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HAYGAIN HG-600 - Half Bale Hay Steamer

Item #19760
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Why We Love This

When hay is steamed with the HAYGAIN steamer process, the mold spores are killed and the dust is significantly reduced. Additionally, the hay becomes softer and more palatable for the horse. There are many types of horses that may benefit from these effects. For example, horses with airway problems such as inflammatory airway disease (IAD) or recurrent airway obstruction (RAO or heaves), older horses with decreased appetites or poor dentition, hard keepers, active and traveling sport horses and race horses, horses with allergies, and those kept in stalls for long periods of time. These types of horses benefit from either the reduction of dust, killed mold spores, increased palatability or (more likely) a combination of these factors.

The patented design of the steam manifold (metal plate with spikes at the bottom of the steam chest, ensures introduction of steam to the bale in the most effective manner. The spikes of the manifold penetrate the bale and distribute steam, enabling it to diffuse outwards from the center of the bale. The container is fully insulated (double wall) and efficiently sealed, ensuring the critically necessary temperatures are maintained. As the moisture content within the hay increases, the temperature rises exponentially due to the increased efficiency of condensed steam acting as a heat conductor. In addition, the design of the steam manifold plate will act as a hot plate to further amplify the heating process of the bale. The temperature of the hay reaches over 212 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee that the mold spores are killed and irrespirable.

Helpful Hints for Use in Winter

  • When not in use, keep the steam boiler inside in a warm place (such as a heated tack room). After use, allow to cool, then disconnect the hose from steam chest and drain hose.
  • When first using in extremely cold temperatures keep the hose connected to the steamer and disconnect the hose from the chest and turn on the steamer separately to ensure the black steam hose is clear and free of any ice that could build up in the line. If there is no steam emitted from the hose within 15 to 20 minutes, the hose is not clear. Immediately turn the unit off and allow it to cool down for 5 minutes. Immerse the steam hose in hot water and squeeze it to clear frozen water. Try again to see if steam is emitted from the hose.
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    HAYGAIN HG-600 - Half Bale Hay Steamer is rated 4.4444 out of 5 by 9.
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Works as specified despite major flaws. I purchased this through Smartpak about two months ago, and held off putting up a review until I really had time to use it and get to know the machine.The first thing I will say is that this item drop ships from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer doesn't pay for an upgraded freight truck, so you're going to have to lift the 300 pound piece of equipment off the truck yourself, have a forklift on site, or convince the shipper to bring a properly equipped truck.Now for the flaws in the actual item:1. No Automatic Shut Off, No Timer: Install a wall timer switch with a qualified electrician. The steamer is just that: a steam generator plugged into a specially outfitted cooler. There is no ability to select the length of the cycle. If you turn the machine on, and do not turn it off, or forget to turn it off, or tell someone else to turn it off and they forget, it will keep running. It will NOT automatically shut off when it runs out of water. In theory I suppose it could ignite. Install a wall timer switch, set the length of time you desire, and use it that way. Safety first.2. No GFIC: The half bale model will take out a GFIC in about three weeks. Ours is on a separate circuit with a timer switch and no GFIC.3. Drainage: The drain pan is approximately the size of a Lunchables container. The instructions very clearly say to pour a gallon of water over the hay before steaming. The drain pain doesn't contain even one third of this water, so you see the problem. Make sure this is in an area where you don't mind the floor being VERY wet.4. Cleaning: There is really no provision for cleaning this thing. The drain hole is the size of a quarter. In order to clean it, you have to tip it over and wash it out. If you do NOT wash it out, the little bits of hay will get under the steamer prongs and actually rot. Even when you do wash it out its going to smell like a pond. And while you're at it, wash underneath it, because it gets pretty swampy down there too.5. The Lid: Has no handles, and doesn't stay up. If you don't wear the gloves, you will burn yourself. If you reach into the machine, it will close on you. If you lean over, it will hit you in the head. Let me repeat this: Without the gloves you will BE BURNED. Also, let it sit for a while before you open it.That said, and I realize this looks an awful lot like a few other reviews, it really is the only option on the market. It does indeed steam the hay, better if you wet it more before the cycle. We run a cycle of 60 minutes. I have three horses, and we run one cycle at around 11 am for Lunch / Dinner hay and one cycle at around 6 pm for Night / Breakfast hay. They eat at 7, 12:30, 5 and 9. You can easily fit six flakes of hay in there. If you're judicious about packing you can fit nine. You can run a longer cycle (and you will if you forget its on) or a shorter cycle (but not effectively since it takes approximately 20 minutes before the generator begins making steam). If you plan your horses mealtimes well this is a workable machine. If you own your own facility and can have a wall switch installed this is an even more workable machine.If the manufacturer had consulted basically anyone prior to developing this product, it would be really a lot more user friendly. That said, it does indeed operate to specifications, and my gelding has coughed three times in two months since getting the machine, so it is reducing dust and mold in the hay. Also it smells more palatable, although we don't have any picky eaters.Finally, this thing is way over priced. Its basically a steam generator plugged in using some compression hose fittings to a rolling airtight cooler. If you're handy and have some time to plan it out I imagine you could make your own, with a kickstand for the lid, a handle, and a larger drain hole, and maybe even an automatic shut off.
    Date published: 2015-05-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice hay steamer Highly recommend to anyone with senior horses or somewhat dusty hay. I do however wish the drip pan was better.
    Date published: 2015-03-02
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Lifesaving Alternative to Soaking Hay I bought this steamer about 3 months ago after researching various options for either soaking or steaming hay and am thankful I did since we are experiencing the worst winter in recent memory. The steamer is what it promises to be: in less than an hour it steams to a consistent temperature and makes the hay more palatable for even the horses without respiratory issues. What I don't like is that the very heavy lid will not stay in the open position and if you move the chest, it falls with force. It has crushed my finger and knocked my head until I learned to close it before inserting the drip pan or other jarring activities. The drip pan is useless. It is much too small for the gallon of water recommended for top dressing so I replaced it with an old saute pan. The device also will freeze in cold temps, so you have to guard against this. If the gaskets or hose freeze, the steamer will overheat and shut off. I've resorted to using it in my garage and disconnecting everything at night when extremely cold. I like the wheels and handle for easily moving it about. I have also heard that the steam vents sometimes become clogged with debris, so it is advisable to keep the chest cleaned out. Not always easy in cold temps! Based on the lack of viable alternatives, it is a great help and am glad I bought it. I hope that it will last because there was a suspicious lack of a company guarantee. It is very expensive for something that you would think would be much cheaper to manufacture and distribute.
    Date published: 2015-02-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The horses love it! I've had the steamer for several months, now. It was purchased because of an ill horse. Steaming his hay was recommended by our veterinarian. We now feed steamed hay to all 3 of our horses they enjoy their hay more, since we began steaming. This product is easy to use and seems to be of high quality construction. Buying it through Smartpak saved us a lot on shipping!
    Date published: 2014-08-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Works! Hay Gain has helped us manage a horse with allergies. Since we have put it into use in Dec 2013, we're off medications. The steamer is easy to use and maintain. The steamed hay is a hit with the horses who get it. Never any wasted hay!Our horses eat timothy hay which is notorious for anyone with hay fever. An added benefit, the timothy that comes out of the steamer doesn't trigger my hay fever! Who knew.... Would highly recommend it.
    Date published: 2014-03-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from 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!!!
    Date published: 2012-12-13
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from 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.
    Date published: 2012-06-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from 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:)
    Date published: 2012-02-24
    • 2015-05-25T09:55CST
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