Feeding Devon Haylage – it makes horse sense
If you are new to haylage then introduce it gradually over a period of 5 days. Generally you should feed the same quantity by weight as you would of hay but reduce the amount of hard feed offered. Unless your horse is in hard work or is a very poor-doer you may be able to cut out the hard feed ration all together and replace it with a broad spectrum balancer. Try to use a small-holed hay net when stabled to mimic ‘trickle feeding’.
As forage makes up the core share of a horses diet, it is important to make that portion nutritious and beneficial to overall health whilst being high in fibre and not too calorific. The natural fermentation process that occurs within the crop once it is baled makes the haylage more digestible and results in more efficient utilisation of nutrients within the hind gut. This process also means that naturally present sugars within the crop are metabolised by the bacteria involved in fermentation, making haylage a safe option to feed to laminitics, good-doers and those which are insulin resistant. Providing hard feed is not also fed to overweight horses or good-doers, Devon Haylage could be the ideal maintenance feed when fed alongside a forage balancer.
For up to date advice on the benefits of Devon Haylage and how it should be fed from one of the country’s leading independent horse nutritionists Clare Macleod please select one of the following articles below.