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Soaking hay - silly questions

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  • Soaking hay - silly questions

    So I will be soaking hay for my laminitic gelding when he returns home. I've tried this before with my older mare who's teeth aren't so good any more. She found it muy no bueno.

    Can I soak for 30 - 45 minutes then allow it to dry so as not to offend her highness? I thought I would just soak a batch ahead. Soak in the morning, allow to dry for the evening meal, etc. or does that defeat the purpose of soaking?

    If I feed it somewhat damp, if they don't eat it right away, do I have to worry about it molding, and if so, how quickly will it mold?

  • #2
    You will need to use hot water if you are going to soak the hay for 30-40 minutes. One good soak (24 hours) only removes about 30% of the sugar content. That may be enough depending on the sugar content of your hay.

    You can drain it and let it "dry" before feeding and that will not affect the sugar content. I don't think you have to worry about much mold growth if you feed it the same day.

    Good luck with your horse.

    BTW I feed my mare soaked hay because she is such an easy keeper, tested negative for IR, just an air fern. She actually cleans it up even though it is still wet from soaking. Your gelding might not mind it wet.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I will definitely soak for 24 hours if that's the better option. I'd soak for a week standing on my head the whole time if that's what it takes.

      I feed coastal hay. They've been on grass all summer, and he's just being introduced again to hay since he's on lockdown in a dry lot. He's not back home yet.

      Thanks for the advice!

      Comment


      • #4
        I only soak mine for an hour in cold water, when I can. I prefer not to have it soak for 12+ hours, but sometimes I forget, lol. I will soak it twice, if I think the hay is still high in sugar after the first soak. Just watch the pony, and see how things are going. If pony looks sore, soaking isn't working.

        My pony always eats all of it, even soaking wet. I've never had mold growth, even with wet hay sitting out all day in the summer sun. Instead of mold, you get fermenting, and then the horses won't eat the hay. But only if it sits out in the hot sun for hours.
        "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Ainsley688 View Post
          I only soak mine for an hour in cold water, when I can. I prefer not to have it soak for 12+ hours, but sometimes I forget, lol. I will soak it twice, if I think the hay is still high in sugar after the first soak. Just watch the pony, and see how things are going. If pony looks sore, soaking isn't working.

          My pony always eats all of it, even soaking wet. I've never had mold growth, even with wet hay sitting out all day in the summer sun. Instead of mold, you get fermenting, and then the horses won't eat the hay. But only if it sits out in the hot sun for hours.
          He'll be fed in his stall, in a hay net, and I believe the plan will be grazing muzzle for daytime turnout, up at night with hay.

          Do you test your hay? What determines if you re-soak it? Does the water not look a certain way after hay is removed or something like that?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Remington410 View Post
            Do you test your hay?
            Yes. If that batch of hay is already within limits, no need to soak at all. If it is off the charts, no amount of soaking is goin the lower it to acceptable limits.
            ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Addison View Post
              You will need to use hot water if you are going to soak the hay for 30-40 minutes. One good soak (24 hours) only removes about 30% of the sugar content.
              here's the original study:
              http://www.safergrass.org/pdf/SoakReport2.pdf

              The average reduction in WSC after 60 minutes in cold water was 31%, but the range between hays was 0 to 56%.
              Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

              Comment


              • #8
                KATY WATTS…which feed/mineral supplement do you recommend giving to a horse that is an easy keeper but not IR (and I'd like to keep it that way)?

                The horse is in lite but regular work, rehabbing from an injury. Under saddle 40 minutes, walk- trot -canter, 2 days on 1 day off.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Since you ask, I like this product, hence I sell it.
                  Includes the most commonly deficient minerals and amino acids and fatty acids in equine diets. Palatable enough to be fed straight, or with a handful of soaked aflalfa cubes or pellets. Formulated by a PhD in equine nutrition.

                  http://www.safergrass.org/pdf/SF%20FootFood.pdf
                  Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have to soak, and then remember to drain it?

