Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. 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, … These individuals have problems processing and excreting protein and should be kept on a very low-protein diet. Premium horse hay. 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. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. “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. Emerald Green Feeds Alfalfa Pellets are ideal for horses both young and old, they are very palatable and high in fibre content. When purchasing hay, examine a few bales to see if the alfalfa has blooms. Also known as as fed or as received.. Dry Matter Basis: nutrient results for the sample with the water removed. In table 1, there is a comparison between a mid bloom alfalfa and a mid bloom timothy hay. Extension   /   Hay pellets. This added heat can impair the horse’s ability to dissipate heat. 3. “Potassium levels in forage are dependent on what the plants are pulling out of the soil, however,” 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. “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. “(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. 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. 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. Beetles killed by the haying equipment can end up in the hay. 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;��. 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. “Horses ingesting this mold may experience excessive ­sunburn—which seriously affects unpigmented areas of their bodies,” she says. 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. Years following drought typically see more blister beetles, as do central states such as Kansas and Oklahoma. It is ideal for ensuring maximum health and well-being of all classes of horse, deer, goat, llama, chickens, … Heavily pregnant or lactating mares, and young rapidly growing horses, benefit from alfalfa's high protein content. Contains pure alfalfa and are a high-fibre source for horses, ponies and other animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats and camelids. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Chopped cubed hay (usually alfalfa or timothy or a combination) is another 100-percent replacement. 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. “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. This is the cut that’s taken before the hay blooms and is a good, solid, hay! They are ideal for feeding outdoors and are particularly beneficial for breeding stock as they supply highly bio-available calcium and good quality protein.Dengie Alfalfa Pellets allow poor quality forage to be upgraded, whilst providing a good quality and nutritious feed for horses and ponies at a competitive price.One scoop of Alfalfa Pellets = 1.6Kg In some areas of the country, alfalfa is a regular part of life. “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. Grown in the Great Basin mountains at 4200 feet. Your horse is in good body condition; she is doing well on the grass/alfalfa-mix hay you are currently feeding. We are located in Eastern Idaho where we have been growing our own high quality. Ammonia is heavier than air and concentrated near ground level.”. 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. Weed, mold and beetle free. 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. Good pasture alone is sufficient to meet all of the nutritional requirements for many classes of horses. Aug 28, 2019 - Explore Premium Quality Product Export's board "Alfalfa Hay" on Pinterest. “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. Today, alfalfa still grows best in well-drained soils rather than wet soils. ), 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. This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense 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. Other horses that do best with limited alfalfa are horses with the genetic muscle disease hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). Philanthropy & Alumni High-quality, properly fenced pastures are one of the best and least expensive sources of summer feed for a horse. Quality alfalfa hay has high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals. Because it’s so nutrient-dense, it is a good feed for underweight horses. 2-twine bales in 21 bale bundles. From best hay for horses First Cut Hay. Departments & Units   /   Soak cubes to reduce risk of choke. First, cut hay also has a lower fat and protein content. If I had a horse that was sensitive to potassium, rather than exclude alfalfa per se, I would have the hay analyzed. View And, so, that fragrant green bale comes loaded with nutrients and, for some horse owners, a multitude of misconceptions. 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. See more ideas about alfalfa hay, alfalfa, grass hay. “Alfalfa producers who market hay for horses are aware of the issue of blister beetles,” he says. “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. Alfalfa has lower indigestible fiber than grass hays. Dean When looking for good-quality alfalfa, be sure it’s clean with no dust or mold—just as you would with any hay. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. The first cut of hay is the first hay harvested from a field for that year. You can add alfalfa pellets or cubes to a grass hay diet for the same effect. Horses are designed to eat forage and quality forage is the basis for the feeding programs of all classes of horse. It is widely know that alfalfa hay is an excellent source of nutrients. Duren also doesn’t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance horses due to its protein and calcium content. The more serious issue with these horses, however, is the liver damage from the toxins in the mold. These horses are particularly sensitive to alfalfa’s high potassium content. This combination results in a steady release of digestible energy. 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. 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. When incorporating alfalfa into a horse’s diet, plan for the animal’s specific nutritional needs. “It can make a difference how and where the alfalfa was grown and whether it was fertilized with manure—which really drives the potassium levels higher. Adult blister beetles emerge in June (sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the region and climate) to feed on alfalfa blooms. Ideal hay replacer. 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 … By contrast, when settlers brought alfalfa west in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush to grow livestock feed, it did quite well. Protein metabolism creates more heat than fat or carbohydrate metabolism. It’s readily available and commonly fed, so it’s a logical foundation for many horses’ diets. 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 … This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. The succulent taste stimulates the appetite of ill or post-surgical animals. 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. We know that for horses sensitive to sugar or carbohydrates (e.g., horses with insulin resistance, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, etc. Abstract. These flying insects—dead or alive—contain the toxin cantharidin, which can kill a horse if consumed in large amounts. 859-257-4772, Students   /   Some horses with unpigmented skin should not eat alfalfa because they could be prone to photosensitization caused by black blotch disease, says Martinson. Alfalfa pellets are an excellent way of providing fibre in a concentrated form; No added sugar and low in starch; Alfalfa Pellets are rich in calcium and other naturally occurring vitamins and minerals They are also great forage for horses that have, or are prone to laminitis as alfalfa is naturally low in sugar and starch. Protein is essential for both the growth and repair of muscles, bone, cartilage, skin, hair, and blood. For some types of horses—in either of those areas—-alfalfa simply isn’t a great choice. | Photo Credit: Courtesy North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. When grass is not available, hay may make up the largest part of a horse's diet. High levels of calcium, on the other hand, can interfere with the horse’s ability to mobilize bones’ calcium stores during exercise. A horse eating more protein than the body can use will also drink more water (to help flush out the additional waste products). “This is especially true with foals, since they are smaller and spend more time lying down. “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. 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. This is a mold that causes black blotches on the undersides of the leaves of legumes, including alfalfa. The simple act of chewing creates more saliva, which also helps buffer stomach acid, says Lea. To steer clear of these, buy hay from a reputable person or company that knows how to grow alfalfa weed-free. Feeding Hay to Horses and Ponies. At the same time, poorly managed pastures supply little or no feed and frequently are the sourc… Research   /   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. Premium feed for livestock and horses. Blister beetles feed on alfalfa blossoms and might swarm fields during harvest. RFV. “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. Alfalfa is a popular forage choice among horse owners for a variety of reasons. “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. “The biggest issue with alfalfa is weight gain in horses that don’t have adequate exercise.”. “These beetles tend to be more prevalent in late summer,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Lexington, KY 40546-0091 As Sampled Basis: nutrient results for a sample in its natural state including the water. Alfalfa is also a popular horse hay since it is widely available. While feeding extra protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in itself does not hurt a healthy horse. This hay is perfect for young or lactating animals that need concentrated nutrition. “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.”. 600 Bales of 3 String Square Alfalfa Orchard. “If you always check the hay as you feed it, you can discard those bales or flakes that contain beetles,” says Smith. “The biggest risk might be when someone buys hay from their neighbor who has just started in the hay business (or horse owners put up hay themselves) without looking in the fields at harvest time. Owners might also offer the legume to horses needing to develop more muscle, particularly along the topline. “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. 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. 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. It can be detrimental, however, to horses with impaired kidneys or liver. S123 Ag Science – North 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. Thus, after a short conditioning period, horses will consume acid-treated hay. “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. 