STANDLEE PREMIUM WESTERN FORAGE® CUBES AND PELLETS VS. DEHYDRATED HAY PRODUCT
Dr. Tania Cubitt and Dr. Stephen Duren, Performance Horse Nutrition and Standlee Premium Western Forage® Nutritional Consultants
Dehydrated hay is a recent product in-market that claims to absorb over five times its weight in water. A national feed provider markets the dehydrated hay as an easy means of hydrating traveling horses due to the portability and the absorptive capacity of the product. Six Standlee Premium Western Forage® products were tested against the dehydration hay product and evaluated on several factors. These factors included: (1) volume of water absorbed, (2) time of absorption, (3) cost, (4) initial moisture content and (5) palatability.
The dehydration hay product held true to its’ claims of absorptive capacity. That being said, it was determined that though the dehydrated hay product absorbed more water more quickly, Standlee Premium Western Forage® products have more initial moisture, are cheaper, and are a more palatable option than the dehydrated hay product.
The following chart illustrates the results based on the factors tested:
*Note on Cost per lb.- All product pricing derived from retail/in-store at D&B Supply in Idaho.
A feeding trial was completed with five horses. All five horses were given a choice between the dehydrated hay product and Standlee Premium Western Forage® Alfalfa/Timothy Cubes, which are similar in composition to the dehydrated hay product. Of the five horses, three preferred Standlee and two showed no interest in either option. None of the horses showed a preference to the dehydrated hay product.
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The dehydration hay product was able to absorb over five times its weight in water and it was able to do so relatively quickly. However, Standlee Premium Western Forage® products remain a greatly viable alternative to the dehydration hay product. All six Standlee products were able to absorb water while starting out with higher moisture contents. Furthermore, Standlee Premium Western Forage® proved to be a more palatable option, while averaging less than a third of the price of the dehydrated hay product.