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Q: How much is in a bag of Chaffhaye?
A: Chaffhaye Alfalfa is offered in 50 and 5 pound bags. A 50# Bag of Chaffhaye Alfalfa will feed an average 1100 pound pleasure horse for 3 days. For smaller animals, such as foals, goats or llamas, feed about 2 to 3 pounds of Chaffhaye Alfalfa for every hundred weight of animal. For smaller animals, we also offer Chaffhaye Alfalfa in 5-pound bags. These smaller sizes are great for animals such as minis, rabbits, chickens or small goat herds.
Q: Is the feed value for Chaffhaye higher than dry hay?
A: Yes. Chaffhaye’s feed value arises from a number of key factors, including its superior harvesting and packaging method; improved digestibility due to beneficial enzymes, yeast and microflora; and unmatched palatability. In the process of conventional hay making, a pasture is first cut and then typically left to dry on the field for several days after harvest. (The farmer then prays it doesn’t rain during this critical drying period, lest the crop be lost). As the forage dries in the open air environment, it undergoes a respiration process that consumes and depletes its nutrients. Then, when nutrient losses from storage and transport are added, even “good quality” hay can easily lose 30% of its nutrient value. The nutrient losses are exacerbated in the event of rain, mold, and leaf loss, to name but a few. By contrast, the harvest of Chaffhaye is closely timed to the optimal plant maturity. Then, within hours of cutting, it is chopped and compressed into air-tight packaging. Without oxygen in the bag, a beneficial fermentation is initiated , preserving more than 90% of the nutritional value of the crop.
Q: I have a horse that is prone to founder. Is Chaffhaye OK to feed?
A: Horses that are prone to founder must reduce their starch and sugars. 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 in essence, take in the sugars and starches as a food source and turn them into a high-quality protein. Chaffhaye Alfalfa is lower in sugars and starches than most commercial feeds which are specifically formulated for horses prone to founder. Further, the fermentation “predigest” the feed so more of the nutrients (including the sugars and starch) are digested in the foregut. This means less spill over into the hindgut where founder problems generally start. So Chaffhaye is a great forage for horses with sugar and starch issues.
Q: Is Chaffhaye too expensive?
A: Absolutely not. Chaffhaye is nearly twice as nutritious as “good quality” hay, and therefore, the amount of grain and expensive supplements can be significantly reduced. Chaffhaye is conveniently compressed down 2:1, leading to reduced storage and transportation cost. Chaffhaye addresses common ailments that horses and other animals suffer, including digestive disorders such as colic and impactions, respiratory ailments due to air-borne dust and mold spores and other immune system disorders. Chaffhaye is particularly cost effective when offered to finicky eaters such as certain horses and goats that often sort out delicious leaves from the stems. With Chaffhaye, even finicky eaters will eat 100% of this soft-textured forage, substantially reducing wasted feed. For these reasons, we consider it far too costly not to use Chaffhaye in place of dried hay.
Q: Chaffhaye contains molasses. Is this OK for my horse?
A: Molasses is added to Chaffhaye for the sole purpose of providing a readily available food source for the beneficial bacteria that ferment the forage. Therefore, the molasses is a “pre-biotic” for the bacteria. Applied in an amount of no more than three tablespoons per 50-pound bag, its relative percentage vis-a-vis the natural plant sugar is negligible. In fact, nearly all of the supplemented molasses is converted by the fermentation process into beneficial acids that preserve the forage quality. The Chaffhaye process results in a forage product with less than 5% residual sugars, far below conventional hays or growing pasture. So the net benefit to your horse is increased palatability and intake of high-quality forage leading to greater digestion and assimilation of its nutrients. Chaffhaye is perfect for overweightt, insulin-resistant or laminitic horses who must watch their sugar intake.
Q: What is the shelf life of Chaffhaye in unopened bag? Once opened?
