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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Hay: Soaking vs. Steaming?

Hi Dr. Getty - love your forum as always!

Has there been any research into the benefits of steaming hay as opposed to soaking it for those horses with repiratory issues? Apparently in the UK it is quite common to steam the hay - they put it in a bin, pour a kettle or two of boiling water over it and cover it.

I've tried it and it seems to be just the ticket for my mare with the breathing issues. I'd rather not have to soak through a long cold winter. Is there any danger to steaming hay?

Where are you from? Canada

Re: Hay: Soaking vs. Steaming?

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for the lovely compliment!!

Steaming involves heat and heat destroys vitamins, so steamed hay will not be as nutritious as hay that is not exposed to heat. Water also destroys vitamins, so soaking also has some detrimental effect. But, cool water is not as damaging as hot water.

However, steaming will make the hay softer (since it is in effect, cooking the hay) and more digestible.

And, as you mentioned, it cuts down on any dust, but I would expect cool water would have the same effect.

Interesting question!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO