Monday, 25 April 2016

Hay Steamer Review

Last December I finally bought a hay steamer.  I have been soaking hay for a long time.  Fidget needed soaked hay for the last 5+ years because he had Recurrent Airway Obstruction (used to be called COPD).  In the last couple of years Basil has developed some sort of allergy so he has been having soaked hay to reduce the strain on his respiratory system! 

As many of you will know soaking hay in the winter is horrible, it freezes, and that is if you can get any water at all because your pipes have frozen.  I have been looking for a suitable steamer to purchase for a while but they all seemed so expensive, or difficult to access.  Anyway, at Your Horse Live last November I saw this one.  

It has taken some time to get used to and sort a routine but I LOVE IT.  The box is really solid but fairly light too.   It holds 2 well filled haynets, so enough for Basil (16.1hh TB) on a long winter night. There is a temperature gauge which is very useful although the haynet gets hooked on it sometimes which is  a bit annoying.  It has wheels so is easy to move and they have brakes too so you can fix it in place.  

The lid fits well and is designed to reduce the heat and steam lost.  It is light enough to lift if a little big for someone my height .  However, I do manage fine.

Basil absolutely loves the hay once it has been steamed and often eats it in preference to his hard feed.  The haynets are so much lighter than soaked hay so that saves my back and it obviously uses much, much less water too. 

The steamer unit itself seems strong too and the plug lead is good and long.  I think it would be better if the hose which attaches to the box was a bit longer, but I manage fine.  It is easy to see how much water you are putting in and when you have reached the maximum too.

I didn't give it much thought beforehand but (I am sure this is true of all steamers) it takes some time for the steam to fill the box.  This means that it has to be on for almost an hour before the box is up to 85/90 degrees - but at this point you can see the steam escaping from under the lid, so you know it is steaming.  I have to put it on ASAP in the morning so that it has a good 45 minutes steaming before I have to leave.  I think an hour would be better, however, the steamer itself only holds enough water for 2 hours. 

It is recommended to tease the cakes of hay apart a bit before putting the nets in the box so that the steam can penetrate all the hay.

I have found that with the hard water in our area it is best if I descale the steamer itself each week as it seems to stop working when the limescale builds up.  You can do this with vinegar or a bought sachet - the same as you would use in your kettle.  I make sure to rinse it out several times so that there is no effect on the taste of the hay!

I also have to tip the box up and empty the water out each week as some accumulates in the bottom of the box.  There are carefully placed holes to help with this!

Although there are a couple of little things which I have mentioned that could be improved, on the whole I am really pleased with my steamer and would definitely recommend it.  It is not the cheapest on the market but is definitely not the most expensive either.

This is the company I got my steamer from   I am not sure why it is not on the website but give them a call.

This post is NOT sponsored.

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Until next time!

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