A: Unopened in it’s air-tight package, Chaffhaye will remain preserved and fresh for at least 16 months. The nutritional value of Chaffhaye does not decrease with time. We have tested 5 year old bags of Chaffhaye that are no different nutritionally to a recent bag. Once opened, Chaffhaye acts like any fresh product. By opening the bag, the forage becomes exposed to oxygen and begins to lose its freshness. As a guide, Chaffhaye will remain fresh 7 to 14 days after opening, depending on weather conditions. For this reason, an opened bag should be stored out of the sun with the top rolled down and fastened to prolong freshness. If for some reason Chaffhaye does spoil you and your horse will certainly know. It will have a very bad, rotten smell.
Q: Alfalfa seems high in protein. Is Chaffhaye Alfalfa OK for my horse?
A: Chaffhaye Alfalfa is a high-fiber forage and excellent source of protein. As fed from the bag, it contains 9% protein. The higher digestibility of Chaffhaye makes it especially ideal for young or growing animals, gestating mares, lactating mares, senior horses, working horses, and as well as show and performance animals. Properly fed, the protein levels in Chaffhaye Alfalfa are not a concern for the even the pleasure horse. Chaffhaye Alfalfa offers a better than average level of digestible and a high level of Total Digestible Nutrition (TDN). A typical maintenance horse of say 1,100 pounds requires a minimum of 656 grams of crude protein each day. At our recommended level of feeding, the horse would receive about 900 grams of crude protein. This would be enough without overloading.
Q: Will Chaffhaye make my horse “hot” or “jumpy”?
A: In some situations, “jumpiness” is simply a characteristic of the animal breed. Outside this scenario, the most frequent cause of “jumpiness” is a high amount of starch and sugar in the diet. As discussed earlier, starchy grains pass straight from the small intestine into the fermentation vat of the hindgut, creating digestive disturbances and abnormal behaviors. In contrast, Chaffhaye’s energy is derived from its digestible fiber, fat and protein. Therefore, Chaffhaye is not likely to cause sudden spikes of energy. In addition, Chaffhaye’s fermentation “pre-digests” the forage in the bag and therefore lowers the amount of sugars and starches. This is why Chaffhaye is often used as a buffer against incidence of starch overload and for preventing horses from getting “hot” or “high.”
Q: Will my horse readily eat Chaffhaye?
A: In feeding our own horses and livestock and from speaking with thousands of horse owners over the years, we have found that most horses will go to Chaffhaye immediately. Because it is their basic nature to be suspicious of any new feed, some horses might need assistance getting started on Chaffhaye. For finicky eaters, we suggest top dressing Chaffhaye with something like apple sauce to get them started. Any change of feed, including
Q: Can I feed my horse Chaffhaye on a free choice basis?
A: Yes. Many horse owners are discovering success in free-choicing feeding of Chaffhaye, demonstrating a viable option for many. Many horses have been raised on dry hay and processed feeds with little exposure to natural grazing on pasture. As a result, many horses have developed poor eating patterns, such as gorging massive quantities of forage in a few single sittings. Our experience has been that most horses on a free-choice feeding program will eat more than is necessary during the first few weeks of introduction. Once accustomed to Chaffhaye, their eating habits typically drop back to a more reasonable level.
Q: Does Chaffhaye reduce the risk of colic in horses?
A: This one of the best benefits of Chaffhaye. Animals with access to green pasture consume forage that is naturally high in moisture and plant juice. However, most horses today have little opportunity to experience natural grazing. As a result, studies estimate that 11% of all horses suffer from colic each year. To address this issue, Chaffhaye provides a moderate level of natural plant juice, as well as beneficial plant sap, resin, gums, pectin and mucilages. Freshly preserved, Chaffhaye is also prized for its high fiber digestibility as well as its rich source of indigestible fiber that keeps the peristaltic motion of the horse’s digestion moving at the proper rate. This significantly lowers the risk of impaction and gas colic.