Haylage is growing in popularity as the way of feeding roughage during the winter. This growth in popularity is partially due to the difficulty of finding dust free hay.
WHAT IS HAYLAGE? Like hay, Haylage is preserved grass. The grass is ensiled, or pickled, to create Haylage rather than dried to produce hay. The process does in many ways produce a product closer to natural grass. This is considered more beneficial than dry hay. It does however have some drawbacks.
Haylage tends to be richer than hay. Gut issues such as recurrent loose droppings can occur when Haylage is fed to the horse and it is felt this may be partly due to an increased acid nature of Haylage when compared with hay. The lower dry matter may also be a factor. Recent awareness of gastric upsets such as ulcers coincidently seems to tie in with the increased usage of Haylage.
Whilst there seems to be no confirmation of this as yet, it is strongly felt there is a need to balance the Haylage rich diet fed to your horse.
Some of the Feed Suppliers and manufacturers are producing natural balancing formulas to add to the Haylage to help overcome these problems. These balancers contain key active ingredients including: Antacids, Live probiotic yeast, Herbs including such items as ginger, liquorice and mint plus Vitamins and Minerals.
Ask your local feed supplier for advice. It is highly recommended that your local feed supplier be consulted on appropriate products to keep your horse healthy and happy.