Why is alfalfa bad for horses?
Excess protein, like excess energy has been implicated as a cause of developmental orthopedic disease in growing horses. 3. Alfalfa hay contains too much calcium and/or magnesium a. The high calcium level causes a high calcium:phosphorus ratio which may contribute to developmental orthopedic disease b.
Can you feed a horse just alfalfa?
Good-quality alfalfa hay is appropriate for weanlings, yearlings, and other young horses. Keep in mind that alfalfa usually has more energy per equal weight of a grass or mixed (grass/legume) hay. Therefore, less alfalfa hay may be fed to meet energy requirements. … Excess protein is excreted without harm to the horse.
Does alfalfa make a horse hot?
Alfalfa hay will make a horse hot, or crazy.
Alfalfa provides a significant amount of calories; however, an excess of calories in any form, whether from alfalfa, grain or oil, without the exercise to burn them, can result in an excessively energetic horse.
Can you feed a horse too much hay?
Horses can over-eat on grass, especially if the pasture is lush, but it is also easy to let a horse get too fat eating hay. And, sometimes too little hay can mean a horse will lose weight. … Ponies will require considerably less, while large draft breeds can eat 30 pounds (13.6 kg) a day or more.
How much alfalfa should I feed my horse a day?
Horses can normally eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in hay, which equates to 18-24 lbs. of hay per day. The quality of the hay will determine how much is needed and if supplemental grain should be added. Good alfalfa can be 18-20% protein and 55% TDN or energy.
Can a horse founder on alfalfa hay?
Alfalfa can be an excellent addition to most horses’ diets, even for those that are insulin resistant (IR). … After years of working with horses, it appears that it may, in fact, lead to laminitis in some horses. I found this to be very puzzling since alfalfa is low in sugar and starch, even lower than most grass hays.
When should I cut my horse’s alfalfa?
The optimal compromise for higher forage quality and dry matter yield of alfalfa is to harvest the first cutting at the late-bud to first-flower stage and to make subsequent cuttings at 32-to-35 day intervals until late August or early-September, often referred to as a “4 summer-cut system.”13 мая 2010 г.
Is grass hay or alfalfa better for horses?
Benefits: Legumes are higher in protein and calcium than grass hay, and may also provide more energy and a higher level of total digestible nutrients, such as vitamin A. Alfalfa is very palatable to horses, so they tend to waste less of it compared to grass hay.
Does alfalfa make you gain weight?
The diuretic and laxative effects may be useful in a weight loss plan, but they are generally used to help to increase weight. Alfalfa seeds and sprouts, however, contain the non essential amino acid canavanine, which does interfere with the metabolism.
Is too much alfalfa bad for horses?
Horses provided too much alfalfa often will eat more than they need nutritionally to satisfy their need to fill their gut, which can result in obesity. Switching abruptly from a mature-grass hay to an alfalfa hay diet can, however, cause colic in horses if they aren’t given time to adjust.
Is alfalfa hay good for older horses?
Timothy, high-quality grass hays, and 50% alfalfa mixes make good forage for older horses, Ralston says. Geriatric horses can also become especially hard keepers during the cold months as they use energy to keep warm.
How do you feed alfalfa cubes to horses?
Feed soaked cubes to older horses to maintain their weight.
Soaked alfalfa cubes are easier to eat, and they contain more nutrients than grass hay. Before feeding an older horse, soak the cubes for 10 to 30 minutes, or until they’re soft and soupy.
Should horses have constant access to hay?
Why Constant Access to Hay Is Good for Horses
By feeding your horses frequently during the day, you help their digestive systems work how they should. Constant access to hay means that the stomach and hindgut, the critical organs for digestion, will be occupied to avoid creating problems like ulcers.
How many bales of hay does a horse eat per day?
For example, a 1000 pound horse will eat 15 to 20 pounds of hay daily. That’s the equivalent of roughly one small square bale of 40-60 pounds every few days. The exact number of bales needed for winter feeding will depend on the weight of the bale.