Let’s Talk Chaffhaye

Posted in: Ask A Pro, Featured, Horse Care, Horse Supplies

I’ve been feeding Chaffhaye for almost a year now. Short of a catastrophic event, you’ll never find me without it on the ranch or the road ever again. It’s the HANDIEST forage to take on the road, and is  incredibly good for helping your horse’s digestive processes. Using Chaffhaye, I’ve cleared up ulcers in 3 horses. The horses look amazing on it, and once they learn to eat it — they will run you over to get at it!

I’ve wanted to share all the reasons we choose to use this forage in our program here at the ranch, but I’ve struggled to put it into words; so I went right to the source — the chaffhaye website. All text not in italics is theirs.

What is Chaffhaye?

Chaffhaye is a premium Non-GMO Alfalfa, with yeast, beneficial enzymes and live microorganisms that captures the characteristics of fresh pasture. It is sold in 50-pound bags that capture the key characteristics of alfalfa, while also offering a guaranteed level of nutrition.

Why Feed Chaffhaye to your horses?

  • Fuel your Athlete: Loaded with nutrients & energy to maximize their full potential.
  • No “Hay Belly”: Less intestinal fill means better fitting saddle & better performing athlete
  • Stress Reduction: Natural probiotics maintain an optimal digestive pH, eliminating ailments from stress and hauling
  • Dust & Airborne Mold-spore free Guaranteed! Whether competing at the highest level or pleasure riding, breathing issues should be the last thing on you or your animals mind
  • Convenient Packaging: Compact with No Mess and No Waste. Chaffhaye is perfect for the road.

How an animal’s digestive system utilizes given feed, is termed their biological response. Studies involving horses have shown a significantly higher biological response to fermented products like Chaffhaye. A higher biological response means your horse is getting more nutrients out of their forage. The “pre-digestion” inside the bag allows the horse to absorb more nutrients in the forage with less spillover to the hind-gut.

For horses that have diabetes, cushings, breathing/respiratory issues, or gastrointestinal distress, my choice for them is Chaffhaye. 


The Chaffhaye Difference

The fermentation is of course what makes it unique and different! It changes the properties of alfalfa to make it more beneficial to the animal consuming it.  See for yourself:


Min/Max 1.5% to 2.3%3.3% to 5.2%A subset of WSC that include the sugars that is primarily Carbohydrates digested in the small intestine and gives a true glycemic response in horses

Non-Fiber Carbohydrates (NFC) Min 3.2% to 5.4% 7.1% to 12.0% Consists of starch, fermentation acids and pectin. This is a measure of the energy in feeds
Starch Min/Max 0.85% to 1.9% 1.9% to 4.2% A polysaccharide used by the animal as an energy source
Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) Min/Max 2.5% to 4.0% 5.6% to 9.0% A measure of easily digestible carbohydrates, usually consisting of sugars and starches. In current lab analysis, this component further is broken down into separate analysis for starch, water soluble carbohydrates and ethanol soluble carbohydrates (see below)
Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC) Min/Max 2.3% to 3.5% 5.1% to 7.8% Simple sugars and fructans. Fructans digest in the large intestine of a horse. Excessive amounts can upset the microbial populations leading to colic or laminitis
Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates (ESC)

Furthermore, it’s also incredibly easy to store. It’s good in an unopened bag for 16 months! When I’m on the road I feed it in big muck tubs, to mimic a grazing action. When I’m ready to leave the event, whatever is left in their tubs, I simply dump into one tub,  pack up and take home with me! NO WASTE! I love how portable the bags are — easier to move than bales of hay for sure!


How do you feed Chaffhaye?

It’s easy! Feed it just like regular hay if you’re using it as a complete forage substitute. On the road, that’s how I feed it. That ration, in case you’ve forgotten, is 1.5-2.5 % of your horse’s body weight. But if you’re only going to feed it to help with ulcers or other digestive issues, you shouldn’t feed less than 10 lbs per day to experience all the benefits.

Now that you’ve learned about a new type of forage for your horses, what questions do you have about it?


Posted in: Ask A Pro, Featured, Horse Care, Horse Supplies

About Jenn Zeller

Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...

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