Obviously, horses need calcium, but too much can be unhealthy. Certain regions can produce hay easier than others. You are also welcome to check out these other articles that I am attaching that go over the same subject. Some horses can be allergic to Alfalfa and so grass is the better option. This is because they are worked regularly and they need more nutrients/energy to stay healthy with all their exercise. If you have more questions or concerns about what to feed your horse, always consult your vet. Sign up for the lastest news, sales, and clinics! Your location is also a big contributor in this. Our blend of timothy alfalfa hay is easy to digest thanks to the highly digestible nature of timothy and the ulcer buffering property of alfalfa. With higher protein and energy amounts, Alfalfa is an ideal choice for a working ranch horse or performance horse. Horsemen often have to decide if they should purchase the first or second cutting of timothy hay for their horses. There are some factors to consider when choosing the right feed for your horse and we will chat about it today. Closed Tuesdays
There are many different types of hay for horses that are under these two categories. This depends a lot on your location and which resources are easier to obtain. Both options have pro's and con's. The one thing every horse owner has in common is the desire to make our horses as happy as we possibly can. It contains more nutrients than grass hay including protein, calcium, and energy. Timothy is a great everyday hay for adult buns, while alfalfa hay should only be fed as a treat hay because of its high levels of calcium and fat. Sundays 12:00pm-4:00pm
I planted my field in straight alfalfa last fall and the field is looking good so far this year. Something that can also be dangerous is grass has more Carbohydrates which can add to an overweight problem or different health problems. High-alfalfa/low-grain diets have been linked to the formation of enteroliths (“stones”) in the intestinal tract, which can cause colic and may need to be surgically removed. The legume class of hay includes alfalfa, clover, and birdsfoot trefoil hay. Alfalfa vs. Grass Hay - Which is better for my horse? We will explore all the types of hay that are commonly fed to horses. If you have a hard keeper, they may be able to gain weight easier and healthier on Alfalfa. Timothy hay feeding helps to satisfy the urge of the horse to graze and chew when they are restricted to stables for a long time. You can under feed as well as over feed a horse. It is also said that once a horse is on Alfalfa, it reduces the risk of colic. It makes your horse feel full, but it doesn't really add weight to them. It can also be fed to baby buns less than a year old and used to entice even the pickiest little bunny to eat their greens. They eat a high protein diet to stay healthy and give them a nutrition boost. It’s also usually quite expensive!
Alfalfa is also a popular horse hay since it is widely available. Pellets are an excellent way to get calories and protein in a senior horse with missing or broken down teeth. ... “If you had a pile of teff, a pile of timothy, and a pile of alfalfa, the teff tends to have less NSCs—but not always,” she says. Since it’s less nutrient-dense than legume hay, horses have to eat more grass hay to fill their bellies, which makes grass hay a good tool for keeping a stall-bound horse from getting bored. However there are some important cons to consider. If you have a hard keeper or one that just needs some more fat, Alfalfa is more likely to get the job done than grass hay. People not familiar It has 120 percent more energy per unit in weight than oat hay. It contains more nutrients than grass hay including protein, calcium, and energy. If you are torn on the subject, you can always feed a grass/alfalfa mix. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. An ideal hay for easy keepers will be in the higher end of these ranges. It all comes down to what is right for your particular horse. We hope this was helpful and hay, thanks for reading! However, because of its high palatability, intake must be restricted to keep horses from overeating and becoming colicky. It is the preferred forage for horses that are at risk for laminitis and other metabolic maladies, as well as obese horses. Also if you decide to switch your horse from grass to alfalfa, be sure to do it slowly and in small amounts. Timothy hay for horses . Hay hay and more hay. They nibble on small amounts of food throughout the day. It made a huge difference very quickly. As I said earlier, if the ratio is off it can cause an imbalance. Alfalfa has 3 times more calcium … Myth:The high protein in alfalfa causes osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a joint disease of young horses. Sundays 12:00pm - 4:00pm. If you feed a well balanced diet with Alfalfa, it should not make your horse hot. Its low protein, high fiber, and high energy content make it easily digestible. Let's get started! I also chose