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Polo Forage
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photo of cut grass before baling

photo of a horse having a "haylage break"


What is Haylage?

Haylage is grass, cut just like hay but, instead of being allowed to dry out completely, it is baled when the moisture content is still relatively high. Dust and spores are retained along with the moisture and will not become airborne when the bale is opened.

The bales are immediately wrapped in multiple layers of polythene to exclude all air from the bale and allow a mild fermentation to take place to preserve the bale with no waste. Our production of haylage is entirely natural and we do not use any artificial preservatives.

The haylage is then left for 10 to 14 weeks when each batch will be laboratory analysed to check not only the nutritional levels but also for moulds and spores. Assuming that the results meet our high standards, the haylage is then ready for feeding.

Why Feed Haylage?

Horses need adequate fibre in their diet to keep their large intestine working properly and, traditionally, in the winter period, this has been supplied by hay. Good quality hay does provide the fibre the horse requires but does have some drawbacks. Apart from the possible difficulty of actually sourcing the hay, the main problem results from dust and mould spores present in the hay. Estimates of the proportion of horses suffering from respiratory difficulties vary considerably; but if your horse is coughing there is a high chance that they have a problem and are likely to be having an allergic reaction.

To overcome the problem, hay is often soaked in the hope that the dust and spores will stick to the plant stems and be swallowed rather than inhaled. As anybody who has had to do this will tell you, soaking hay is a time-consuming and messy task. Soaking hay also reducing considerably the nutritional value and the waste water is a pollutant similar to sewage.

Advantages of haylage versus hay

  • Haylage is dust free - healthier and no need to soak
  • Haylage bales are denser - less storage space required
  • Haylage bales are wrapped in polythene - so can be stored outside
  • Haylage is more palatable than hay - more enjoyable for the horse and less wastage
  • Haylage has a higher nutritional value - hard feed can be reduced
  • Haylage is a more natural feed and more easily digested - horses prefer wetter forages (many horses dip their own hay) many fussy eaters will prefer haylage
  • Haylage is more cost-effective

Contact details:

The Haylage Company
Polo Forage
PO Box 47
Abbots Langley

Telephone: 07836 514 435 or 07831 454 166

Email: guybrook@btinternet.com

Email: guy@poloforage.com