Frequently Asked Questions about Feetfirst Hay
Why would I feed low sugar and starch hay?
Reducing sugar and starch intake is considered good practice in the management of horses and ponies at risk or already suffering from laminitis due to overweight, PPID, EMS or Insulin resistance. Horses suffering from gastric ulcers are also recommended to reduce their starch intake.
Horses and ponies need to eat 1.5 to 2% of body weight of forage per day (DM basis) to stay healthy. For example, A 350 kg pony will need to eat 7kg forage per day. If the forage averages 12% sugar then this pony will consume 840g of sugar per day, which is equivalent to 2.4g/kg of bodyweight. If the forage contains only 5% sugar, then consumption drops to an equivalent 1g/kg of bodyweight – quite a difference.
What is different about Feetfirst Hay?
Every aspect of its production is focussed on making top quality horse hay with low sugar (ESC) and starch. We have sacrificed yield to obtain the right quality and nutritional value. We constantly review the effects of soil management and haymaking techniques on the quality of our hay.
We have invested in our own haymaking machinery so that we can cut and bale at the best time and we do as much of the work ourselves as possible so that we remain in control of the whole process.
We make several batches of hay each year and we identify every batch with a unique lot number. We sample each lot according to best scientific practice and submit every lot for full, independent nutritional and mineral analysis. Only the lots that are less than 10% combined sugar and starch, are sold under the Feetfirst brand. The full analyses are provided on request to our customers so that they can choose the lot most suitable for their requirements.
Our customers are free to choose from any of the available lots and the lot number is recorded on every invoice so that customers can order the same lot again or make a different selection, as needed.
How will it help me manage laminitis and PPID, EMS or Insulin Resistance?
The nutritional value of forage is important because horses and ponies need to eat significant quantities for health and welfare benefits. Knowing the nutritional value of the forage will help you manage your horse’s energy intake to control weight and manage behaviour and performance.
Importantly, for animals at risk of laminitis, feeding Feetfirst Hay can make their management easier by providing a consistent supply of quality, low sugar forage. It takes the variability out of the hay component of the daily diet and provides a stable baseline from which grazing, weight, laminitis, PPID and metabolic disorders such as EMS and IR can be managed.
It is a more reliable, scientific and systematic approach than feeding randomly selected or untested hay which may still be too high in sugar, even after soaking.
What is special about the grasses in Feetfirst Hay?
We reviewed the scientific evidence and selected the grasses that would give us the best chance of making consistently low sugar hay that is palatable to horses and ponies. These grasses are the only ones used in our customised grass mix. We do not use any ryegrass or clover in our unique mix.
Do you use sprays?
Not routinely. We manage our grassland to reduce the need for herbicides.
Do you use inorganic fertiliser?
We do use inorganic fertilisers but are very conscious of the need to tailor their use to meet the needs of horses and ponies.
Can I feed it to all my horses and ponies?
Yes. Feetfirst Hay is high quality horse hay and has been successfully fed to horses and ponies in full work, not just those with health issues and special dietary requirements.
Knowing the nutritional analysis allows you to select your preferred hay lot to balance energy requirements with your horse’s workload.
Where can I buy it?
It is only available from College Farm, Inglesham, Swindon, Wiltshire SN6 7QU
Do you deliver?
Yes, we can deliver locally up to 20 miles journey from SN6 7QU. We have a dedicated box van trailer to protect your hay from bad weather during transport.
Delivery charges are calculated for the journey starting from SN6 7QU. Minimum load sizes apply. We can deliver a maximum 50 bales per load.
Standard Delivery Charge (assumes good access and help from you with unloading and stacking) :
£0.90 per mile plus VAT for journeys up to 20 miles from SN6 7QU.
Minimum delivery charge is £10 plus VAT per journey.
Standard Load Sizes:
Up to 10 miles journey, minimum load size 10 bales, maximum 50 bales
11 – 20 miles journey, minimum load size 25 bales, maximum 50 bales.
feetfirsthay™ is exclusively produced by College Farm, Inglesham, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 7QU. For more information contact Hilary Snow on 07802 270844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.feetfirsthay.com