Brace yourselves! Winter is coming, and that means starting to feed to compensate for colder weather and weight maintenance. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been planning on starting him on a small amount of alfalfa pellets to supplement his grass/hay forage with some more calcium and protein. I just wanted something that I could feed him as a goody with his supplements and a sprinkle of grain, even though he’ll live off of hay.
However, the grass is still going strong and it’s not terribly cold yet, so I haven’t started him on anything yet. I went to the feed store in search of a bot egg knife (which are really hard to find this time of year, apparently) and got pulled aside by the Chaffhaye region rep for a promo.
As a horsey person, I’m always interested to hear about new feeds and theories of equine nutrition, so I listened to her spiel. Essentially, Chaffhaye is a “premium-quality alfalfa forage,” chopped, lightly misted with molasses and squished into a compressed bag for freshness.
The interesting part about the Chaffhaye is that when it’s packaged, a fermentation process starts, “transforming the alfalfa into a super-soluble forage.” Basically, the yeast enzymes and microorganisms unlock the nutrition into a form more usable to the horse. It’s a built in probiotic, arming the horse’s gut with “good” bacteria to help them digest food more easily.
This feed has a lot going for it. It’s probiotic, compact, easy to store, dust-free, blister beetle free, and probably leaves less waste than a crumbly alfalfa flake would.
The rep had a feed pan full of the decompressed product and let me run my hands through it. It was light, fluffy, and moist, like some kind of finely ground mulch. When you look closely, you can see a white powder, which is the yeast culture. The first whiff smells like normal alfalfa, then a the stronger smell comes on. I guess I shouldn’t have expected a daisy-fresh smell from fermented alfalfa forage.
She kindly gave me a small sample package of Chaffhaye and I was really excited about it, but when I offered it to Shiloh (a moderately picky eater), he couldn’t stand it. I mixed a tiny handful of it in with his other familiar supplements and he wouldn’t even try to eat around it! Maybe the smell was a turnoff? He has no beef with regular alfalfa pellets.
So I gave it to a friend, whose horse practically inhaled it. I wish Shiloh would have liked it, because it seems like a cool idea.
Has anyone else tried this stuff? What did your horsies think about it?