Re: Steaming hay verses water soaking

Trisha DePietro

Hi Sandy. To answer your question about feeding all "wet" food...Dry hay is only dry until the pony chews it and its mixed with saliva and swallowed. Through out the entire GI tract, gastric secretions  are added to the food...whether it is wet or dry food...the body does not change its processing of feed.  Fresh grass has a very high water content.  So, that is not "dry" either. He will absorb water from the GI tract via the body's mechanisms. He will supplement if he is thirsty. 

If you are interested in estimating how much water he is actually ingesting in his wet feeds, you can weigh the food dry and then measure it again after being soaked. the difference will be your water weight. ( if you are soaking in a hay net, it will absorb water too, so you need to subtract off the wet hay net weight). Once you get your weight differences you can convert that into gallons...I use 1.5 Gallons of water to wet my ponies feed 2 times a she ingests 3 gallons of water just from her food. And she has 3 gallons hanging in her stall. Sometimes, she drinks more than other times. Her manure is not dry and has a nice moist sheen to it. I feed salt too. Once I weighed everything, I felt better about how much she was already ingesting. 
Trisha DePietro
Aug 2018
Primary Responder

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