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. Grown in the Great Basin mountains at 4200 feet. Alfalfa and/or alfalfa grass hay is palatable and is often a hay of preference for horses. Because it’s so nutrient-dense, it is a good feed for underweight horses. “Use of alfalfa grew rapidly in the western U.S. as people realized it fit well with that climate” and less-acidic soil types, says Smith. Forage that has been dehydrated, ground and cooked to make pellets can technically replace hay. ��RZ��n��ڛ�=�)Nw[a1�� � �� �3��~k]Ȭ��r���d�r��y��0��������,/�O�RH���H�yÄ�g�����Ow�]I|�qΔ����>�Q&��Ԟ3��c;��. Protein is essential for both the growth and repair of muscles, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood. 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. “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. “Potassium levels in forage are dependent on what the plants are pulling out of the soil, however,” says Duren. This added heat can impair the horse’s ability to dissipate heat. Weed, mold and beetle free. “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. “The biggest benefit of alfalfa for horses is that it tends to be more nutrient-dense than most grasses when harvested at the same stage of maturity,” says Martinson. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content. 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. Your feed salesman, veterinarian, and nutritionist can help you put together a balanced ration and recommend for or against feeding this forage. It was one of the first domesticated forages, planted and harvested in what is now Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan several thousand years ago. Forage legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, are members of the pea family and, so, are cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans. “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 equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) due to the lower amount of nonstructural carbohydrates,” says Martinson. Years following drought typically see more blister beetles, as do central states such as Kansas and Oklahoma. Grasses you’re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass and are long and stemmy. “The main feed for horses of early armies in those regions was alfalfa,” he says. Can be fed from the bucket or ground. “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. 2-twine bales in 21 bale bundles. Forage for horses can be divided into two categories—grasses and legumes. This combination results in a steady release of digestible energy. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. “Extra protein cannot be stored in the body like extra fat or carbohydrates and must be excreted,” says Duren. Ammonia is heavier than air and concentrated near ground level.”. Chaffhaye is a premium Non-GMO Alfalfa sold in 50-pound bags that capture the key characteristics of alfalfa, while also offering a guaranteed level of nutrition. It is highly digestible and usually contains more digestible nutrients than grass hays, such as timothy and orchardgrass. No one can really understand why so little lucerne is grown in the UK, when worldwide there is 13 million hectares cropped for forage. Premium horse hay. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. Poisonous weeds that sometimes grow in alfalfa fields include ragwort, groundsels, Johnson grass, Sudangrass, water hemlock, and hoary alyssum. Alfalfa is also suitable for horses prone to gastric ulcers, because the extra calcium acts as a buffer against stomach acid. 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. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Beetles killed by the haying equipment can end up in the hay. S123 Ag Science – North Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. If I had a horse that was sensitive to potassium, rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay analyzed. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out.”. Plant breeding was also beginning by the 1900s, and plant scientists were able to develop alfalfa plants that were better adapted to various soils in the U.S.” Modern plant breeding has also improved this legume’s disease resistance. Some grass hays are also too high in sugar for these horses, and this is where a legume diet or mixed legume/grass diet can help lower total sugar intake. This is a mold that causes black blotches on the undersides of the leaves of legumes, including alfalfa. If your horse doesn’t need the high nutrition value of pure alfalfa, look for a mixed grass/alfalfa hay. Adult blister beetles emerge in June (sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the region and climate) to feed on alfalfa blooms. See more ideas about alfalfa hay, alfalfa, grass hay. For instance, a horse that’s overweight and insulin resistant needs a lower-sugar hay (the alfalfa), says Martinson, but not the additional calories, “So we often end up doing a mix where those horses receive some legume and search for a low-sugar grass hay to mix with it.”. “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. “It should be a green color, meaning there are more leaves and the hay is not weathered or rained on before it was put up,” says Smith. As Sampled Basis: nutrient results for a sample in its natural state including the water. Also known as as fed or as received.. Dry Matter Basis: nutrient results for the sample with the water removed. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! Aug 28, 2019 - Explore Premium Quality Product Export's board "Alfalfa Hay" on Pinterest. By contrast, when settlers brought alfalfa west in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush to grow livestock feed, it did quite well. 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. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. Departments & Units   /   When incorporating alfalfa into a horse’s diet, plan for the animal’s specific nutritional needs. While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. When looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure it’s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay. Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa's high protein content. Horses are designed to eat forage and quality forage is the basis for the feeding programs of all classes of horse. View They are also great forage for horses that have, or are prone to laminitis as alfalfa is naturally low in sugar and starch. It typically contains more digestible energy, more crude protein and calcium, and fewer nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches). “(It) does have more energy compared to grass hay of similar maturity, so perhaps a horse eating a lot of alfalfa in the absence of exercise may have more energy,” she says. Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. “In California there are many cutting, reining, and other performance horses that eat a lot of alfalfa hay (due to its wide availability) and balancer pellets, and that’s their entire diet and they do fine.”. At the same time, poorly managed pastures supply little or no feed and frequently are the sourc… Protein metabolism creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism. The succulent taste stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals. Philanthropy & Alumni “By the late 1800s and early 1900s we began to learn more about adding lime to low-pH soils, to make them more appropriate for growing alfalfa. 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. “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. This creates more urine and, thus, more ammonia odor. “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.”