Haylage

We have been making haylage for sale to horse owners here on the Highclere Estate for over 20 years and take great pride in the quality and consistency of what we make.

We cut over 200 acres of grass leys a year and have built up our business through word of mouth. Our customers include polo yards, livery yards, eventing yards, racing yards as well customers who keep hunters, ponies and riding horses.

Cutting

Weather permitting, the haylage is cut in the first week of June because this is when the grass has headed and the all-important fibre/protein content is at its optimum ratio. Unlike hay, it is not dried out in the sun for several days but is baled when the moisture content is still relatively high. Next, the haylage is baled and wrapped in several layers of polythene in the fields. The polythene excludes all air from the bale and allows a mild fermentation to take place which preserves the bale with no waste.

The bales are then carefully removed and stored and delivered, as the customers require, over the following 12 months. Unlike hay, it can be stored outside which is a major advantage for many yards and horse owners.

Benefits

The benefits of feeding haylage is that it is moist without the dust or spores found in hay and, therefore, is excellent for horses with dust allergies or equine respiratory problems. It has higher digestibility than hay and, therefore, you may need less supplementary feed. Haylage has good vitamin content compared to hay as it has not been “baked out” by the sun. The moisture within the sealed bales preserves the haylage, which can retain 90% of the feed value of fresh grass. The stems tend to be unbroken. There is no leaf loss because it is cut early in the year. It smells sweet and horses tend to find it very palatable.

Haylage is, therefore, much closer to the horse’s natural diet of grass, both in texture and nutritional value. Haylage is economical for customers throughout the year. We deliver to our local customers (charges depend on distance and quantity).

There are 3 types of Haylage to choose from:

1st Cut Ryegrass
Perennial Italian ryegrass, 2 year ley. Suitable for competition horses.

2nd Cut Ryegrass
Suitable for competition and riding horses.

Meadow Haylage
From permanent pasture. Suitable for many types of horse and pony.

Typical Analysis of Ryegrass Haylage:

Product Protein %age Dry Matter %age Energy/KG Non-digestable fibre %age
1st Cut Ryegrass 9-12 65-75 9-11 58-65
2nd Cut Ryegrass 6-9 60-75 6-10 60-65
Meadow Haylage 5-7 55-70 5-8 55-60

 

Highclere haylage is sold in cuboid bales which we will stack for you when they are delivered. They are 70cm x 80cm x 120cm. When you open the bales, the haylage is packed together into slices for you to pull out to feed your horses in fields or stables.

The haylage is tightly packed in the bales and so is very dense. Once opened the bale should keep for up to 7 days.

Hay

The Highclere Estate makes good quality hay every year but the quantity for sale depends on the weather.

We give first offer to our regular customers. Please do enquire if you are interested.

1st cut seeds hay Italian and Tetraploid Ryegrass 1st year ley. Small bales approx 40 per tonne. Meadow Hay bales are approx 4 per tonne from permanent pasture.