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Thread: Hay Steamer

  1. #1
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    Hay Steamer

    Two of the ten horses in the barn need steamed hay for breathing / allergy reasons. Steamed hay makes the whole barn smell great, you can imagine how much better it is for beasts with giant noses. Probably like waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee and only getting oat cakes and water.

    Anyway, not my problem. Here's the steamer I built this week.

    Hay Steamer2.jpg Hay Steamer1.jpg

    It'll steam half a bale in an hour, which is enough for the two of them for a day.

    That's a Wagner wallpaper steamer and a 1 hour timer.

    After use in cold weather the kettle has to be emptied.

    The small light indicates power is on the kettle.

    Today I stapled the armored cable in place, shortened the hose, posted instructions, made a drain hole in the chest and marked the pointer on the timer. Tomorrow I will tidy up the cord with a couple of tie wraps and add a step to the shelf to better hold the kettle in the drained position.
    Last edited by Tom Bender; 01-18-2022 at 7:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wow! I sure needed you when I still had horses. I had one that needed wet hay for the dust control, but hers went into a clean muck tub with water. It was a messy process, and cold in the winter!

  3. #3
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    Interesting, never knew that and I watch Dr. Pol pretty regularly.

  4. #4
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    I grew up around walking horses and rodeo, and I can’t say I’ve heard of this. Very interesting.

  5. #5
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    So is this the horse version of steamed vegetables? Interesting though never heard of it either.

  6. #6
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    They were coughing and we couldn't teach them to cough into their elbows. I couldn't even find their elbows.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Two of the ten horses in the barn need steamed hay for breathing / allergy reasons. Ö
    for the two of them for a day.
    Tom, do you know if stream would soften compressed alfalfa cubes?

    Two new horses currently are on a diet that includes beet pulp and alfalfa cubes to supplement the normal mixed grass hay. I currently carry a bucket of hot water to the barn twice a day and soak the feed for about 20 minutes till soft (to prevent choking). The last bag of cubes I got are compressed so tight I have to first crush them one at a time with a heavy hammer or they would take even longer to soften.

    Iíve never heard of a hay steamer but if it would do the job it might make those feedings quicker.

    JKJ

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Tom, do you know if stream would soften compressed alfalfa cubes?

    Two new horses currently are on a diet that includes beet pulp and alfalfa cubes to supplement the normal mixed grass hay. I currently carry a bucket of hot water to the barn twice a day and soak the feed for about 20 minutes till soft (to prevent choking). The last bag of cubes I got are compressed so tight I have to first crush them one at a time with a heavy hammer or they would take even longer to soften.

    I’ve never heard of a hay steamer but if it would do the job it might make those feedings quicker.

    JKJ
    John, I bet there wouldn't be enough moisture to do the job, but it may be worth a try. We have a mare that we give the cubes to, they can be a pain for sure. We soak ours in water, they turn to a sloppy mess but she sure likes them.
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  9. #9
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    Tom,
    On the internet hay steamers go for big bucks!!
    My daughter has horses and is in know of such things.
    She sent me this link -- if it will work.
    https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ha...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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  10. #10
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    I miss living on the farm. We didn’t have hay steamers. We had stock tank heaters and in winter expected the critters to sniff the warm vapors prior to dinner. I agree it would make the barn smell great. I loved a hayloft full of fresh baled Timothy and Alfalfa. It smelled like tea.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  11. #11
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    I like the on indicator night light. I do not trust those timers for critical applications, heaters especially. A fire at the Mid Missouri Mandolin Company was caused by one of those timers on an electric wood bending apparatus. I think the steamer has a high temp safety shutoff. I miss the Horses too. The farm is all Sheep now.

  12. #12
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    John
    Agree with Jeff, not enough moisture. In 40 minutes half a bale kinda loosely stuffed into hay nets gets warm and moist thru and thru. About a quart of water condenses in the hay and a quart goes on the floor.

    You could take a few cubes into the kitchen and steam it like broccoli for a test but that would be much more than a hay steamer does.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Volden View Post
    Tom,
    On the internet hay steamers go for big bucks!!
    My daughter has horses and is in know of such things.
    She sent me this link -- if it will work.
    https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ha...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
    The ones from HayGain seem to be the only ones available. They are sold by Smartpak and others. The smaller model equal to ours costs over $1,700 and has a 12 week delivery. It is not freeze proof, but then it's from England so...

    The internet provided several DIY examples which went as far as 'here's how I built it' but not how well it worked. And none dealt with the freezing problem. We have addressed freezing with the barn staff and so far they have drained it after use, but time will tell. The kettle has an uneven bottom making an automatic drain difficult and I don't want to add a 24/7 heater to a hay barn.

    The night light is good and I provided spare bulbs but it may still get run dry which should trip the safety. A replacement Kettle is only $60.

    Total cost was less than $200 and took a few hours to develop and build. It did require adding a dedicated 15 amp circuit. Instructions are posted.
    Last edited by Tom Bender; 01-20-2022 at 8:04 PM.

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