Veterinary Record 168:618 doi:10.1136/vr.d157
  • Research
  • Paper

Effects of soaking on the water-soluble carbohydrate and crude protein content of hay

  1. P. A. Harris, MA, PhD, DipECVCN, VetMB, MRCVS3
  1. Equine and Livestock Nutrition Services, Pantafallen fach, Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales, SY25 6NG
  2. MARS Horse Care UK, Old Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, MK12 5PZ
  3. WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire, LE14 4RT
  1. E-mail for correspondence elns.longland{at}

The aim of this study was to determine the amounts of water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC), WSC constituents and protein leached from a range of UK hays soaked according to common practice. Initial hay WSC content ranged from 123 to 230 g/kg dry matter (DM). Soaking the hays for up to 16 hours in water at a mean temperature of 8°C resulted in a mean loss of 27 per cent (range 6 to 54 per cent) of hay WSC. The mean percentage losses of WSC constituents were 24 per cent (range 14 to 31) for fructan, 41 per cent (range 21 to 70) for fructose, 45 per cent (range 28 to 100) for sucrose and 56 per cent (range 29 to 100) for glucose. The mean crude protein content of the initial hays was 58.7 g/kg DM (range 30 to 86 g/kg DM) and this value was not affected significantly by soaking. Despite a mean WSC loss of 27 per cent, the WSC contents of seven of the hays remained above the suggested upper limit for laminitic animals of 100 g/kg DM.


  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

Responses to this article

Sign up for job alerts

Vet Record Careers features a comprehensive database of vet jobs.
Browse for your next job, or set personalised job alerts so you hear about vacancies as soon as they go online.
Find out more at Vet Record Careers

Free Sample Issue

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of the Veterinary Record.
View free sample issue >>

Navigate This Article