Feeding soaked hay in the field

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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#1
Anybody feed soaked hay in the field? Do you soak then take to the field. Or do you take dry and then pour water on from the water trough.
I have filled an old plastic chaff bag with hay. Which I find is a good measure for the two boys and stops me over feeding. I put the hose on it to damp it but when I tip out I notice it's not all wet.
I find filling a bag easier than a hay net. The hay goes on the floor so I don't really want to mess about with fiddly filling hay nets if I don't need to. But worry I'm not soaking enough of the hay. Its also mega heavy carrying to the field once soaked.
I'm wondering if just damping it doesn't get enough dust out. Its also doesnt wash dust out if it's in a bag. Last year it did settle the cough by damping so I think I need to soak rather than feed dry. Its just very hard work so I need to find an easy way to be able to feed it in the field.
When you soak hay nets do you submerge your hay nets or just run the hose on to soak. How long for. I'm not soaking to reduce calories, it's only to control dust.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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#2
I soak haynets in a big trug, tip the water out and drag to his stable when I empty on floor. I soak for about 6 to 8 hours and this is to reduce calories and dust. If I didn’t want to reduce calories I would still soak for 30 mins so that all the dust spores are truly wet and washed away. Just spraying it with a hose does little to remove the dust in my experience. It needs to be completely submerged.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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#3
When ours had hay at our old place I submerged in a plasterers bath - making sure I turned them over. Otherwise the hay in the middle stayed dry - and Chloe ended up with a cough. Like mp says spraying with the hose doesn't really do much either. Hmm. Might be worth making a steamer? If it's for dust reduction and not calories. I know lots of people make their own version. The branded ones are a small fortune.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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#5
I did it when Jess had her cough, I don't have running/mains water so I used a couple of tubs (just happened to be square 90l troughs) next to the trough and would stick the net in, pour over 2 watering cans of water and let it soak through down into the tub, move the net into a 2nd tub and flip over 180 degrees and pour the water from the first tub over the hay again, and repeat until the water looked dirty (assuming that meant it had rinsed the dust out of the hay). This whole process would take maybe 5 mins a net and I'd do 2 or 3 concurrently. This solved Jess' cough pretty quickly.

I did do it a few times without using a net (just stuck 3 sections in the tub) but it was much harder to move from one tub to the next and drain and I found doing less that 4 repeats of the water pouring meant a good part of the hay wasn't even damp so couldn't have had the dust washed off it, I too hate net filling but it was the lesser of 2 evils in this case in my opinion.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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#6
Pouring water over hay in the field is only going to damp it which may help if you just want to reduce dust but that's all it will do. You may find it helps if you shake the hay out well before damping it, though obviously don't do that near the horses.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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#7
Can you try them on some hayledge instead? Or have you already bought hay in?
We make our own hay. So have at least 1000 bales in the barn.
Never had a problem till last year with feeding hay. YO wouldn't let me move fields so they were on solid mud field with no grass, so I put out more hay so they had something to eat. Which caused the cough.
I put out a bit off our new hay in July when grass was short and within a few days chunky developed a cough again. So swiftly moved to a new paddock of grass and stopped hay. Cough disappeared.
Not intending to really feed hay till January as I have plenty of grass they can eat. But with the frosty days I want to put hay out rather than them eating too much frosty grass. But I'm going to soak. Its just finding an easy way.
 
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carthorse

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#8
In that case I'd soak in the yard and barrow it up to the field, or at least as close to the field as you can get. When you soak it put it in nets so it's easier to handle & don't put more than one slice in a net so that it isn't too heavy to handle once soaked. Yes it's a bit of a faff, but it does the job & is probably the easiest effective way.
 

mystiquemalaika

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Jan 7, 2013
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#9
I have run trugs situated at the gates of the paddock I'm using and soak there so bot as far to carry.

Is it possible for you to get a steamer instead if it is purely for dust they are great and the hay doesn't get so heavy this way.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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#10
My livery neighbour feeds her mare soaked hay. She keeps an old tin bath by the water trough and sloshes water over the hay in there, then drains it by standing the net on an old jump block, then ties up the net and feeds it as a football. It seems to work well. I used the same soaking method when I was feeding Ziggy soaked hay in his stable.