Chaffhaye for Horses: Review
Several years ago, I had to start looking for hay alternatives for my old mare, Kady. Like many older horses, her teeth had been worn down, and she began having trouble eating hay. I noticed she would often avoid the hay I put out, but when she did attempt to eat it, large bites would drop from her mouth. I tried several things–chopping the hay with a wood shredder (which she still didn’t care to eat), hay cubes, hay pellets, and beet pulp (all soaked). Then, someone told me about Chaffhaye, so I decided to give it a try as well.
If you’ve never used Chaffhaye, you may think it’s a bit strange at first. It’s essentially chopped, bagged alfalfa which has undergone a natural fermentation process. When you open the bag, you’ll find it moist and odd-smelling. I honestly wasn’t sure my horses would eat it, but it’s reasonably priced, so I decided to give it a try.
My horses did turn their noses up a bit at first, and if I didn’t mix it with something else (like soaked hay pellets or senior feed), some of them wouldn’t eat much of the Chaffhaye at all. I was hoping to feed just a couple handfuls in the summer to add their supplements into (because it’s easier than soaking cubes or pellets), but that didn’t work.
That said, I do think Chaffhaye can be a good hay alternative, and I plan to still use it some in the fall and winter.
Here are a few benefits of Chaffhaye:
- Contains natural probiotics: because Chaffhaye undergoes natural fermentation, it’s enriched with yeast, enzymes, and beneficial microflora that aid digestion;
- Dust-free forage which could be helpful for horses with heaves or other respiratory conditions;
- Made from of non-GMO alfalfa; and
- Soft and easy for older horses to eat.
Also, because it’s alfalfa, it’s a good way to add more protein into the diet (often beneficial for older horses), and it can also have a positive effect on horses prone to gastric ulcers. But as with any type of alfalfa, it should not make up the majority of a horse’s diet. Alfalfa is high in calcium and may throw off the calcium: magnesium as well as calcium: phosphorus levels. Feeding diets of primarily alfalfa has also been linked with enteroliths.
The only drawback I found is, like I stated previously, the horses didn’t seem completely thrilled with the taste of Chaffhaye. My horses generally aren’t picky eaters–they will eat nearly any supplement I put in their feed, including apple cider vinegar. But, I did find that if I mixed the Chaffhaye with other types of feed (soaked hay pellets or cubes for my younger horses or senior feed for my older ones), they will eat it. I prefer to feed a variety of foods, anyway, so this is perfectly fine with me.
If you’re looking for a hay alternative for your horses (and they can tolerate eating alfalfa), I would suggest trying out Chaffhaye.
The product has a fairly long shelf-life when the bag is unopened, but once opened, I recommend feeding it within a week or two. It’s also important to keep the bag closed or put it in a sealed container to keep it fresh. You may noticed a white substance in the Chaffhaye, and I’ve been assured that this is normal and part of the fermentation process. However, I wouldn’t let the Chaffhaye sit out too long, as I’d be afraid that it would mold.
Fore more information or to find a dealer near you, see the Chaffhaye website.
And please feel free to share your thoughts about Chaffhaye for horses in the comments below!
(Note: No compensation was received for this review: these are solely my views and opinions.)