Fact: Grass hays can be high in potassium too. Common grass hay includes orchard grass, timothy and coastal Bermuda, less common are bromegrass and fescue. evidently the grass isnt any good … In this case feed a slurry of complete pelleted feed and/or mashed alfalfa pellets. Hay needs air circulating to keep it healthy. But then I come here, and see folks suggesting alfalfa pellets or cubes for forage, and the like. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in between. Alfalfa is a Source of Quality Protein Protein has historically been thought to be the cause of all evil in horses, but research has shown that this is not the case. Horses will drink more, leading to wetter and smellier stalls. Alfalfa is also affordable in most areas. Instilling good manners is the essential first step. Alfalfa, and clover hay for that matter, are both legumes. Alfalfa buffers stomach acid for up to 6 hours after it is consumed which makes it an ideal horse feed for working horses subject to stomach ulcers. What kind to buy? Depending on the area of the country in which it is grown, oat hay can be low in protein and contain only marginal calcium, phosphorus and carotene." The high calcium also causes hormonal shifts that make it difficult for the horse to rapidly mobilize calcium from bone stores in times of need. While the lower relative nutrition level of grass hay makes it a good filler, it does have relatively more carbohydrates. It has a bitter flavor which helps detoxify the body. Feeding apple cider vinegar will help prevent stone formation if alfalfa is the only hay available. Horses with high energy requirements can eat enough alfalfa to meet both energy and fiber requirements. Hi-Fi Lite combines alfalfa and high-quality soft straw with a light molasses coating. Alfalfa is quite delicious, and horse will readily eat it. You can motivate your horse and keep your fingers intact by following the equine research foundation's positive reinforcement methods. A forage test will tell you. Legume hay is higher in protein and calcium than grass hay is. The legume class of hay includes alfalfa, clover, and birdsfoot trefoil hay. The high calcium content of alfalfa causes an imbalanced calcium/phosphorus ratio if not corrected by other feeds or supplements. Poor quality alfalfa may be used for pellets and any pelleting will destroy much of the whole food value of alfalfa while maintaining the high protein levels. Kentucky Equine Research (KER) recommends feeding at least 1% of a horse’s … To order any of the products mentioned in this post or other  products for you or your horses, please visit my online store. Hay hay and more hay. Alfalfa is a very common choice for horse owners to feed. Due to alfalfa's high protein content, excess protein will be burned as a fuel and the waste is eliminated in the urine as urea, which is convert- ed to ammonia. Poor timing of harvest processes or bad harvesting conditions can render a good hay crop poor or unsafe for horses… Horses and ponies in their natural environment are grazing animals - they spend many hours a day eating grass. A good hay for a nervous horse would be grass hay, NOT alfalfa because alfalfa would get him even more jumpy. Clinical measures of the horses' wellbeing were not affected by consumption of preservative-treated hay, indicating that the hay had no negative effects on the horses. In fact, depending on when they were cut, they could be even higher. If you ask most horses they will tell you that alfalfa is a wonderful horse feed. Myth: The high protein in alfalfa causes osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a joint disease of young horses.Fact: High protein does not cause OCD. High quality ("dairy") alfalfa supplies 20% to 25% more calories per pound than grass hays, although the difference is much smaller for more mature cuts of alfalfa. As Hi-Fi Lite is so low in sugar it is particularly suitable for horses and ponies that require a low sugar ration and those prone to laminitis. It contains more nutrients than grass hay including protein, calcium, and energy. There are many horses who need extra calcium or protein in their diets, and alfalfa is an excellent natural source of those nutrients. Madalyn. It is now also possible to buy alfalfa haylage. Protein, on the other hand, is an inefficient source of energy for horses. Give a horse the opportunity to choose among flakes of all-grass hay, grass-alfalfa mix, and all-alfalfa, chances are he will chow down the alfalfa flake first. The choice between alfalfa and oat hay depends on price per unit of energy or protein and the type of horse being fed. Pellets and cubes should be green, not brown or black on the outside. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. the horses on kalua ranch in Hawaii are fed bags full of those cubes. Commonly fed legume hays are Alfalfa and clover. Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, Fescue. Here's why and what your horse really needs. Low NSC is common in alfalfa since legumes store carbohydrates as starch. Experts in horse nutrition recognize alfalfa as a high protein, mineral rich forage but few look at the energetic properties of this hay for horses. There are many areas of the country where alfalfa is more readily available than grass hays and very reasonably priced. But with this said, I will go on to say that there are situations in which alfalfa hay is very good for horses. "Fact: For reasons that really aren't clear, some horses are more energetic when being fed alfalfa--but it isn't the protein.Myth: Alfalfa causes heaves or allergies.Fact: Alfalfa is no more likely to cause an allergic reaction than any other type of hay. The most productive and popular legume hay is Alfalfa as it is a highly nutritious and a high yield crop. When an alfalfa crop is properly cared for, baled, and stored, the high leaf to stem ratio can provide a very high quality forage product. The roots of the alfalfa plant can reach 100 feet into the ground so it can reach minerals that are absent in shallow soils. The cause isn't entirely clear, but it may be related to alfalfa having more sugar in the form of glucose, and higher starch. Grazing on an alfalfa pasture requires the same precautions as feeding alfalfa hay, plus some additional considerations. I talk about why Alfalfa Hay is good for horses. Molds growing in the bales can cause respiratory tract