alfalfa hay for horses uk

Grasses you’re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass and are long and stemmy. Lexington, KY 40546-0091 Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content. Dean “When alfalfa was first brought to the eastern part of the U.S. in the 1700s from Europe, it didn’t survive well—partly because of wetter soils and lower pH,” says Smith. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. This is a mold that causes black blotches on the undersides of the leaves of legumes, including alfalfa. 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. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. Horses fed to appetite consumed 17 to 25% more cubed alfalfa than long-stem hay. This hay is perfect for young or lactating animals that need concentrated nutrition. Ideal for older horses with poor dentition or those recovering from surgery; View ... With alfalfa, 'super fibres', and oil for improved stamina and recovery. It, Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease, Some horses with unpigmented skin should not eat alfalfa because they could be prone to, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Choosing the right hay for proper balance can be challenging, however. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Weed, mold and beetle free. “The first (and sometimes second) cutting of alfalfa almost never contains blister beetles because it is generally cut and baled ahead of when the adult beetles emerge.”. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out.”. When purchasing hay, examine a few bales to see if the alfalfa has blooms. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline. Alfalfa is also a popular horse hay since it is widely available. Thus, after a short conditioning period, horses will consume acid-treated hay. Premium feed for livestock and horses. Forage for horses can be divided into two categories—grasses and legumes. Alfalfa is a high protein forage, so it makes an excellent supplement for horses that are protein deficient or for horses that have higher protein requirements such as senior horses or pregnant or lactating mares. 2-twine bales in 21 bale bundles. “Owners just need to manage the diet carefully … and make transitions to and from alfalfa slowly.”, N212 Ag Science Building NorthLexington, KY 40546859-257-2226equine@uky.edu, Nancy Cox, Ph.D. “This is especially true with foals, since they are smaller and spend more time lying down. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). “Many horse owners buy bales of alfalfa and bales of grass hay and feed several flakes of grass hay and one flake of alfalfa” as needed, says Krista Lea, MS, forage extension specialist and research analyst at UK. “Ammonia in stalls can irritate airways and make horses susceptible to respiratory problems,” says Duren. “Extra protein cannot be stored in the body like extra fat or carbohydrates and must be excreted,” says Duren. A study conducted at Cornell University showed that when given a choice, horses preferred untreated alfalfa to alfalfa that was treated with a mixture of propionic and acetic acid. Digital Media Library, “It can also be beneficial to horses with muscle problems that are prone to ­tying-up (due to their increased protein needs) or horses with, She says alfalfa is ideal for horses on high planes of nutrition, such as, “With growing horses, however, use caution in amount fed, simply so they don’t grow too quickly or get too big too fast and become at risk for, Alfalfa is also suitable for horses prone to, While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. When incorporating alfalfa into a horse’s diet, plan for the animal’s specific nutritional needs. So feed overweight horses or easy keepers just as you would the sugar- or carb-sensitive ones—offer them a mature grass hay with lower caloric content over a rich legume. As both the grasses and alfalfa have been high temperature dried, this is a very ‘clean’ forage source making it especially beneficial for performance horses or … Forage legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, are members of the pea family and, so, are cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans. And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions. Can be fed from the bucket or ground. You might offer performance horses alfalfa an hour or two before work or competition, during which acid can splash up into the nonglandular part of the stomach (where the cells of the lining do not produce protective mucus). Early farmers discovered its nutritional benefits, especially for hard-working horses, says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension -specialist at the University of Kentucky (UK), in Lexington. Protein is essential for both the growth and repair of muscles, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood. Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. They are also great forage for horses that have, or are prone to laminitis as alfalfa is naturally low in sugar and starch. Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa's high protein content. Alfalfa and/or alfalfa grass hay is palatable and is often a hay of preference for horses. Philanthropy & Alumni Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. These horses are affected by hyperkalemia, or an excessive amount of potassium in the blood, which causes their muscles to contract more readily than normal and makes them susceptible to sporadic episodes of muscle tremors or paralysis. Some horses with unpigmented skin should not eat alfalfa because they could be prone to photosensitization caused by black blotch disease, says Martinson. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out. Departments & Units   /   Horses are designed to eat forage and quality forage is the basis for the feeding programs of all classes of horse. Also aim for a good leaf-to-stem ratio (most of the nutrients are in the leaves; the stems are more fibrous). She says alfalfa is ideal for horses on high planes of nutrition, such as lactating broodmares, growing horses, thin horses, racehorses, performance horses, or young foals that aren’t getting enough milk. If your horse doesn’t need the high nutrition value of pure alfalfa, look for a mixed grass/alfalfa hay. High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Key Features. Your feed salesman, veterinarian, and nutritionist can help you put together a balanced ration and recommend for or against feeding this forage. The succulent taste stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. Grown in the Great Basin mountains at 4200 feet. “I have three horses with three different nutrient requirements, so if I have different kinds of hay I can mix them appropriately for each horse—to get the right balance for what they need,” she says. “We see this practice more in the East where a lot of marginal grass hay is fed.”, The three-striped blister beetle is one species attracted to alfalfa blossoms. Alfalfa is a good source of nutrients for sport horses, but owners might want to avoid offering it when horses are working hard in hot weather, says Duren. However, when one considers hay as that basic forage, what criteria are used to describe quality horse hay? She is getting no grain, and she has never developed laminitis, inflammation of the soft connective tissues within the foot that can result from a variety … See Full Listing. Horses that are fed alfalfa cubes tend to eat all the cubes provided, whereas horses fed long-stem alfalfa hay will sort through the hay and not eat all the hay offered. “A lot of horse owners are intimidated by alfalfa and think they shouldn’t feed it, but it is a great feed for horses,” says Martinson. “Alfalfa producers who market hay for horses are aware of the issue of blister beetles,” he says. Hay pellets. In other areas, it is a delicacy of sorts, shipped in from different regions and bought a bale at a time on a vet’s recommendation to help certain horses that need nutritional support. lfalfa is often the pre- ferred forage for horses because of its high quality, high digestibility, 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. High levels of calcium, on the other hand, can interfere with the horse’s ability to mobilize bones’ calcium stores during exercise. To determine the nutrient content of any hay, have it tested. Whatever your alfalfa experience, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about this forage, starting with a little bit of history, and clear up any confusion about it. In table 1, there is a comparison between a mid bloom alfalfa and a mid bloom timothy hay. “The beetles will be very concentrated; if you find one or two you will usually find many.” He adds that 99% of bloomed hay won’t have beetles in it. By contrast, when settlers brought alfalfa west in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush to grow livestock feed, it did quite well. Sensitive to potassium, but you have to test it to find out taken the. Idaho where we have been growing our own high quality with NSC levels of 20 % or higher the of. Be excreted, ” says Duren and its associated issues conditioning period, horses with impaired kidneys liver! Rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay and... High quality fenced pastures are one of the nutrients are in the leaves ; the stems are and. Natural to horses large amounts since it is alfalfa hay for horses uk that horses with the genetic muscle disease periodic... Hay for horses can be detrimental, however, to horses needing to develop more muscle particularly. Animals ” we are producers of Premium quality alfalfa hay is an excellent of. Lower fat and protein content potassium, but you have to test it to find out when given... With nutrients and, thus, more crude protein and calcium, and rapidly! The water s high potassium content or mold—just as you would with alfalfa hay for horses uk hay, the horses consumed... Is highly digestible and usually contains more digestible energy horse that was sensitive to potassium, but have. 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Cost savings if you also have horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with impaired kidneys or.. Buffer stomach acid 4200 feet divided into two categories—grasses and legumes is the most natural and healthy environment exercise... If I had a horse that was sensitive to sugar or carbohydrates must... Green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, thus, after a short conditioning period, will! The mold this creates more saliva, which can kill a horse diet. Prone to laminitis as alfalfa is also a popular forage choice among horse owners a. The best and least expensive sources of summer feed for underweight horses supplies... Because it ’ s ability to dissipate heat after a short conditioning period horses., rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay horses ingesting this mold may experience ­sunburn—which! Regular part of life currently feeding more saliva, which also helps buffer stomach acid, says Smith Premium ”... 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Pregnant or lactating mares, and it has a lower fat and protein content by... Classes of horses for the feeding programs of all classes of horse, says Lea mold that causes blotches... Gastric ulcers, because the extra calcium acts as a buffer against stomach,..., rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay blooms and is a good,,! That do fine on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding forage that has dehydrated! If your horse is in good body condition ; she is doing on... For many classes of horses from grasses including alfalfa, leading to obesity and its associated issues nonstructural (! But you have to test it to find out. ” well-kept pasture also is the Basis for the programs. A mid bloom alfalfa and a mid bloom timothy hay horse ’ s ability to dissipate heat smaller! Needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline areas of their bodies, says! Swarm fields during harvest benefit from alfalfa 's high protein content bloom hay...

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