For Peace of Mind For www.happyhorseproducts.com Why Steam? A clean and clear respiratory system is essential for a healthy horse.Without it, your horse’s ability to work effectively and safely can be dramatically compromised, as his lungs may be unable to provide him with the oxygen his body needs.
Wherever we go, the air contains particles of some sort that we all breathe in, but this becomes a problem for your horse when his respiratory system becomes hypersensitive to a particular substance and so he becomes allergic to its presence in the environment.
Minute dust and fungal spores present in hay and straw are the most common allergen for horses and can enter the air-ways and cause irritation and the coughing symptoms seen early on in the development of the disease.
If not effectively managed, the symptoms can become more serious and the horse can find it increasingly difficult to breathe as he develops the disease traditionally know as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heaves, Broken Wind or more recently referred to as RAO (recurrent airway obstruction).
So, what can we do? Although COPD is a serious disease with a potentially debilitating outcome, the vast majority of afflicted horses can live completely normal, active lives if such allergens are removed from their environment, which is possible with careful and consistent management.
As COPD results from the inhalation of mould spores in hay and bedding, the complete removal of these spores allows for a remission of the disease and can even help to prevent its development in the first place.
In cases where COPD has progressed to an extreme state, it may be necessary for your vet to administer appropriate medication, but the essential starting point and core managing principle is to keep the horse in as dust-free an environment as possible.
Hay is the most common source of fungal spores and even good quality hay can contain many millions of mould spores.
As a result, many owners are turning to either pre-bagged haylage or soaking of their hay to ensure minimal exposure to mould spores.
While haylage is a nutritious and dust free alternative, it can be extremely hard on the pocket and is rarely an option for those whose horses are stabled for any significant portion of the week.
A second option is soaking hay in cold, fresh water, for as long as several hours depending on the quality of hay, to ensure that all mould spores are dampened down and so cannot be inhaled by the horse.
However, soaking hay is a messy, unpleasant task, particularly in the depths of winter when you end up with freezing hands and dripping wet clothes.
At the same time, soaking hay leads to vital minerals being leached out and lost, which must be supplemented back into our horses’ diets at considerable expense. Make the arduous task of soaking hay a thing of the past A third alternative is to use a Happy Horse Hay steamer, which does far more than just soaking hay, and without the inconvenience of dustbins full of waste water and heavy, wet hay nets! Designed to be easy to use and maintain, each Hay Steamer system introduces steam to the hay to penetrate at approximately 100 degrees centigrade.
Steaming at these temperatures ensures that fungal spores, bacteria and dust mites are killed off (something that is not done simply by soaking) and all potentially airborne dust particles are sufficiently dampened down and neutralized.
We have all been told, “if you steam your vegetables you retain all the ‘goodness’ and the same is true of steaming your horse’s hay.
After steaming the hay is then ready for your horse to enjoy, complete with all its vital minerals. Happy Horse Hay Steamers Bringing the outdoors indoors Red Hot Results for Happy Horse Hay Steamers Happy Horse Products has had the first fully independent, microbiologically tested laboratory results carried out on its range of hay steamers.
Scientific tests were performed to see the effects of steaming on the moulds, yeasts and pollutants found in hay that can lead to respiratory conditions in horses.
The results were outstanding and show that by using a Happy Horse Hay Steamer you can achieve a 99.9% removal of harmful problems found in hay, simply, cleanly and cost effectively! Happy Horse requested that this independent analysis be undertaken in a stable yard environment, to ensure that the results could be effectively applied to a normal stable environment in which horses live, eat and breathe every day.
Multiple hay samples from 2008 and 2009 bales were tested for moulds and spores before and after steaming and the scientific tests demonstrated the outstanding effectiveness of Happy Horse Hay Steamers and their ability to reduce the mould and spore content in hay from several hundred thousand spores per gram of hay, to a level undetectable by current scientific methods.
Detailed results are displayed in the table below.
So, the proof is in the science – if you want to keep your horse’s lungs clean and clear for his health, for performance and for your peace of mind, you should seriously consider steaming your hay with a steamer from Happy Horse Products – the original range of steamers for healthy, easy and environmentally friendly hay preparation. 2009 Hay Moulds and spores per gram BEFORE steaming: Moulds and spores per gram AFTER steaming: OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS ON MOULDS AND SPORES: Yeasts per gram BEFORE steaming: Yeasts per gram AFTER steaming: OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS ON YEASTS: 260,000 <10 99.9% 79,000 <10 99.9% 2008 Hay 580,000 <10 99.9% 130,000 <10 99.9% 2008 Haylage 700 <10 99.9% 60 <10 99.9% We also tested and compared the effect of simply soaking on the mould content of hay.
The 2008 hay with a start mould count from the control bale of 580,000 cfu/g was soaked for 60 minutes and drained for 15 minutes and the mould count was shown to remain significantly high, at 220,000 cfu/g.
Note: < 10 means less than 10.
This means that the count was undetectable but in reality it is impossible to guarantee a zero result. Necessity is the mother of invention – the history of the Hay Steamer Most great ideas are born from a need to overcome a problem and the inspiration behind the creation of the world’s first hay steamer was a friend, her horse and his respiratory condition.
The rest is history.
Back in 1997, the designer of the original hay steamer concept had a friend who had to soak any hay given to her horse as he had developed a respiratory condition and so was extremely sensitive to any dust or mould present in his hay.
To make the problem worse, the lady in question also had a back problem and was unable to manage heavy, wet hay nets and she had reached desperation point.
It was suggested that steaming his hay might work to eliminate dust and mould, while reducing the weight problem caused by soaking.
After some trials with steaming using the old method of a kettle and hessian sack, the problem of heavy, cold and wet hay nets was eliminated, but this method required many kettles of boiling water and the whole process was still very messy and time consuming.
After much further thought and analysis of the effects of steaming on hay, it was discovered that if a continuous steam supply could be maintained, it was possible to steam larger quantities of hay with significantly less water.
The result was the construction of a very basic Hay Steamer from a large container and small steam generator, which formed the basis of the now vastly sophisticated systems available today from Happy Horse Products.
As with most great ideas, the word got out and requests for the Hay Steamer increased to a point that a commercial unit was designed and first sold back in 1998 under the Happy Horse Products banner.
Over the next few years many more benefits of steaming came to light and the system was further developed and enhanced to enable greater quantities of hay to be steamed efficiently and effectively.
Subsequently a patent has been applied for and Happy Horse Hay Steamers have been awarded ‘patent pending’ status.
The Happy Horse Professional system uses a unique and innovative process that introduces steam and recirculates it for fast, even and effective steaming of all types of hay – from whole, small bales, to hay nets, to loose hay from large, round bales.
In 2007, the Happy Horse Hay Steamer was displayed at the BETA International Trade Fair and the system was rewarded with a prestigious Innovation Award, one of the most well recognised and respected awards in the industry.
This was followed by a nomination at Equitanna in Essen in 2009.
As a company built upon the process of innovation, Happy Horse went on to perfect a system that introduces steam via a steam lance placed into the middle of the hay.
This system works by purging the steam from the inside out and was first found in the popular Happy Horse Traveller hay steamer, a unit designed to enable horse owners to steam their hay while away at competition.
Happy Horse Products now have a very successful range of affordable and user friendly Hay Steamers systems, designed to meet every need.
These original Hay Steamers are environmentally friendly, retain vital vitamins and minerals, neutralise dust and kill off 99.9% of damaging moulds and spores found in hay.
Read more about Copd : If not effectively managed the symptoms can become more serious….: