The goats are loving the Chaffhaye! I feed 2 lbs per goat in the morning when I put them out in the pasture. They attack the feed bowls and eat almost every bit of it up. A bonus is the goat I am milking has increased her milk production from 1 1/3 quart of milk per day to 1/2 gallon of milk per day. This is great since she normally decreases her milk production this time of year. I have read of others having similar increases in milk production with using Chaffhaye.
FOLLOW UP COMMENTS:
The goats are still loving the Chaffhaye. The milk production has stayed up which is a rare treat for this time of year. Also it's so much easier to take the goats out to their pasture in the morning because they basically run me over to get to the bins of Chaffhaye that I put out there. I don't have to guide them to the pasture anymore, I just open up their stall doors and they run out there by themselves. They used to run all willy-nilly and require an escort to get them to go where I wanted them. Now I put the pans of Chaffhaye down and they run straight out to them. Rose
Chaffhaye is designed to meet the most important part of the diet, that being the forage portion. When feeding primarily Chaffhaye we recommend just a broad spectrum mineral/vitamin supplement.
Can I reduce/eliminate grains and other supplement when feeding Chaffhaye?
In most cases the answer is “Yes”. For the pleasure horse Chaffhaye offers protein, energy and fiber a horse would need. For a horse in heavy work, a bit more energy may be needed. Because of the variability in animals and the work they are required to do, generalizations about feed are hard to make. Just remember to tell customers that they are going to get more nutritional absorption with Chaffhaye so many of the supplements can probably go.
What is the difference between the “dry matter” and “as fed” basis?
Even though this is an easy concept it seems to confuse a lot of people.
Because we make a packaged feed, our state agriculture department requires us to show both the “as fed” and “dry matter” analysis. The “dry matter” basis reflects the nutritional value of the feed assuming all the moisture has been removed. All feeds, including pallets and baled hay have some level of moisture. When feed analyses are presented they are normally reported on the “dry matter” numbers. By taking the moisture variable out, this makes for a common basis for comparing feeds. The “as fed” basis takes into account the moisture content of the feed as it comes out of the bag.
Since moisture does not directly add nutritional value, “as fed” numbers are always less than “dry matter” numbers.
Even though moisture does not directly add nutritional value, in the case of Chaffhaye the moisture allows the fermentation to occur which does add nutritional and digestibility value. The weight of the moisture in Chaffhaye which does not have any direct nutritional value is more than offset by the increase in nutrition provided by the fermentation.
Is the feed value for Chaffhaye higher than dry hay?
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 micro flora and unmatched palatability. For these reasons, a 50# bag of Chaffhaye equates to a nutritional value of 80 to 120 pounds of “Good Quality” hay.
Is Chaffhaye Alfalfa too rich for my horse (animal)?
You will no doubt hear many myths about feeding alfalfa. These myths run from alfalfa makes my horse hot, to alfalfa causes stones, to alfalfa causes kidney stones. Research has proven all these wrong. Simply put, alfalfa is a superior feed and when fed properly is the best feed going for most horses. Nevertheless, old habits die hard. If you would like to become more familiar with the battle over alfalfa there is a lot of information on the internet.
Chaffhaye contains molasses. Is this OK for my horse?
Molasses is added to Chaffhaye for the sole purpose of initiating a beneficial fermentation process in the forage. Applied in an amount of no more than three table spoons per 50 pound bag, its relative percentage vis-à-vis the natural plant sugar is negligible. In fact, all of the added molasses is converted in the fermentation process to beneficial acids. The Chaffhaye process results in our alfalfa product having about 6% residual sugars and our grass product having about 4% residual sugars on a dry matter basis. This is far below conventional hay or pasture. Chaffhaye Alfalfa and Chaffhaye Grass are considered low starch/sugar feeds.
Is Chaffhaye OK for my horse that is prone to Laminitis?
Laminitis (founder) is an inflammation and/or weakening of the connection between the coffin bone and the hoof wall in a horse. This can cause severe pain and even death. Laminitis can be caused by a number of metabolic and physical factors. Simply put high sugar/starch diets contribute to the severity of the condition. Therefore it is recommended that laminitic horses be fed a low sugar/starch feed. Chaffhaye Grass is the perfect feed for these horses. Even though Chaffhaye Alfalfa is lower in sugar/starch than regular baled alfalfa, some vets prefer not to use alfalfa at all. But with the reduced sugar/starch content (thanks to the fermentation) a bit of the Chaffhaye Alfalfa mixed with the Chaffhaye Grass is fine.
I found white patches on my Chaffhaye. What is this?
These patches have the texture and taste of yogurt, and are actually ‘colonies’ of yeast created as a by-product in the beneficial Fermentation process. All bags have the yeast cultures. It’s a random event as to whether they grow large enough to actually be visible. These yeast cultures actually aid in the digestion of certain nutrients and are generally readily eaten by the animal. Some people are concerned that the calcium to phosphorus ratio in alfalfa is high. Studies have shown that yeast increases the phosphorus absorption in horses and better balances this ratio. Most people just mix the yeast spots in with the other Chaffhaye. If for some reason people do not want to feed the yeast spots they can just throw them out. Most yeast spots would cover less than one pound of product and we usually have at least 52 lbs. in each bag. They can throw out the yeast spot and still get their 50 lbs. But they are throwing out a good thing.
Mold can form if the Chaffhaye bag has been torn for some period of time and air and additional moisture has been introduced. Mold will have a brownish-gray look with a bad smell. Smell is actually your best guide.
Yeast has no smell or a very faint sweet smell while mold has a bad smell. There is no oxygen in a sealed bag of Chaffhaye. Mold can not grow without of oxygen. Our experience has shown that even a hole in the bag that has been there for sometime is not a guarantee that the product will go bad. We see bags all the time that have had a tear for over six months and the product is still fine. We certainly don’t recommend feeding a bag with a hole but we feed these to test horses all the time with no problems. Again, if it smells good it is good.
What is the shelf life of Chaffhaye in unopened bag? Once opened?
Unopened in its air-tight package, Chaffhaye will remain preserved and fresh for at least 2 years. This 16 months guarantee has more to do with the bag than the product. Our Chaffhaye bag manufacturer guarantees the bags to hold up two years when stored outside.
Chaffhaye itself, if the bag stays intact, is good almost forever. We have tested Chaffhaye that is over 4 years old. The nutritional value of that 4 year old bag was no different from tests run on new production. Therefore the nutritional value of Chaffhaye does not drop with time. 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 for 7 to 14 days, depending on weather conditions. For this reason, an opened bag should be stored out of the sun and re-closed to prolong freshness.
Will Chaffhaye make my horse "hot" or “jumpy”?
In some situations, “jumpiness” is simply a characteristic of the animal breed. Outside of this scenario, the most frequent cause of “jumpiness” is a high amount of starch and sugar in the diet. In contrast, Chaffhaye’s energy is derived more from its digestible fiber and less from sugars and starches. Therefore, Chaffhaye is not likely to cause sudden spikes of energy. Also being “pre-digested” means the feed is more easily absorbed in the foregut with less spilling over to the hindgut. The better distribution of digestion throughout the system appears to help combat heat and jumpiness.
Will my horse readily eat Chaffhaye?
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 may need help getting started on Chaffhaye. For finicky eaters, we suggest top dressing Chaffhaye with something like apple sauce to get them started. Once you have success-fully introduced Chaffhaye, look out! Your horse won't want anything else.
Can I feed my horse Chaffhaye on a free-choice basis?
Yes. Many horse owners are discovering success in free-choice feeding of Chaffhaye, demonstrating a viable option for many. 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. Horses free-choice fed with Chaffhaye will normally nibble small amounts throughout the day.
Does Chaffhaye reduce the risk of colic in horses?
This is one of the best benefits of Chaffhaye. Animals with access to natural grazing 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. The natural moisture in Chaffhaye appears to significantly lower the risk of impaction and gas colic. Many vets recommend Chaffhaye to horses that have colic problems. We hear many stories from customers about horses with a history of colic having no problems once put on Chaffhaye.
I've heard that moist feeds in general should not be fed to horses because of the possibility of mold or botulism. Is this true?
Any feed, if not properly handled can contain dangerous molds or botulism. Chaffhaye is a type of haylage. If people have seen haylage before they have normally seen it made in large pits, silos or tubes, sometimes 1,000 tons at a time. As you can imagine, with a 1,000 ton batch of haylage it is very difficult to control all the factors needed to produce a quality product through-out the entire batch. With Chaffhaye in a 50 lb. bag, we can control these factors and make a high quality consistent product. The fermentation process drops the pH to below 4.5 and exhausts residual oxygen in the bag. Botulism can not grow when the pH is under 4.5. With no oxygen, molds can not grow. In summary, pH under 4.5 - no botulism. No oxygen means no mold.
The quality of Chaffhaye is directly related to the quality of the Fermentation. We continually test the quality of the fermentation by an independent lab. A quality fermentation is achieved by producing certain quantities of certain acids and having the pH stabilize at acceptable levels. Our lab scores the quality of the fermentation on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the very best. A score of 8 or above is considered “Good to Excellent”. Our samples have never scored less than 8 with almost all scores coming in at above 9. We have even received a couple of perfect 10 scores.
Is Chaffhaye ideal for my Senior/Geriatric Horse?
Chaffhaye is the perfect feed for older horses. The two main causes of body condition losses for older horses are poor teeth and reduced digestive ability. Being soft, Chaffhaye makes it easy for horses with few or no teeth to handle. Secondly and most importantly, Chaffhaye undergoes a sort of "pre-digestion" process in the bag. This "pre-digestion" is very similar to what occurs in the hindgut of the horse. So when your senior horse eats Chaffhaye it will absorb a significantly higher amount of the nutrition. The "pre-digestion" allows the horse to absorb more nutrients in the foregut with less having to spill over to her hindgut. Also Chaffhaye's inherent moisture helps maintain the fluid balance in the digestive system and reduce the chance for impaction. Being a moist feed, there is no need to soak the horse’s feed. This saves nutritional value and mess.