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Effect of Soaking on Bacterial Profile of Hay

March 2017 by Dr Mariette van den Berg, BAppSc (Hons), MSc, PhD (Equine Nutrition), RAnNutr, Certified Equine Permaculture Design Consultant, MB Equine Services,

In this Part Four of our exclusive report from the European Workshop on Equine Nutrition (EWEN), Dr Mariette van den Berg discusses a recent study by Professor Meriel Moore-Colyer and colleagues, which examined the effect of soaking on the bacterial profile of meadow hay and perennial rye grass hay - two hay types that are commonly fed to horses in the United Kingdom.

Soaking hay in water is a common practice among horse owners who want to reduce the ‘sugars’ (water-soluble carbohydrates) in the hay they feed to horses predisposed to laminitis and/or those with metabolic disorders, such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Cushing’s disease (PPID). Additionally, horse owners managing horses with respiratory problems soak their hay to reduce dust.