HAYGAIN HG-600 - Half Bale Hay Steamer
I want to love it....
Ditto to "Cloverpatch" review. It does the job but, for the money, should have been so much more user friendly. I have some of the exact same gripes...lid falling on my head when I'm trying to clean it, akward to move around...the "dolly" handle needed to be longer...a auto shut-off when the hay reached ideal temp. The drain-pan that was provided is actually too tall for the space under the steamer so I have to lift the steamer to slide it under. Enough of the negative...there are only two choices out there and I have not been impressed with the customer service with the competitor company. The steamer does kill what ever it is that my mare is allergic to and therefore I am overjoyed that this product was available as my horse cannot eat the local hay unless it is steamed. She can eat hay from dry climates generally with out the steaming. We think she is allergic to a mold or fungus that thrives in a wet climate... Nice to take care of a problem without the use of drugs!!!
December 12, 2012
It comes with a useful hat
I bought this hay steamer in an effort to partially resuscitate the inferior hay we were stuck with last winter. It doesn't make bad hay into good hay, but it does seem to freshen it up a bit. Going into summer, where we can expect months of 100+ degree days, I feel better feeding moist, dust-free hay. I've found that pre-hosing the dry hay after placing it in the chest greatly improves the result. I steam 4 times a day for 3 horses.
The various components are solid, and will probably last a while.
However, if there were an "ease of use" category, I would give the HayGain a giant "FAIL." This apparatus is basically an ice chest hooked up to a Jiffy garment steamer, and the numerous design flaws resulting from this somewhat clumsy retrofitting of an existing product make the using the thing extremely time-consuming, messy, awkward, and dangerous. For example, there's no thermostat, so you have to guestimate the length of time it will take for your hay to reach 212F, and then arrange be on hand to manually shut down the boiler. The chest is awkward to clean, the lid slams down on your head when you least expect it, the steam spikes impale your hands, and because nobody thought much about adding a simple handle, it is a foregone conclusion that you will receive occasional steam burns when opening the lid. It holds, on average, only 4-5 flakes of hay without over-stuffing. You'll need to use it near a drain because it does emit rather a lot of effluent which, incidentally, stains the floor. But the thing that irks me the most is the absurd wooden dipstick. This goofy machine costs $1500! How about a water level indicator window?
The ideal version of a hay steamer would be a one-piece, self-contained unit that could be plumbed to a water line, fitted with a drain hose and a built-in thermostat/timer, and be able to be hosed clean without having to muscle it onto its side and prop it up at an angle to rinse out the gross hay guk. That imaginary machine might actually be worth $1500.
But I have to say, the included Haygain baseball cap has become one of my favorites.
June 21, 2012
Got my mares severe COPD in control
My 10 year old Draftcross mare had been hospitalized for severe breathing problems, on inhalers, scoped, and on multiple medications. All the above only helped for a short time. I had to eliminate all the factors that could cause an other attack. Now since 1/2 a year my mare is on steamed hay, pelleted bedding and Smartpak omega3. She stays inside the barn at night with all her friends in a well ventilated stall that has been rigged to avoid her to cribb. No cough since 3 months! I believe that the HayGain has been a major factor to improve her well being but the solution was to atact the problem from multiple sides. All the other barn horses love to get a snack of steamed hay too:)
February 24, 2012
Worked like promised
The steamer arrived within 3 days of ordering it and took about 3 minutes to set up. I am amazed at how little water it takes and how fresh and clean the hay is once it has steamed. My 20 year old Qhorse has allergies and is just shy of official COPD, and within days his coughing completely stopped. I was not able to achieve this with soaking alone. I do have it set up on a timer so the hay is ready by the time I arrive at the barn to feed.
September 20, 2011