Poster

      What about using it for healthy horses as a preventative? I read heaves is caused by feeding dusty hay over time.


      • Original Poster

        Really, no one else?


        • #5
          What is the advantage of steaming hay?


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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.
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • #8


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        I built one similar to this. It worked well. the wall paper steamer at home depot was $48, a nice man in the plumbing dept helped me get every thing I needed to make it work. Total was $100 ish.


                        If you google images for Home Made Hay Steamer you can see all kinds.
                        Last edited by csaper58; Jan. 30, 2016, 07:47 PM.


                        • #13
                          We kind of made our own with muck tubs - one set inside another - top one had holes. Spray with HOT water, cover.
                          It is not ideal, but I think it helps, plus when the weather is cold, I look for any way at all to get more water into them.
                          “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
                          Frederick Douglass


                          • #14
                            I am thinking about getting one but decided to start in the spring because I am afraid the barn workers won't be used to it and will accidentally allow it to freeze. After a lot of back and forth I decided on the Happy Horse steamer.
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                            • #15
                              Just a thought,

                              if you have a pressure washer, there are attachments that heat water for steam cleaning. Or, treat yourself to a steam pressure washer.

                              they are pricey but less than a hay steamer.

                              they are easier to repair and parts are easier to get.

                              it can be used to steam clean your truck, barn, house etc. while hay steamer only steams hay.


                              • #16
                                I have been using the largest size HAYGAIN steamer for almost a year. It is the best investment I think I've ever made re: my horses and donkeys!! And, no, I don't work for the company.

                                The HAYGAIN HG-1000 is similar in size and shape to a very large, long, roomy, deep suitcase. In the bottom of the unit are 2 manifolds, each containing 5 hollow, perforated spikes of about 5 or 6 inches long, onto which a full, rectangular bale of hay (baler twine intact) is placed and firmly pushed down. We dribble about 2 litres (quarts) of water over the top of the bale, and then close and seal the steam chest. There is a purpose-made boiler (about the size of a 6 gallon bucket) that attaches to the manifolds in the steam chest through a hose. The boiler is topped up with water before each bale is "cooked." We had a special electrical cable installed with a timer which doesn't draw power from other electrical appliances in the tack room. The boiler is in a corner of the tack room and the steam chest is next door in a small, unused stable (both units can stand together, but I chose to separate them). The hose from the boiler to the steam chest passes through a hole in the brick wall. There's also a temperature gauge on the steam chest which enables the operator to choose the length of time to cook the bale based on temperature and bale size. I'm cooking bales for Shire horses and Poitou donkeys.

                                Our rectangular bales are very! large and heavy. It takes the HAYGAIN between 60 to 70 minutes, max, to completely cook one of our bales. The fragrance is divine and all the bugs, spores and molds are killed from the heat. I can cook 2 massive bales (one at a time) in just over 2 hours, certainly NOT the 2 to 3 hours per bale quoted above!

                                We've had no coughing or respiratory issues since using the HAYGAIN. The horses and donks love the steamed hay, and there is virtually no waste.

                                I can't recommend this product highly enough. While home-made steamers may be suitable for a few sections of hay for a single horse or pony, the HAYGAIN is so powerful and efficient it gets the job done cleanly and within a VERY reasonable period of time per bale. It's certainly the go-to steamer for a busy yard or property with multiple horses.
                                Last edited by RutlandH2O; Feb. 4, 2016, 07:22 AM. Reason: Forgot a few words


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RutlandH2O View Post
                                  .... The fragrance is divine ....
                                  Does steamed hay smell different from hay soaked in cold water? I think wet hay smells bad.


                                  • #18
                                    The fragrance of the steamed hay is delicious. It smells somewhat like caramel. It's probably from the natural sugars in the hay. Even hours later, if there's a bit of hay left over, the fragrance is lovely.

                                    I agree with you, hay soaked in cold water can smell pretty bad. I think it's because it is waterlogged and limp.