NUVEQ Hay Steamer Q&A: Everything you need to know
What makes NUVEQ stand apart from other hay steamers?
Some of the key features of the NUVEQ steamer include:
An even faster steaming system
No risk of overheating as the boiler turns off when it is done steaming
Huge 35kg capacity (NUVEQ Summit)
No need to descale
Sturdy robust shell, no risk of cracking
Cleaned quickly and easily
How do you set up the NUVEQ Hay Steamer?
You can see how quick and easy it is to set up the NUVEQ Hay Steamer in a 2-minute video by clicking here.
What are the benefits of feeding steamed hay?
Feeding steamed hay to your horse can offer several benefits, especially when compared to feeding dry or dusty hay. Steaming hay involves using a specialized machine to add moisture and heat to the forage, which can help improve the quality and safety of the feed. Here are some of the advantages of feeding steamed hay to horses:
Improved Hydration: Steaming hay adds moisture to the forage, making it more palatable and encouraging horses to drink more water. This can help prevent dehydration, particularly in horses that may be reluctant to drink enough.
Reduced Dust and Mould: Steaming hay helps eliminate dust and mould spores that can be present in dry hay. This is beneficial for horses with respiratory issues, such as heaves or allergies, as it reduces the risk of triggering respiratory problems.
Enhanced Digestibility: Steaming hay can make it more digestible by breaking down some of the complex sugars and starches in the forage. This can be especially helpful for horses with sensitive digestive systems.
Increased Nutrient Retention: The steaming process helps preserve the nutritional content of the hay better than soaking, which can lead to nutrient loss. This ensures your horse gets more of the essential nutrients from the forage.
Better Palatability: Steamed hay is often more palatable to horses due to its improved taste and smell, which can be beneficial for picky eaters or horses recovering from illnesses.
Reduced Wastage: Horses are less likely to waste steamed hay because it is more appealing to them. This can lead to cost savings and less clean up in the stable
Weight Management: For horses that need to watch their weight, steamed hay can be a good option because it has fewer simple sugars and may help reduce the risk of obesity.
It's important to note that the benefits of steamed hay can vary depending on the specific needs and health of your horse. While it can be a valuable feeding option for many equines, consult with your veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine if steamed hay is suitable for your individual horse's diet and requirements. Additionally, make sure you use a reliable steaming machine, such as a NUVEQ, and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the best results.
Does steaming affect the nutrients of the hay?
Steaming hay can affect the nutrient content to some extent, but the impact is generally minimal compared to other methods like soaking or long-term storage. Here's how steaming hay can affect the nutrient content:
Preservation of Nutrients: Steaming is a gentler method of adding moisture to hay compared to soaking. When you soak hay, some of the water-soluble nutrients, such as certain vitamins and minerals, can leach into the soaking water and be lost. Steaming helps preserve these nutrients better because it doesn't involve prolonged exposure to water.
Improved Digestibility: Steamed hay can have improved digestibility for some horses due to the breakdown of complex sugars and starches. This can be particularly beneficial for horses with digestive issues.
Reduction in Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC): Steaming can reduce the content of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in hay, making it a safer choice for horses with conditions like laminitis or insulin resistance, which require a low-NSC diet.
Amino Acid Profile: Steaming is less likely to alter the amino acid profile of hay compared to soaking, so the protein content remains more stable.
However, it's important to note that steaming hay does introduce some minimal nutrient loss due to the heat involved in the process. The extent of nutrient loss can vary depending on factors like the duration of steaming and the specific steaming equipment used. Still, the overall loss is generally small compared to the benefits of reducing dust and mould and improving digestibility.
For horses with specific dietary requirements or health conditions, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine the best feeding approach. They can assess your horse's needs and recommend the most suitable hay preparation method, whether it's steaming, soaking, or other specialized feeds.
For a deeper dive into how steaming affects the NCS content in hay, click here.
How long does it take to steam a full load of hay?
A full machine will usually take 1hr -1.5hrs. But the length of time will vary depending on how much hay you are steaming, and also the outside temperature.
Do I need to run the steamer on a timer?
There is no need to use a timer with our hay stemmers as the boiler will automatically turn off when all of the water is used. This eliminates the risk of the boiler burning out.
How big are the NUVEQ Hay steamers?
The Nuveq Expert stemmers are 109cm high, 95cm wide and 94cm deep, accommodating 18-20kg of hay.
The Nuveq Summit Hay steamers are 98cm high, 160cm wide and 94cm deep accommodating 30-35kg of hay.
What size steamer do I need?
If you have 1 or 2 horses, the Nuveq Expert would be a convenient option. If you have more than 2 horses, you may need to do more than one cycle of steamed hay using the Nuveq Expert. Therefore, if you want to steam more hay in one round of steaming, then the Nuveq Summit may be a better option.
Is steaming hay better than soaking it?
The choice between steaming and soaking hay for horses depends on specific circumstances and the needs of the horse. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and what's better can vary based on factors like the horse's health, dietary requirements, and the available resources. Here's a comparison of steaming and soaking hay:
Preserve Nutrients: Steaming is gentler on hay and helps preserve its nutritional content, as it doesn't involve prolonged exposure to water.
Kills Mold and Bacteria: Steaming effectively eliminates mould spores, bacteria, and dust in the hay, reducing the risk of respiratory issues.
Reduced Wastage: Horses tend to find steamed hay more palatable, leading to less wastage.