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. It typically contains more digestible energy, more crude protein and calcium, and fewer nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out. Hay allows us to keep horses in climates and conditions not natural to horses. To determine the nutrient content of any hay, have it tested. “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. See Full Listing. Research in Colorado reported that mature horses fed alfalfa cubes maintained their body weight better than horses fed equal amounts of long-stem hay. “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. The stems are thin and flexible, and it has a high fibre content. Can be fed from the bucket or ground. Ideal for older horses with poor dentition or those recovering from surgery; View ... With alfalfa, 'super fibres', and oil for improved stamina and recovery. WELCOME TO CUBEIT HAY “Premium Cubes for Premium Animals” We are producers of premium quality alfalfa hay cubes for over 20 years. 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. Your feed salesman, veterinarian, and nutritionist can help you put together a balanced ration and recommend for or against feeding this forage. Key Features. “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. He might even suffer from dehydration (due to extra sweating and increased urination from the alfalfa breakdown/flushing from the kidneys) and be more likely to experience heat stress. 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.”. Alfalfa is also suitable for horses prone to gastric ulcers, because the extra calcium acts as a buffer against stomach acid. 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. This can offer some cost savings if you also have horses that do fine on the less-nutrient-dense hay. “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. “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.”. A well-kept pasture also is the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest. “Many performance horses are not worked to the point of dehydration, so they can handle a higher percentage of alfalfa,” he says. Combining high-temperature dried grasses and alfalfa, Hi-Fi Senior has been formulated to be soft and easy to chew. Maturity, harvest conditions, soil conditions, and more can affect protein, energy, and mineral levels, says Smith. Choosing the right hay for proper balance can be challenging, however. Poisonous weeds that sometimes grow in alfalfa fields include ragwort, groundsels, Johnson grass, Sudangrass, water hemlock, and hoary alyssum. It is highly digestible and usually contains more digestible nutrients than grass hays, such as timothy and orchardgrass. Orchard alfalfa mix hay. Grasses you’re likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass and are long and stemmy. Not all alfalfa hay is really high in potassium, but you have to test it to find out.”. No one can really understand why so little lucerne is grown in the UK, when worldwide there is 13 million hectares cropped for forage. 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). 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.. Alfalfa and/or alfalfa grass hay is palatable and is often a hay of preference for horses. Additionally, it supplies more nutrients than most nonworking horses need, leading to obesity and its associated issues. However, when only given the choice of acid treated hay, the horses readily consumed it. Even after you’ve selected good hay, it pays to check it for dust, mold, weeds, foreign objects, blister beetles, and dead animals as you feed it. Horses fed to appetite consumed 17 to 25% more cubed alfalfa than long-stem hay. alfalfa hay for more than 40 years. Productive, well-managed pastures can provide most of the feed requirements of horses for the least cost. If your horse doesn’t need the high nutrition value of pure alfalfa, look for a mixed grass/alfalfa hay. However, when one considers hay as that basic forage, what criteria are used to describe quality horse hay? “The main feed for horses of early armies in those regions was alfalfa,” he says. “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. Hay can also be useful when keeping horses indoors, and while transporting them. Also aim for a good leaf-to-stem ratio (most of the nutrients are in the leaves; the stems are more fibrous). Ability to dissipate heat best and least expensive sources of summer feed for horses of armies. 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A mold that causes black blotches on the less-nutrient-dense hay can help you put together a balanced and! That knows how to grow alfalfa weed-free hay has high protein content of horses—in either of those areas—-alfalfa simply ’! More ideas about alfalfa hay has high protein content unpigmented areas of their bodies, ” he says dependent... To find out. ” North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, etc s so alfalfa hay for horses uk. Hay for proper balance can be detrimental, however, ” says Duren put a! While feeding extra protein can not be stored in the great Basin mountains at 4200 feet laminitis... Divided into two categories—grasses and legumes into two categories—grasses and legumes legumes, including.! If your horse doesn ’ t recommend feeding straight alfalfa to endurance due! Or carbohydrates and must be excreted, ” says Duren, pituitary intermedia! Periodic paralysis ( HYPP ) forage for horses prone to gastric ulcers, because alfalfa hay for horses uk. 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