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The Importance of Forage In Your Horse’s Diet.

HorseHage Range

Did you know that 70 to 100% of your horse’s diet should be provided by forage?

It stands to reason then, that your choice of forage should be the most important feed purchase you make and therefore of the best possible hygienic and nutritional quality possible.

Horses have evolved to utilise a high fibre diet, using bacterial fermentation in a highly developed large intestine. Low levels of fibre, or poor quality fibre in the diet put horses at serious risk of problems such as colic and gastric ulcers.  Leaving horses for long periods of time with nothing to eat can also lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances.

HorseHage NetDecent forage is dependent upon the quality of the grass harvested and its dry matter at the time of baling, as weather conditions whilst it is being made will significantly affect the end quality.

Most samples of hay contain unacceptably high levels of dust, mould and dust mites, together with their faeces! These can cause serious problems for your horse’s respiratory health. If left un-managed, dust exposure can often result in an allergic reaction which may lead to permanent respiratory problems such as RAO (Recurrent Airway Obstruction).

Freedom from dust and mould spores is probably more important than the nutritional value of forage.  Hay is never 100% dust free and even soaking hay only removes some of the dust spores. It can sometimes minimise the levels of dust and mould, however it rarely eliminates all spores. In addition the nutrient value of soaked hay will be greatly reduced and once the hay begins to dry the spores will become airborne again.

Unlike hay, haylage is usually dust-free, but be sure to choose a brand which clearly states that it is dust-free to be totally certain. Ideally, rather than big-bale haylage, choose a bagged forage such a HorseHage, so that you know exactly what you’re feeding. HorseHage is bagged straight from the field to ensure there is no risk of mould or myco-toxins contained in the bag.

Good forage at a reasonable price is a cost effective option.  Poor hay at any price is a false economy. Top quality bagged forage from a well-established, reliable producer like HorseHage will have a high nutritional value as well as a full nutritional analysis and quality guarantee. It can be more expensive than hay, but the quality is consistent and there is no waste, plus the nutritional content is far better quality than hay. This means that you can often reduce the level of concentrates you feed. This can help reduce your overall feed bill!

In addition, HorseHage produces four different varieties and has lower sugar levels (around 5%) than hay (around 10%). Both the High Fibre and Timothy varieties are safe to feed to laminitics, so there is an option to suit all types of horses and ponies.

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

The West Riding Rodeos Win West Riding Endurance Challenge!

Tess Wheldon and her mother Paula Bocalandro collecting the prizes on behalf of the team

The trophy for The West Riding Challenge which is run within the South Yorkshire Endurance Ride – an annual event organised by HorseHage-sponsored endurance rider, Jeni Gilbert, will stay in the West Riding of Yorkshire for another year after the West Riding Rodeos team took first place.

The competition involves teams of three riders – one may be from the longest distance class (66km), one may be a pleasure rider and the other from the normal graded classes. The winner is the team with the highest points based on heart rate, speed and distance.

The competition which took place just north of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was fiercely contested, with 15 teams taking part, and 90 riders in the whole ride. The West Riding Rodeos – the winning team – consisted of Nikki Wright, Tigs Gordon and Tess Whelden. The runners-up were Hamra and The Half-Pints (from Lancashire) and in third place were The Durham Dynamos.

Said Jeni: “Linking pleasure riders with graded riders enables the challenge to have wider appeal and is aimed at encouraging new riders to the sport of endurance.  There is a strong team spirit and riders help each other, sharing their knowledge and experience.”

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Mollichaff Condition Transforms Astral!

Astral-after

Astral After MolliChaff Condition

MolliChaff Condition

Thoroughbred mare, Astral, had a very stressed out nature and struggled to keep weight on, especially during the winter months. Following a bout of colic, she had to have surgery which meant she had to be kept on box rest following the operation.

Said owner, Susan Otway: “This proved extremely difficult due to the mare’s highly strung temperament. She would pace around the box and stressed all the time, apart from feed time, and every morning her bedding would be upside down.”

Susan’s vet recommended that Astral should have Yea-sacc® in her diet on an ongoing basis so Susan opted to feed her Mollichaff Condition – a highly digestible, high fibre, high oil and low starch blend which can be fed as a complete concentrate feed alongside good quality forage, and is suitable for encouraging weight gain and condition in all types of horses and ponies.

Mollichaff Condition contains Yea-sacc® which is a live yeast culture based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain 1026 and has been shown to improve a horse’s ability to digest fibre and to increase microbial fermentation in the hind gut. As well as Yea-sacc®, Mollichaff Condition also contains a prebiotic to help maintain a healthy digestive system, plus a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement.

Said a delighted Susan: “I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Mollichaff Condition. Astral has been transformed! She is no longer stressing at the slightest thing and is calm to handle. Her guts are normal and she is altogether chilled out. Her coat looks fantastic and she has gained weight and looks a picture of health. She is easier to muck out too as she’s no longer kicking her bedding around. She is a different animal to the one I bought five years ago, thanks to Mollichaff Condition!”

Astral-before
Astral Before MolliChaff Condition

Posted in MolliChaff News by admin.

Show Dates For 2013

We will be attending several events and shows with the HorseHage tradestand throughout 2013 so please come along to say hello and meet the team.

We will be happy to answer any equine feeding queries you may have or advise on our products and often have free samples to give away. We will also be running a competition to win 12 bags of Mollichaff Alfalfa Light plus a stylish Musto branded jacket. To be in with a chance of winning you can enter on the tradestand at any of the shows below.

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (2nd – 6th May 2013)

Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (6th – 9th June 2013)

The Royal Highland Show 
(20th – 23rd June 2013)

The Pet Show (20th – 21st July 2013)

The Royal Welsh Show (22nd – 25th July 2013)

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
 (5th – 8th September 2013)

Your Horse Live (9th – 10th November 2013)

The South West Christmas Equine Fair
 (7th – 8th December 2013)

Posted in News by admin.

And They Lived Happily Ever After….With Mollichaff Donkey!

hopeless

cariadCariad Bach – a two-year-old trainee ‘therapy’ donkey belonging to Ann Slater of  Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy – an organisation based in South Wales which owns six working donkeys who play a groundbreaking role in animal assisted therapy (AAT) – has an unusual friend.

A young steer (castrated bull) named Hopeless was orphaned at just one day old and in order to save him, he had to be stomach tubed and then bottle fed and his outlook wasn’t great. However he was ‘adopted’ into Ann’s family of donkeys and with lots of love and care plus the companionship from his new donkey family, he grew stronger and Ann believes he now thinks he is also a donkey like them!

He is scared of cattle and will only be with his little band of donkeys and has formed a special attachment to one particular donkey named ‘Cariad Bach’ (which means ‘Little Darling’ in Welsh). The pair share everything, including  Mollichaff Donkey – a complete fibre feed that is fed to all the donkeys at Bryndafydd… and Hopeless loves it too!

Mollichaff Donkey contains a balanced blend of fibre pellets, oat straw and soya oil, with camomile, lemon balm and mint. It also contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement which includes limestone and magnesium. It is low in sugar, starch and energy and carries the HoofKind logo to denote it is safe to feed to laminitic donkeys, mules, horses or ponies.

Said  Ann: “Because Hopeless has bonded so strongly to Cariad and only wants to be with the donkeys, it would be detrimental to separate them now and we all love him so much that he could never go for beef! He has so much personality and is very  gentle and friendly, so I am aiming to give him a purpose within our Animal Assisted Therapy group as he already plays a big part by letting people get close to him to stroke and groom him.

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Posted in MolliChaff News by admin.