Calliope Wholesale Hay & Feeds
Hay in a Bale & Hay in a Bag



by Laurie McNally

The process of fermenting foods has been used in many societies and cultures for 5000 years.  Foods are fermented to improve flavor, texture and overall palatability but mostly used to preserve and retard the growth of dangerous microorganisms, and to naturally enrich the nutritional content. We know fermentation brings these values to human food and the same process can be applied to horse feeds, which is essentially what Chaffhaye is; Fermented green fresh cuts of alfalfa and grass that is organically grown.
Chaffhaye is fresh prime quality alfalfa or grass forage. The plant is harvested at its nutritional tender best, and dried to only about 50% moisture. This proper moisture level is met just before the feed is chopped and misted with a small amount of molasses and two forms of live beneficial bacteria. (Known in the horse world as probiotics.) These three ingredients start and complete, the fermentation process to the fresh chopped plant material when sealed in an airtight vacuum package, a specially designed plastic for the “fermentation process” to occur right in the bag. Because the feed is sealed within four hours of being harvested, it is always pristine and sterile when you open the bag; it is just like opening a fresh nutritious salad of delicious greenery for your horse.

The fermentation that occurs in Chaffhaye is very similar to the natural digestive process that takes place in the hindgut of a horse. The hindgut is a huge fermentation tank that through a remarkable process can breakdown cellulose and convert it to a significant amount of the energy that a horse needs, especially when working, exercising, or competing.

It is estimated that half of the organic carbon on earth is cellulose yet no animal can digest it directly; it takes the process of fermentation to make the energy of cellulose available. Fermentation either in the Chaffhaye bag, or in the horses’ hindgut produces a vast and varied number of microorganisms that breakdown the cellulose and other non- soluble carbohydrates to a useable form. The end result of fermentation of feeds is that that fatty acids and vitamins, especially the B complex, with amino acids are easily available to the horse for its energy needs and life requirements, with little waste passed through to the colon for disposal.

Horses fed Chaffhaye can absorb almost twice as much of the nutrients over dry and manufactured feeds because of the fermentation.  Horses fed Chaffhaye will produce about half the manure when compared to horses fed traditional rations. The manure from Chaffhaye fed horses has very little intact plant matter because of the more complete digestion and use of the nutrients in the horses’ body.

Digestion in a horse starts in the stomach, and then moves to the small intestines and finally to the hindgut. The stomach and small intestines are the only area where significant absorption of amino acids the proteins and simple sugars occur. The foregut is very efficient in absorbing nutrition, but because the food moves through relatively quickly, significant nutrition is missed from dry or processed feeds. Chaffhaye is fermented and pre-digested providing more protein and vitamins with needed “life energy” and easier to be extracted in the foregut with less being lost through the hindgut and passed as waste.

What is even better from the horses’ point of view is that Chaffhaye is very palatable, and most go immediately to eating and enjoying the delicious smell, and ease to chew consistency.  A recent study of horses who are fed fermented forage reveled that horse eat over longer periods of time, and enjoy the slower feeding and continue to “graze” in a more natural way when the feed is preserved in this method, when measured against horses fed dry baled feed.

Animal nutritionists and veterinarians for many reasons have recommended Chaffhaye: as a superior source of roughage, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. It enhances appetite in sick and horses under treatment or in recovery. Good quality nutrition also naturally enhances the auto immune system, aiding in the body’s defense against environmental stresses and disease.
Chaffhaye is an all-natural solution to many equine problems than can be addressed with fermented nutrition. A large part of its worry free status with owners, is the added bacteria’s that are the pro-biotics needed to stimulate and maintain the healthy micro flora in a horses digestive system. The by-product of the bacteria added before fermentation is live yeast, appearing in the bag. Yeast is a very healthy and beneficial addition to a horse’s diet, and one that owners cannot find in most feeds, only in expensive supplements.

Commonly horses with sensitivity to sugars and starches, and issues such as laminitis, obesity, insulin resistance, or other problems like dust allergies, gum and teeth issues, tying-up, impaction or gastric colic, lack of water intake, dry coat and skin, and summer fly infestations, respond with excellent reports in 30 days of being converted to Chaffhaye.

Horses naturally foraging, choose to eat tender and moist plants that are nutritious full of fresh flavors and nutrients that are not difficult to digest. Domestic horses often do not have the option to choose the best tasting tender sweet plant tops, and they are offered dried baled stored dusty grasses and plants that are hard to eat and also hard to digest; which causes many problems for our equine friends.
Clean fresh food, with clean fresh water, are any horse owners’ insurance policy for keeping and enjoying a healthy horse. Most Chaffhaye fed horses are referred to as “easy keepers” with no more feeding issues.

Can you say this about your hay?…..  
“I can haul it in my car on the back seat with no mess, Carry the bags under one arm, stack it, feed it easily, no longer buy extra supplements, and saved $1200 this year, and I never have to buy another rain hay tarp!!!” Bill Bridges, owner - 5 horses and Chaffhaye convert, over one year.

(760) 774-4212

Proudly serving all of Southern California, including the counties and areas of: Santa Barbara, Ventura, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Inland Empire, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial.