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.
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed