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Effect of Soaking Hay on Nutrient Content and Hygiene Quality

December 2018 by Karen Richardson
A graduate from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, with a Master of Science in Equine Science (with Distinction), independent equine nutrition consultant, Karen Richardson specialises in formulating diets to reduce the incidence of nutrition-related disorders, maintaining performance and improving welfare for performance horses.

Soaking hay in water to reduce the sugar content of hay is very common and, for many people with horses diagnosed with laminitis, insulin resistance, polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) or obesity, it's become a routine part of their daily horse-keeping duties.

But, have you considered what the effects of soaking are on the hay’s nutrient profile and hygiene quality?

Fortunately for us, some researchers from the United States and United Kingdom have done just that.
Research conducted by Martinson and colleagues (2012) examined “The effect of soaking on carbohydrate removal and dry matter loss in Orchardgrass and Alfalfa hays” and “The effect of soaking on protein and mineral loss in Orchardgrass and Alfalfa hay”.