. We are located in Eastern Idaho where we have been growing our own high quality. Soak cubes to reduce risk of choke. And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions. High quality hay can be an excellent source of nutrition for - including protein and calcium - for horses and ponies and is a very palatable feed.. To steer clear of these, buy hay from a reputable person or company that knows how to grow alfalfa weed-free. Lexington, KY 40546-0091 RFV. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. “Many performance horses are not worked to the point of dehydration, so they can handle a higher percentage of alfalfa,” he says. “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. To determine the nutrient content of any hay, have it tested. 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). “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. Ideal for older horses with poor dentition or those recovering from surgery; View ... With alfalfa, 'super fibres', and oil for improved stamina and recovery. 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. High levels of calcium, on the other hand, can interfere with the horse’s ability to mobilize bones’ calcium stores during exercise. Extension   /   who felt alfalfa was the best hay for horses, some would suggest it never be fed and a few would ride the fence being neither strongly for or against alfalfa hay. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). 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. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. From “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. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. Thus, after a short conditioning period, horses will consume acid-treated hay. alfalfa hay for more than 40 years. These horses are particularly sensitive to alfalfa’s high potassium content. Additionally, it supplies more nutrients than most nonworking horses need, leading to obesity and its associated issues. This hay is perfect for young or lactating animals that need concentrated nutrition. 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 … A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. “Ammonia in stalls can irritate airways and make horses susceptible to respiratory problems,” says Duren. Stephen Duren, PhD, equine nutritionist and founder of Performance Horse Nutrition, in Weiser, Idaho, says this is because alfalfa provides amino acids needed for muscle regeneration. Premium feed for livestock and horses. Abstract. Lucerne - Also Known As Alfalfa Cut three times a year, lucerne produces a protein-rich 14t DM per hectare without nitrogen fertiliser and on dry land. Emerald Green Feeds Alfalfa Pellets are ideal for horses both young and old, they are very palatable and high in fibre content. Alfalfa is also a popular horse hay since it is widely available. 859-257-4772, Students   /   This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. “Alfalfa is a perennial legume, grown in most regions of the U.S. for horses and other livestock,” says Krishona Martinson, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science, in Falcon Heights. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. You can add alfalfa pellets or cubes to a grass hay diet for the same effect. Understand how to interpret a nutritional and mineral analysis report of horse grass, hay and haylage so that you can improve horse feeding and health Click To Tweet. These flying insects—dead or alive—contain the toxin cantharidin, which can kill a horse if consumed in large amounts. WELCOME TO CUBEIT HAY “Premium Cubes for Premium Animals” We are producers of premium quality alfalfa hay cubes for over 20 years. Kentucky Alfalfa Update at the 2020 UK Stored Forages Conference February 8, 2020 Liming for a Successful Soil pH January 2, 2020 Placing 12th at the 2019 World Forage Analysis Superbowl December 31, … 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. However, when one considers hay as that basic forage, what criteria are used to describe quality horse hay? Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. Horses fed to appetite consumed 17 to 25% more cubed alfalfa than long-stem hay. ), building a diet on a good foundation of forage is especially important—the oats, corn, and barley that make up many feeds are 55-75% carbohydrate. Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. “If you always check the hay as you feed it, you can discard those bales or flakes that contain beetles,” says Smith. Alfalfa is a popular forage choice among horse owners for a variety of reasons. This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. Endurance athletes can benefit from small amounts of alfalfa, just like any other performance horse, says Duren, but make sure it’s not their sole forage source. However, when only given the choice of acid treated hay, the horses readily consumed it. The simple act of chewing creates more saliva, which also helps buffer stomach acid, says Lea. Feeding Hay to Horses and Ponies. This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. | Photo Credit: Courtesy North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For some types of horses—in either of those areas—-alfalfa simply isn’t a great choice. Dean 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. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. Always follow the recommendations in your state regarding scouting for and controlling blister beetles.”, Some owners believe alfalfa makes horses “hot,” but Martinson says there’s no scientific basis for this. 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. best hay for horses First Cut Hay. The more serious issue with these horses, however, is the liver damage from the toxins in the mold. It is widely know that alfalfa hay is an excellent source of nutrients. Contains pure alfalfa and are a high-fibre source for horses, ponies and other animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats and camelids. 3. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. “This is especially true with foals, since they are smaller and spend more time lying down. Oxbow Alfalfa Hay is a high-fibre legume hay with the same long-strand fibre found in grass hays, but with more protein, energy and calcium. We know that for horses sensitive to sugar or carbohydrates (e.g., horses with insulin resistance, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, etc. It is ideal for ensuring maximum health and well-being of all classes of horse, deer, goat, llama, chickens, … Ideal hay replacer. “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 DOD (developmental orthopedic disease),” Martinson says. Research in Colorado reported that mature horses fed alfalfa cubes maintained their body weight better than horses fed equal amounts of long-stem hay. Research   /   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 … The last thing you want on an endurance ride where the horse is sweating for long periods is the increased body heat, water needs, and urine production described. “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. In table 1, there is a comparison between a mid bloom alfalfa and mid! Amounts of long-stem hay pure alfalfa, ” he says to test it to find out steady release of energy... Widely available or mold—just as you would with any hay early armies in regions... State including the water a grass hay Green Feeds alfalfa pellets are ideal for horses of armies! 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