Alfalfa cubes - How much to feed? - Page 3

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Alfalfa cubes - How much to feed?

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    06-23-2011, 09:29 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
I know that a heaping two handful of them is 5 pounds if that helps! As for how much, I just tried to figure out how much forage my horse was already getting and making up the difference with hay cubes. At 1.5% of body weight, my horse needed 16 pounds of forage a day to maintain weight. His hay weighed near 11 pounds, so I added 5 pounds of hay cubes to get to 16.
Wow, how big are your hands? 3-4 cubes is about two handfuls for me but it doesn't feel like 5 pounds.
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    06-23-2011, 09:44 AM
You can feed up to 10lbs of them a day ... so have at it

I would try to get 3 to 4 lbs a day into him

A scale can be gotten at walmart for about $10 :)

Which senior feed is he on?
    06-23-2011, 09:59 AM
Just wanted to add that I also feed triple crown senior and for the feeding recommendations it says about 3.6-4.5 lbs for my horse (around 800 lbs). This is per day, and it is never recommended to feed more than 5 lbs in a single serving. To me, if your horse needs more than a few lbs of feed per feeding, then you should try to split it up into 3 feedings per day. This is what I did for my old guy when he needed to gain weight, and I have slowly been able to back off so that he is now on 3.2 lbs per day. This is under the recommended feeding level for moderate work, but my guy is in very light work at best (Maybe a trail ride mostly walking once per week).

Since I have recently done a lot of research on feeding (due to buying a horse who had ulcers) it is definitely better to feed less grain and more hay. I think that the alfalfa will be great for him, and also has the added benefit of buffering stomach acid after a grain meal (high in calcium). I just bought alfalfa pellets for my guy, and I am feeding him a pound with his morning and night grain, and a half pound with his lunch grain.

Please note that these recommendations are designed for a horse eating good quality forage as well as grain. I think that when people recommend something like 10 lbs of feed per day, they are likely thinking of feeding a complete senior feed, which is designed to be fed to older horses that are able to consume little to no hay. From all my research, the most important thing that is to be considered is adequate hay consumption. Horses are designed to be constantly grazing, and when humans feed them only several large, high sugar, meals, this can make havock on their digestive tract. So anyway, to the OP, I do think that the alfalfa is a good addition to his diet, let us know how it goes.
    06-23-2011, 01:14 PM
My Tripple Crown Senior bag states to start at 6lbs a day.

For Nelson, being 1100lbs +, he was getting 5 lbs per feeding = 10lbs a day. Plus pasture, plus a round bale.

In order for the senior feed to do what it is intended to do, you must feed the requirements that they state on their bags.

3lbs a day, is doing nothing.

I do agree with PLENTY of roughage - tons of it. As much as possible, the better. Pasture, round bales. Alfalfa cubes are definitely a good thing to add, especially if your horse is only getting 3lbs of senior feed. You need to balance out what your horse is getting, or lack there of.

Here's a great article:

Balancing Act - Designing A Diet For The Modern Horse
    06-23-2011, 01:18 PM
Green Broke
He is out to pasture 24/7 and is given hay at night, half a bale for two horses.

I keep forgetting to check what feed he is getting. The BO buys in bulk then dumps all the food into a big chest to keep pests away.

I am treating him for ulcers with aloe vera juice with his grain. He was at a higher risk of having them according to my vet based on the type of barn he was kept in before I got him (kept stalled all day, only out to pasture for four hours a day, only fed twice a day, etc).
    06-23-2011, 01:21 PM
I don't know what Aloe Vera juice does for ulcers? Do you know where the ulcers are? In the stomache, in the digestive tracts beyond the stomache? Aloe Vera juice might not touch what is going on in there - if anything. You wont know unless you scope.

If there are ulcers, the best remedy is consistant roughage - 24/7 roughage. The more in the digestive system, the better. But again, you don't know unless you scope.

You might need a "more powerful" approach, like SmartGut Pellets or etc, etc, etc.
    06-23-2011, 01:27 PM
Feeding alfalfa cubes dry is no more a risk for dehydrating your horse than your horse eating his regular hay dry.
Some horses do tend to choke on the cubes, some horses do fine.
Soaking is not required but most people do soak them.
The bonus with soaking is it is putting known water into your horse.
(It is not really extra water because studies have shown that most horses simply drink less if there food is made wet.)

I would look at the alfalfa cubes as part of your hay ration. How many pounds of hay is your horse getting now? Your horse should get 1-2% of their body weight per day in hay (obviously this can reduced if on good pasture and such).

Originally Posted by Tamibunny    
If you have one of those plastic grain scoops, I believe those hold a total of 3 pounds of grain. So I would start off with only about half of that.
Or...See if you can find an old soup can or coffee can that has about 16 ounces in it, that is equal to a pound. Its a cheap way to measure too.
Fluid ounces does not necessarily transfer over into a weight. Fluid ounces is a volume measurement not a weight measurement.
And saying a scoop holds three pounds of grain is very over generalizing. Plastic grain scoops come in various sizes. I have one that claims to be 2 quarts and one that claims to be 3 quarts and they are just about the same size. If I fill it with pelleted feed it will weigh quite a bit more than if I fill it with an extruded feed (like most senior feeds).
That is why people really need to weigh their feeds to get an idea of how much they are actually feeding.
And no, I do not expect people to weigh every feeding. Sure that would be best but who has the time for that...
Once you know what a pound (or six pounds depending on your horse) looks like you can use your scoops like you would normally use them.

If you do not have a scale at home (digital kitchen scales are pretty cheap as is a fish scale that you can get in the sporting department at Walmart to weigh your hay) measure some hay cubes (or grain) into a clean baggie and take it to your local Walmart store and set it on the scale in the produce department.
    06-23-2011, 01:28 PM
Green Broke
Okay, so seeing another thread rung a bell in my head. I am pretty sure the BO feeds SafeChoice.

MIE - Do a google search of aloe vera juice for horses, there is a lot of info out there about the benefits. He has none of the symptoms other than he drank A LOT, just the risk factors. Scoping can't see every spot that an ulcer could hide.

Here is a basic discription:
"Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera is classified as a mucilaginous and bitter herb. It is beneficial for the skin, stomach, and colon. Aloe’s major properties are as a cell proliferant, healer, demulcent (soothing agent), and allergy reducer. It is high in digestible fiber, which gives it the properties of lowering bowel transit time, absorbing toxins in the bowel, regulating colonic bacteria, and soothing and protecting the digestive tract.

Aloe also contains a complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides (complex sugars) that nourish cells and support them in replicating. This property is especially important for the healing of pre-existing ulcers. The polysaccharides also have an antibiotic action, which can be helpful for horses who have been on buffering agents or other medications that destroy healthy bacterial populations in the gut and allow pathogenic bacteria to multiply.

Good quality Aloe juice can be found in most health food stores. I find that the Aloe sold by the quart is generally less diluted than the Aloe sold in gallon containers. Two to four ounces daily of the concentrated Aloe are usually adequate. "
    06-23-2011, 01:38 PM
Safechoice is not a senior feed.
    06-23-2011, 02:00 PM
Green Broke
Nope, it's not. I was wrong in thinking it was a senior feed.

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