                    I think I'd take a wheel barrow and put a tiny nail hole in it and leave it outside over gravel to drain itself slowly out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I soak hay everyday for my IR mare. The easiest way to do it is to buy two new manure buckets and drill holes in the bottom of one like a big collander. Fill the bucket with hat, set it inside another manure bucket without holes and fill it with water (but not overflowing). Let the hay soak for one hour (per my vet) or longer, then drain by picking up the bucket with the holes. The water will drain into the bottom buckert. Feed the soaked and drained hay to yor horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use a garden cart that is deeper than a wheel barrow and just tip it on its side to drain. You have to use a lot of water and really soak the hay not just wet it.

                        Thanks Katy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I soak mine in a muck bucket, and do a few flakes at a time. When I'm done, I just up-end the bucket, pour the water out, and drag the bucket over to the pony.

                          If you want, you can put the hay in a hay net, then soak it in your tub of choice. Caution to putting the freshly soaked hay (in hay net) in the stall-it WILL soak a large amount of shavings. This is why I like to just feed it in the tub I soaked it in. Much easier, and the tub is pretty easy for me to drag around.

                          When I put the hay in a hay net, I would still soak it in the muck bucket. When done soaking, I would empty the water, and put one flake in the hay net, which was resting in the wheelbarrow. Then fill up the hay net, so I could push it to where I wanted. Wet hay is REALLY heavy! And it will soak your pants, which is not fun in the winter, lol.

                          For me, I cannot test, since I cannot store a large amount, and get it from a few different places. I get a feel for the sugar content by how dark the water is after soaking. If I soak 3 flakes of hay in the muck bucket for 1 hour, and the water looks like very weak tea, I don't need to soak it at all. If it looks like Snapple tea, than I soak it again, or don't feed it.

                          It really depends on how sensitive the pony is, and you get a feel for what works, and what makes them sore. I've got quite the system worked out, haha.
                          "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Yeah, that's us too. I can only store about 30 bales, so testing would be difficult.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And expensive. Plus by the time you got the tests back you would be through several bales.
                              ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ainsley688 View Post
                                I get a feel for the sugar content by how dark the water is after soaking.
                                I see no reason to believe that the amount of water soluble pigments in hay is correlated to the amount of sugar. Yes, both can come out, but basing a decision to soak or not on the color of the water seems risky to me.
                                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Prime Time Rider View Post
                                  I soak hay everyday for my IR mare. The easiest way to do it is to buy two new manure buckets and drill holes in the bottom of one like a big collander. Fill the bucket with hat, set it inside another manure bucket without holes and fill it with water (but not overflowing). Let the hay soak for one hour (per my vet) or longer, then drain by picking up the bucket with the holes. The water will drain into the bottom buckert. Feed the soaked and drained hay to yor horse.
                                  This is the easiest way I've ever seen hay soaking done!
                                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Katy Watts View Post
                                    I see no reason to believe that the amount of water soluble pigments in hay is correlated to the amount of sugar. Yes, both can come out, but basing a decision to soak or not on the color of the water seems risky to me.
                                    Absolutely! I do test my hay, and when I get new hay in, I soak until I get test results back, so I've had occasion to soak both low (<10% NSC) and high (18% NSC) hay and can say there was no correlation between the sugar content and water color.

                                    If I wasn't able to store enough hay to be able to test, I'd soak it all for my IR horse. Not worth Taking a chance.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hey, found this article on how to test sugar content in a liquid, and it does seem to be related to color, or at least refraction.
                                      It's a kit for testing,
                                      http://www.sciencebuddies.org/scienc...hys_p028.shtml
                                      Or this which involves just weighing and knowing the volume and math
                                      http://www.ehow.com/how_7718453_calc...-solution.html

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Both of the methods ( refractive index) only work on pure sugar solutions. Unfortunately, there's lots of other dissolved solids in grass or hay juice that throw the numbers off. I know this from getting a LOT of data that showed absolutely no correlation from Brix readings on grass to lab tests. Just a teeny bit of nitrate and its WAY off.
                                        Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                        Comment

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