symptoms, but the same molds can--and do--grow in any type of hay.Myth: Alfalfa cannot be fed to HYPP horses because of the high potassium.Fact: Grass hays can be high in potassium too. Cubed and pelleted alfalfa tends to be very high quality. As are peanuts, and all are members of the pea family. Hay & haylage. There are a few caveats, but the key is balance. However, extra protein is metabolized to ammonia, which must be excreted by the kidneys. This can cause "thumps" or muscular problems in horses working hard, or weakness and muscular problems in mares when they first start to produce milk. Try putting your alfalfa bale on an empty feed bag before you open the bale, and feed the small pieces that fall out in the feed trough or bucket. The Downside Insulin-resistant horses prone to laminitis may be sensitive to alfalfa. Inferior Product 2. and good roughage value.Well-preserved alfalfa hay should be the foundation of a feeding program for young growing horses, recreational horses, and active horses.This publica-tion describes the horse’s digestive system and nutritional needs and how to select alfalfa hay. If you use alfalfa as your sole hay type, just be sure to get advice from a nutrition professional on how to properly balance your feeding program. Madalyn, Holistic Horse Care: How to Deal With the “No Drug” Rules for Horse Shows, Horseman’s Health: Digestive Help for the Holidays, Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter December 2020, Horseman’s Wealth: Don’t Give Up on your Dream. No argument there. Any hay they get would have to be shipped in, so as you can see compressed cubes is alot cheaper and easier to ship. Because of its taste appeal, higher digestibility, and the fact it is easier to chew, it is often a valuable addition to the diet of sick horses or senior horses. Store it with string side on the vertical to … Fact: Alfalfa is no more likely to cause an allergic reaction than any other type of hay. © 2020 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. Alfalfa hay will not meet all of the young horse’s nutrient requirements, however. Horse hay comes in two forms: grass and legumes. When making seasonal adjustments to your horse's diet, you'll need to give his digestive tract time to adapt. Most horses love this leafy, green hay. alfalfa hay, also known as lucerne hay, which is a nutrient-packed legume hay with a high protein content, suitable for poor-doers, youngstock and horses in hard work TOP TIP Legumes are different from grasses in that they contain productive bacteria in … For example, digestive upsets may be an even bigger problem, especially in the spring and fall when wide temperature swings can lead to rapid changes in the composition of the plant. Desperate Seller 4. Adequate mineral levels, in correct proportions, is the key.Myth: Alfalfa's high protein causes kidney problems.Fact: High protein is not harmful to the kidneys. If you choose to feed alfalfa always keep in mind that a little bit goes a long and don’t overfeed it. Hay Stacking. The ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio for a young horse is between 1.5 to 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. I mention that US Davis, a leading Vet School is a fan of Alfalfa so I put a link to their PDF about horse nutrition. Excess dampness in the body creates and environment that supports the growth of molds, yeast and parasites. The major quality issue to be concerned with is overheating during processing, which will damage the protein. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. It isn’t a “perfect” food, but alfalfa can be a good staple in the horse’s diet. Alfalfa may provide too much energy, protein and nutrients for … Not the Perfect Food, but … In summary, while alfalfa isn't a complete, "whole" food for horses, it doesn't have to be avoided either-if you make it a point to balance your horse's diet so he's getting everything he needs in the right amounts. Horse Nutrition: Pros of alfalfa as a horse feed, Contains enzymes which aid in assimilation of protein, fats and carbohydrates, High in calcium, beta carotene, chlorophyll, vitamins and trace minerals, Horse Nutrition: Cons of alfalfa as a horse feed, Excess energy content and mineral imbalance not good for growing horses, Enterolith formation in the intestines of some horses, Overall the pros of alfalfa as a horse feed out weigh the disadvantages but its high nutrient content makes if unsuitable for most non working horses. For example, Alfalfa contains 21.2% protein and 11% simple starches. Tradition holds that timothy hay and oats are the best feeds for horses, and that alfalfa and corn spell disaster. Understanding the kinds of carbohydrates your horse is eating will help you select a right carb diet for him. Fiber is provided by roughage sources such as hay, chaff, pasture, and beet pulp. It is higher in calcium which can be good and bad. Rather, low protein is a risk factor for OCD. For a underweight horse, you should feed it a high-protein hay like alfalfa … Thus, this hay didn’t need soaking for horses with PSSM and laminitis. Although haylage can have a higher nutritional value than hay, if good quality hay is in short supply it is better to feed haylage, and make sure your horse is getting enough forage in their diet, rather than providing a lesser amount of hay. Fresh alfalfa hay is the best to use as a horse feed. To handle this extra demand, the horse will drink more water and make more urine.Myth: Alfalfa's high protein makes a horse "hot. Both grass hays had NSC levels above 12 percent. Alfalfa is not a good feed for growing horses as it will allow them to grow too rapidly and bone development can be affected by the imbalance of calcium and phosphorous. Let's look at the pros and cons of alfalfa, and explore some of the myths. Bran mashes will not protect your horse's digestive health. Pregnant and lactating mares benefit from being fed an alfalfa/Timothy mix- it helps them make milk, and it gives the developing foal the calcium and phosphorous that it needs. But alfalfa also isn’t for every horse—when making a decision about whether to incorporate alfalfa into your feeding program, it’s important … The difference between good hay and poor hay is often in the harvesting. Learn how to control their diet while making sure they get all the nutrition they need. 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