Maintains Hydration: The added moisture in steamed hay can encourage horses to drink more water, promoting hydration.
Requires Equipment: You need a specialized hay steamer, which can be an upfront cost.
Affordable: Soaking hay is a low-cost option and doesn't require specialised equipment.
Reduces NSC Content: Soaking can effectively reduce non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in hay, making it safer for horses with metabolic issues.
Softens Hay: Soaking can make hay easier to chew, which can be beneficial for horses with dental problems.
Nutrient Leaching: Soaking can cause some loss of water-soluble nutrients and minerals.
Mould and Bacteria Growth: If not done properly, soaking can promote mould and bacteria growth.
Toxic By-product: The water left after soaking hay, often referred to as "soak water," is considered to be highly polluted – similar to that of rivers upstream of sewage – so it must be disposed of responsibly.
Inconvenient: Soaking can be messy and time-consuming, and it may not be ideal for those with limited access to water sources or in cold weather.
In summary, both steaming and soaking hay have their merits, and the choice should be based on your horse's specific needs and your resources. If your horse has respiratory issues, steaming may be a better option, while soaking can be suitable for horses with metabolic concerns. It's important to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine the best approach for your individual horse's diet and health.
Does steaming hay effectively remove mould?
Yes, steaming hay using the NUVEQ hay steamers can effectively remove up to 99% of the mould spores, dust and other respiratory irritants present in hay. Horses can be extremely sensitive to particles such as dust trapped in hay or bedding, mould can be a significant concern in horse feed because it can lead to health problems, including respiratory issues and digestive upsets. Therefore, feeding steamed hay to minimise this irritation can be extremely beneficial to their respiratory health.
Will feeding steamed hay improve the health of my horse?
Some horses are particularly sensitive to things like dust and mould and present very obvious signs of respiratory irritation. However, even if your horse does not present with obvious signs of irritation, such as coughing, there are many ways that steamed hay can benefit the health of your horse.
Here are some of the reasons why you should feed steamed hay:
Kills Mould Spores: The high temperature generated during the steaming process is effective at killing mould spores. As the steam penetrates the hay, it can eliminate many of the molds and their spores present in the forage.
Reduced Dust: Many mould spores are associated with dust particles in hay. Steaming not only kills mould but also reduces dust in the hay. This can help prevent respiratory issues in horses, particularly those with conditions like heaves or allergies.
Improves Hay Quality: Steaming can enhance the overall quality of the hay by making it more palatable and less contaminated with mould. Horses tend to prefer steamed hay due to its improved taste and smell, which can reduce wastage and encourage them to eat more.
Mould Prevention: Steaming hay can help prevent the growth of new mould and fungal spores in the hay, especially when it's used in conjunction with proper storage practices.
It's important to note that while steaming can effectively address mould issues, it may not eliminate all mould spores, especially if the hay was severely contaminated before steaming. Therefore, starting with high-quality, mould-free hay and then using steaming as a preventive measure is often the most effective approach.
If you have concerns about mould in your horse's hay, consult with your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist for guidance on the best practices for hay selection, storage, and feeding.
Do I need to descale the NUVEQ hay steamer?
No, the water drawing pipe has a filter on, this filter does need to be washed from time to time.
Once steamed, how long before you feed the hay?
As soon as you like.
Do steamers use a lot of electricity?
Some steamers do, however the NUVEQ steamer draws water continuously at small amounts, so it doesn’t use as much electricity as other brands.
How much does it cost to steam a full load of hay?
This depends on the rate agreed with the electricity supplier, however, an average would be about £1.
What type of power source do I need?
A standard domestic 13amp socket is all you need. As with any portable electric device, avoid using extension leads. If in doubt consult a qualified electrician.
What are the wearing parts?
There are no parts that wear significantly, although all parts are available should they need to be replaced. The filter does need to be kept clean, and a short video below shows you how this is done.
How much water will I need to use?
The amount of water needed will depend on how much hay you are steaming and the outside temperature. The colder the outside temperature, and the more hay there is inside the steamer, the more water you will need to use. There is an easy-to-follow picture illustration on the water can that will tell you how much water you will need.
How does the middle of the hay get steamed?
To test whether the hay inside a NUVEQ hay steamer gets steamed evenly, thermometer probes were put all over the bale of hay inside the steamer, including right into the middle. Results from this have shown that the hay is steamed evenly throughout the whole bale.
This can be achieved because there a steam jets at both the top and the bottom of the steamer, meaning that the bale has a 360-degree steaming steam, ensuring that there are no cold spots when steaming the hay.
Is the hay heavy to lift after it's steamed?
No, unlike when you soaked hay, steamed hay is not fully saturated with water, so it will not feel too much heavier than dry hay. Steaming hay uses minimal water and there is also a drainage built into the NUVEQ hay steamer where any excess water can escape into a drainage tray.
How long will steamed hay be good for?
While there isn't a specific expiration date for steamed hay as there are several factors that will affect its shelf-life, including the quality of the hay before it was steamed, it is recommended to consume it within a reasonable timeframe to ensure it remains fresh and free from contamination. As a general guideline, we would recommend feeding the steamed hay within 24-48hrs.
How long is the warranty?
Alongside the statutory warranty, you are entitled to a manufacturer's guarantee lasting 24 months from the delivery date of the NUVEQ hay steamers. This warranty encompasses both the repair and exchange of the NUVEQ hay steamer, or its components as needed. The essential spare parts and labour are incorporated within this guarantee.