this option because I am highly allergic to straight alfalfa. Legume hays (alfalfa and clover) contain 12% to 20% protein. Another thing to consider is how many different types of hay are out there and how that particular hay was stored, cut, and processed. The most important thing to remember is what is best for your particular horse. For example, Alfalfa contains 21.2% protein and 11% simple starches. Grass hay is only 10.85% protein and 12.9% simple starches. Again think about your horses age and activity level. It is higher in calcium which can be good and bad. https://www.mvsequine.com/the-hay-wars-the-truth-about-grass-hay-vs-alfalfa-hay/?fbclid=IwAR24wAGpAeOmdpHIae_-SCA6b7kZG8BZyoIIY7yBXiDo_AEozZiER5HUGsU, https://emsvet.com/feeding-grass-vs-alfalfa-hay/, (picture credit: https://lifedatalabs.com/blog/tag/best-hay-for-horses/?fbclid=IwAR0HIMTijrZy3CyNUAB0y-xyjdP4wxqsrrD2nut21p41NQO9QeyqjdudVDU), Mon-Sat 10:00am-6:00pm
Therefore, it takes less hay to meet a horse's nutrient needs when feeding alfalfa hay. I personally go this route because I have performance horses who need the boost and a retired gelding who is a hard keeper. Feeding on Timothy hay can help satisfy your horse's natural urge to chew and graze when they are confined to stalls for long periods of time. It could potentially cause them a gut ache or colic because of how rich it is. Your email address will not be published. Therefore, it takes less hay to meet a horse's nutrient needs when feeding alfalfa hay. A common complaint about Alfalfa is that it makes your horse hot or very energized. Teff Hay for Horses: Pros and Cons. Winter Hours (Nov 1st Through March 1st)
Earlier, I had talked about the percentage of protein in Alfalfa at 21.2%. With having to feed larger amounts, you typically go through grass hay faster than alfalfa and that reflects on the cost. Timothy hay is used most often as cattle and horse feed. Sometimes people feed it in large amounts, like you would grass hay and with all the energy/nutrients, it will make your horse hot. Another downfall to grass hay, is it is just a filler. As we come into spring here's what I have and why I have leftovers. Nervous Horse? Alfalfa is also lower in Carbohydrates which is great for horses with medical conditions such as metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or even laminitis. It is important that they also get other key nutrients from their feed. Timothy is a cool season grass, and many horse owners feed timothy as it’s easy for horses … Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, Fescue. A common discussion within the horse community is grass hay or alfalfa hay? Obviously, horses need calcium, but too much can be unhealthy. If a horse is not used to eating alfalfa, you can cause them to get sick or colic by completely switching them over in one day with a large amount of alfalfa. It is highly digestible and usually contains more digestible nutrients than grass hays, such as timothy and orchardgrass. Id like to hear the pros and cons for each choice. People can have different opinions, but it all comes down to what is the right decision for your horse. Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa's high protein content. Many believe that the nutritional quality of first-cutting timothy hay is inferior to the second cutting. I think the biggest con about grass hay is its lack of nutrients. Made of a 70/30 blend of timothy alfalfa hay, this blend supplies muscles with slow release energy during exercise and competitions. Besides, grass is the correct feed for horses over alfalfa, but some may argue that point. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and the products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or mitigate any disease. Timothy grass is great also, but it’s a cool weather grass and very expensive here. Alfalfa hay is so packed with nutrients that you feed smaller portions to your horse. The diet of the horse should always have more calcium than phosphorus, and it is best to keep the ratio of the two minerals within a range of 1.5-3:1, calcium to phosphorus. If the hay has an NDF above 65% and an ADF above 45% it will provide little nutrient value to your horse. With the larger portion you have to feed, some horses may stand at their feeder all day and gorge themselves which can turn into a bigger problem. Horses need fibre, lots and lots and lots of fibre. Alfalfa hay can also be useful in the diets of horses with insulin resistance. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. Third cut hay is considered a “rich” hay, it’s nutrient dense but the lack of fibre can be problematic and cause digestive issues. Or at least that is my goal in life. Although alfalfa hay is often higher in total energy content than grass hays, most of the energy in alfalfa hay is from digestible protein and fiber, rather than from sugars, starches and fructans. In some places, the climate can make it difficult to grow hay and therefore they have a shortage. Closed Tuesdays