Question: Why Is Alfalfa Bad For Horses?

Does alfalfa cause inflammation in horses?

THREE RISKS OF FEEDING TOO MUCH ALFALFA TO HORSES: Horses that are on high protein diets become overly acidic which can cause inflammation in various body systems including the joints and hooves.

In fact, some horses are so sensitive to alfalfa they cannot tolerate even small amounts..

How much alfalfa hay is it safe to feed a horse?

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.

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.

Can alfalfa kill a horse?

It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. … “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.”

Do horses need alfalfa hay?

Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of energy, protein, calcium and some other nutrients for horses. Its concentrations of protein and calcium meet the nutrient needs of horses in high levels of production, such as growth and lactation, but exceed the nutrient requirements of horses in other life stages.

Is timothy or alfalfa better for horses?

While other feeds such as Alfalfa hay can meet energy requirements of horses in high levels of products, low nutritional concentrations of Timothy hay are ideal for many life stages. For racehorses, fiber is a good cornerstone for any feeding program.

Does alfalfa cause ulcers in horses?

Ulcer scores were significantly lower for the alfalfa diet than for the Bermuda hay diet, and the 11 horses in the alfalfa group with ulcers at the beginning of the study all improved their ulcer score by at least two grades. However, one horse went the other direction, developing ulcers while on the alfalfa diet.

Does alfalfa cause gas in horses?

High-quality alfalfa can cause excess gas in some horses. Given her history, it may be worth cutting back the alfalfa in the diet. My other suggestion is to replace the timothy pellets with more hay. Long-stem forage will take longer to consume and contribute to reducing the time she goes without something to eat.

Can alfalfa cause a horse to founder?

Alfalfa hay can cause horses to founder and develop laminitis due to the excess nutrients provided by the high quality hay if too much is fed.

What is the best feed for older horses?

grass hayGood quality grass hay and corn or a complete pelleted ration for mature (not aged) horses are the feeds of choice. Avoid legumes (alfalfa and clover), wheat bran and beet pulp due to high calcium (legumes, beet pulp) or phosphorus (wheat bran) content.

Is Stemmy alfalfa bad for horses?

However the nutritional value of coarse or stemmy hay may be low, leading to weight loss or nutritional deficiencies. Very coarse hays and straws can increase the risk of abdominal pain (colic) and intestinal impaction. For this reason, coarse hays should not be fed to older horses or horses with dental problems.

Can you feed horses free choice alfalfa?

Alfalfa or grain hays (such as oat or rye) can be fed free choice too, and most horses will probably regulate their intake of these as well. … Alfalfa and oat hays are often somewhat higher in calories so will put weight on many horses.

Will alfalfa make my horse hot?

Alfalfa hay will make a horse hot, or crazy. Not so, if fed appropriately. 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.

How much alfalfa cubes should a horse eat a day?

So if you’re feeding nothing but alfalfa cubes, you should feed 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight per day. If you’re giving it in addition to hay and/or grain, the total of everything should add up to 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight.

Is there a difference between alfalfa and hay?

One of the biggest differences between alfalfa hay and grass hay is the protein content. On average, alfalfa hay has much higher levels of protein, ranging from 15% to 21% depending on when the alfalfa was cut. This is much higher than the protein levels of grass hay, which typically contains 10% or less protein.

Can you feed a horse just alfalfa?

Alfalfa is tasty to horses. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. … Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa’s high protein content. Alfalfa is also a rich source of calcium.

Can a horse eat too much alfalfa?

It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content.

Is alfalfa good for older horses?

Older horses often have difficulty eating hay because their teeth are either worn down or missing. … Coleman has found that mixed grass-legume hay, such as orchard-alfalfa or timothy-alfalfa, is often a good choice.

Does alfalfa cause colic in horses?

Rich alfalfa hay can also cause colic, so we recommend feeding a grass hay or grass/alfalfa mix. Changes in management or a horse’s routine can be stressful and contribute to colic risk as well. … Intestinal parasites can lead to colic, particularly in the young horse.

How do you feed alfalfa cubes to horses?

Add alfalfa cubes to your horse’s diet gradually, as sudden dietary changes can cause health issues. If alfalfa cubes will be its primary feed, replace 1/4 of its old feed with alfalfa cubes. Mix the cubes with its old feed to get its digestive tract and taste buds accustomed to its new diet.