FAQ's

Why do you use molded plastic as a container?

Light Weight

You can move the hay chamber around if required.  In a busy barn, space can be a challenge and being able to move with minimal effort is not only needed, it is required.

Highly Durable

With nearly 6 years experience with hay steamers in the field, we know it lasts.  We have had ZERO maintenance issues with hay steamer chests.

Why cannít I just make my own?

Effectiveness

Putting the right variables together takes a lot of thought.  Each choice of chamber, hardware, hose and energizer puts another element of failure potential into the mix. 

Time

it can take a long time to figure out what you are doing wrong.  This is why we have kits for the Do-It-Yourselver attitude of horse people.  Although it is not as user friendly as the commercial units, you get from Point A to B in 5 minutes.

I like the idea of a drain hole.  Do you have a drain hole in your units?

No, we don't use or encourage the use of drainage holes.  In the early models, years ago we did incorporate drainage holes; however, hay chaff clogs the drain hole and impedes water discharge.  Its messy and time consuming.  Hay Horse Hay Steamers are designed for far easier and faster clean-out after the steaming process.  Simply its more user friendly not to have a drain plug.

What about pressure treated lumber as a box?

Although pressure treated is thought be eternally durable, the effects of the elements on pressure treated are no different than with ordinary wood.  So a preservative is a must which means continued maintenance.   Pressure treated are extremely corrosive to steel and aluminum which means any hardware elements used in making a steamer chest will corrode.  Copper will never stop corroding the sacrificial zinc. Itís always a one-way death.  Believe me, we looked at it and concluded, okay in the short-term but for the medium to long-term, a disaster.  If you ever had or have a pressure treated deck on your house, you will notice how deck screws corrode over a short period of time.

A certain amount of preservative will leach to the surface of the wood over time.  Steaming hay uses water to treat the dusty hay.  Its only a matter of time until you get the corrosion factor to destroy your hay steamer.  Another reason to use Molded Plastic container Ė its safe and it lasts!  Proven over 6 years.

And lastly, it's heavy!  A chamber made of pressure treated lumber weighs over 3 times weight of molded plastic.  We think 30kg. is enough weight to move around.

To sum up molded plastic hay steamers are proven to be durable, light weight and safe to use.

How much does it cost to operate a steamer?

The cost varies according to your electric service provider.  The Traveller and StableMate units steam generators are 1500kWh.    All  Canada generators have a maximum kWh of 1500 at 110 volts.  1kW=1000 watts of power.  These numbers will allow you to calculate the usage based on your power providers unit rate.

How much water should I add to the steam generator?

This would depend on the amount of hay you are steaming.  If you are steaming to the maximum capacity, a full boiler of water would be necessary.  Reduce the amount of water by the reduced quantity of hay for a smaller load.  By using just enough water to steam the required amount of hay, you will reduce the steam time and lower the operating cost.

How long do I need to steam the hay for?

An average steam time is about 35 to 40 minutes per hay chamber on the Stable Mate and Traveller, from when the boiler is at full steam. Times for the Professional will depend on the amount of hay you are going to steam at a time. The time it takes to steam depends on the quality of the hay and how compressed it is. If you are using slabs of hay from a bale it will obviously take longer than hay pulled apart and broken up. You may need to experiment during the first few sessions to set the time to suit your hay.

What happens if I forget to switch the unit off and it runs dry?

The units all have built in automatic thermal power cut outs, as well as a built in timer on the new deluxe models, so the steamer will switch itself off automatically should it be inadvertently left running. It should be noted that the thermal switch will re-connect when the boiler temperature falls. Prolonged usage of this will result in damage to the boiler and we recommend that for the models without built in timers you purchase a suitable timer to plug the unit into. Any timer used should be rated at 10amp or 3 kW.

How long before my horse can eat the hay?

You can feed straight away after steaming, unless your horse prefers his hay cold. To your horse, itís similar to as if you were eating a bowl of soup. You start from the outer edge of the bowl as this is the coolest part, which also then gives the center of the soup more time to cool down. The hay on the outside cools very quickly and will not burn or scald the horse and we have found that horses actually prefer warm hay over wet, cold hay.

How do I store steamed hay?

In general you should not need to store hay for long periods, it is always better to prepare the hay fresh. You can setup your steamer with a timer so that the hay is prepared in advance and ready to use. For example if you do not have much time in the mornings, you can set your steamer on a timer in order for it to start steaming at a pre-determined time before you are due arrive at the stable. This way the hay is already steamed and waiting to be fed to your horse. If you should need to store steamed hay you can leave it in the steam chamber or bag. All hay prepared should be used the same day and checked that it has not dried out in hot conditions.

What type of timer would you recommend?

We have timers that we have tested and they work great and are really inexpensive but well available.  We will make recommendation in the process.

General recommendations

  1. Always read the instructions
  2. Only use clean tap water or demineralized water.
  3. Always make sure the unit is used on flat, even ground.
  4. Make sure the unit is connected to  a grounded power point.
  5. Clean the hay chamber out regularly, to ensure that the steam circulates freely.
  6. Do not cover the boiler unit or restrict any of the safety features.
  7. Do not attempt to use a damaged unit.
  8. Keep children and animals away - STEAM IS HOT. It can scald and burn. 


IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT ANY ASPECT OF USING THE HAY STEAMER, PLEASE CONTACT US FOR ADVICE