Does Haylage Go Off? - Silvermoor

As haylage is cut earlier, and as it’s wilted rather than dried, haylage has a higher moisture content than hay. This benefits your horse as haylage is highly digestible, and contains no dust spores (If you’d like more information on the benefits of haylage for your horse, check out our February blog here).  Once cut and fermented, it’s tightly wrapped to create an anaerobic environment, the naturally occurring microorganisms naturally in the grass will continue to respire until the oxygen available is used up and then will become dormant creating a stable product. When air becomes available to the microorganisms again (once the pack is opened or pierced) they can wake up and become active resulting in a secondary fermentation which, if given sufficient time, can result in the haylage going off. 

How can you tell?

Haylage should smell deliciously sweet and tasty, but if it starts to smell appealing and/or is hot, then it has gone off. Horses shouldn’t eat haylage once it’s at this point, but they can be very picky eaters, and will usually simply not eat haylage once it’s not the sweet, palatable taste they love. It still pays to be vigilant though. Coloured moulds should NEVER be fed to horses, as these can lead to gastric and respiratory diseases. Sometimes you will see a white deposit on the haylage which rubs away when you touch it, this is a yeast deposit, a natural byproduct and is absolutely fine to feed. Moulds can also produce mycotoxins which may contribute to a host of other disorders too, including reproductive and immunological problems. 

How to keep your haylage fresh

Your wrapped haylage is fine to store, just make sure there are no holes in the packaging and that it’s stored in a cool, dark place.  It is stable and will retain its nutritional value. Due to its robust packaging, Silvermoor Haylage can be stored outside as long as it’s kept out of direct sunlight. 

Once it’s opened it will last between 3-10 days; longer in winter and shorter in summer. You can prolong its viability by storing it correctly and checking before you give it to your horses. 

The choice

There are five different types of haylage to choose from here at Silvermoor, each one is tailored for a specific type of horse. We have something for everyone.

Recreation A ryegrass haylage suitable for all types of horses in all types of work.

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Lite – A low sugar, high fibre ryegrass haylage that is suitable for good doers, laminitics and horses suffering from IR and EMS.

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Timothy – Made from a UK pure timothy grass ley it is high in fibre and low in sugar making it suitable for fussy eaters, good doers, laminitics and IR and EMS sufferers.

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Veteran – A soft ryegrass haylage which has been short chopped to ensure it can be easily chewed by horses and ponies with deteriorating teeth.

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UnicornA low sugar, high fibre cocksfoot and timothy mix haylage that is suitable for good doers, laminitics and weight watchers with appetising minty unicorn haylage to tempt even the fussiest of horses.