Chaffhaye for Horses

Horses are grazers and in their natural state would spend a large portion of their day feeding on a small-and-frequent basis. The horse’s digestive system reflects this natural behavior and is designed to acquire the majority of its nutritional needs from forage. This is why high-quality forage is the foundation of the horse’s diet. But as a horse owner, you may find it challenging to find clean, good-quality forage on a consistent basis that is so important to your horse’s diet. Chaffhaye is a superior alternative to baled hays and processed feed that allows you to take care of your horse the way nature intended.

Why Chaffhaye Is The Best Option?

Quality

Chaffhaye is crafted from premium-quality alfalfa.  While still fresh, the forage is chopped, lightly misted with molasses, and compressed into an airtight bag to lock in freshness.

Predigestion

A fermentation initiates in the bag, transforming the alfalfa into a ‘super soluble’ forage. This “predigestion” process closely mimics the digestive activity in the hindgut of a healthy horse. In the bag, yeast, enzymes and other beneficial microorganisms unlock viable nutrition from the plant fiber and convert its nutrition into a form that is usable and more readily absorbed by your horse. The result is greater assimilation of energy, vitamins, and essential nutrients. Free of dust and mold, Chaffhaye alleviates the most common digestive and respiratory ailments that often plague horses.

Reduces Hay Belly

Many animals tend to have “hay belly” when fed dry hay. By contrast, Chaffhaye digests more evenly throughout the digestive system . Since Chaffhaye is “predigested”, it spends less time sitting in the hindgut of a horse. Less intestinal fill equates to less hay belly appearance.

Low Sugar/Starch

Minimally processed, Chaffhaye is the closest product to natural pasture you can feed your horses. Hence, it is called premium “Pasture-in-a-Bag.”  Chaffhaye is a safe choice for high-quality forage on a consistent basis, as well as providing live “beneficial” microorganisms that establish and maintain a healthy microbial balance in your horse.  The reduced sugar and starch levels in Chaffhaye Alfalfa make it safe to any horse with metabolic issues.  Reduced sugar levels also means a calmer horse.  When used as a 100% hay replacement, your horse will demonstrate a marked improvement in digestion, immunity and well-being.

Beneficial Yeast

Through its natural fermentation process, Chaffhaye is a rich source of all-natural, live (viable) yeast. In some cases, when opening a fresh bag of Chaffhaye you may notice small patches of yeast that appear as a white, milky substance usually formed in a circle. For generations, farmers have observed anecdotal evidence that animals become healthier when fed yeast. Today, there is a significant body of scientific research that supports these long-held views about the beneficial function of yeast in animal diets. Industry professionals are increasingly using yeast to improve livestock performance, especially when animals are under stress or in situations of frequent travel or high activity.

Superior Digestibility and Palatability

Studies point to a common mode of action by yeast in aiding digestion. First, yeast has been observed to stimulate the population of beneficial fiber digesting bacteria in the animal. It is thought that yeast contains valuable growth factors that support beneficial bacteria such as malic acid, short chain peptides, lipids, and vitamins. In the case of malic acid, for example, certain other beneficial bacteria require malic acid in order to consume lactic acid. By consuming lactic acid, these beneficial bacteria regulate the proper acidity (pH) in the rumen. This is especially important in counteracting the consumption of high-energy grains where the risk of colic is high.

In horses, yeast has been shown to increase the absorption of essential minerals especially phosphorus. In other studies, yeast has been shown to contribute enzymes that break down nutrients that beneficial bacteria can better utilize. Interestingly, health-promoting bacteria tend ot thrive in anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions while many harmful bacteria (pathogens) often require oxygen for reproduction and growth. This is important because the most obvious benefit of yeast is their ability to scavenge and deplete oxygen in the digestive tract, fostering an environment for beneficial fiber-digesting bacteria.

Nutritional Analysis (On a Dry Matter Basis) Chaffhaye Alfalfa
Crude Protein 19%-23%
Crude Fat 4.0%-4.8%
Crude Fiber 23%-29%
Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) 65%-68%
Relative Feed Value (RFV) 160-180
Calcium (Ca) 1.2%-1.6%
Phosphorus (P) 0.2%
Copper (Cu), ppm 6-8 ppm
Zinc, ppm 18-22 ppm
Natural Plant Juices (as fed) 50%-55%

For more detailed nutritional information click here.

Beneficial Bacteria

The beneficial bacteria work in three ways to make Chaffhaye a great forage for horses. First, the beneficial bacteria in the Chaffhaye bag essentially perform the same function as the bacteria in the hindquarter of a horse. They break the forage down to a form that can be digested by the horse. This “predigestion” means when the horse eats Chaffhaye, it can utilize more of the nutrition in the stomach and foregut (where digestion is most efficient) with less spilling into the hindgut where digestive problems such a colic can occur. With baled hay and pellets, much of the nutrition passes by the stomach and foregut because the feed is not broken down sufficiently for digestion. This puts a bigger burden on the hindgut. Not only can this cause digestive problems but can also give horses their “hay belly” appearance.

The second task of the beneficial bacteria is to make Chaffhaye a low sugar/starch feed. Since Chaffhaye undergoes a fermentation, the sugars and starches are partially used as a food source by the beneficial bacteria doing the fermentation. The beneficial bacteria take in the sugars and starches as a food source of their own. Chaffhaye is lower in sugars and starches than most commercial feeds which as specifically formulated for horses with metabolic issues.

Thirdly, when the beneficial bacteria reach the end of their life cycle they die. The bodies of these bacteria are a high quality protein that is very digestible by the horse, primarily in the stomach and foregut. With baled hay and pellets, this high quality protein is formed in the foregut where it can not be readily utilized by the horse. It ends up on the ground as manure. With Chaffhaye this high quality protein is present when the horse first eats Chaffhaye and is absorbed in the front end of the digestive system.

Digestibility

How a horse utilizes their feed is just as important as what is in that feed. This is termed the horses “biological response” to feeds. Studies have shown that hay preserved in the same manner as Chaffhaye is significantly more digestible. Digestibility has been shown in increase as follows:

  • Digestibility of Dry Matter: 57%
  • Digestibility of Crude Protein: 144%
  • Digestibility of Fiber: 46%

Feeding your horse is expensive enough. Why pay for nutrition that is going to end up on the ground as manure?

Feeding

Weight of Horse (lbs)

400

800

1000

1500

2000

Daily Chaffhaye Amount (lbs)

6.0

12.0

15.0

22.5

30.0

Recommended Daily Feeding- 1.5 lbs of Chaffhaye per 100 weight of Horse.

When Changing Feed

Chaffhaye is designed to meet the forage portion of your horse’s diet. Depending on such factors as age, breed, workload, available pasture, and whether you are feeding solely Chaffhaye Alfalfa or Chaffhaye along with other forages and grains, an energy and/or vitamin and mineral supplement may be needed. Consult a Chaffhaye representative or your equine nutritionist for further information.

After observing your horse for a period of time on Chaffhaye, you may want to increase or decrease by up to 10% to obtain the desired overall body condition and appearance.

Feed changes should be made gradually over a period of 7 to 14 days. Changes in the rate of feeding should not exceed 2 pounds per day.