Alfalfa pellets or cubes?
   

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Alfalfa pellets or cubes?

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  • alfalfa pellets or cubes
  • Alfalfa cubes vs. alfalfa pellets for horses

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    03-27-2012, 11:50 PM
  #1
Started
Alfalfa pellets or cubes?

I am debating between Alfalfa cubes and pellets for Casey right now. I would be feeding them for additional calories, nutrients, and to supplement the poorer 24/7 access to grass pasture. I would soak either way. Opinions? Thanks!

This weird thing happens when I am a little late with grain and she really wants it- it gets stuck in her teeth and so I have to hose out her mouth.. So whichever would be better for that also! And she has had her teeth done.
     
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    03-28-2012, 12:07 AM
  #2
Weanling
I have always prefered cubes to pellets, but I never soaked cubes. The horses have to chew them and I never had a problem with choak. I used to get them straight from the plant by the ton - honestly shovel them out of the bed of the truck and into the feeder - we had really fat horses as I only did that once a week.

On the other hand, my current gelding, where we are I can't get cubes, only pellets, if he needs any sort of suppliments, they MUST be soaked to the point that it is basically soup. Otherwise he choaks. Still, I would prefer cubes, I think that having to actually chew it, might lessen that coak response.

Both shoudl be nutritionally identical.
loveduffy likes this.
     
    03-28-2012, 12:12 AM
  #3
Yearling
Cubes is my vote and as for the grain in teeth she is rushing at her feed that is not good she could chock put a good size rock in her feed pail that will slow her down
     
    03-28-2012, 12:35 AM
  #4
Started
Loveduffy: she hasn't choked (or I am unaware that what I described is choking) she just gets the feed stuck in her teeth, I just have to hose out her mouth and she is fine.. Strange. EDIT- it gets stuck right under her lower lip and she can't get it out and she coughs and has colicy symptoms (fine gut sounds, just circles and looks at stomach) but once I hose her mouth out she is fine.. Vets clueless also.

And I am aware they are practically the same nutrition wise, and that pellets are not long stemed- only cubes. I did feed pellets for a couple days a while back when I was camping. Personally, I just like the look of the pellets better and they supposedly easier to digest and chew, but I want to do what is best for Casey. I am also going to see which is cheaper at the store- since it seems like either would be fine for Casey (and I have fed pellets successfully to her) I guess I will look at the prices and compare. Or- another thought, a bag of pellets and a bag of cubes, see which she seems to like better..
     
    03-28-2012, 12:44 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
loveduffy: she hasn't choked (or I am unaware that what I described is choking) she just gets the feed stuck in her teeth, I just have to hose out her mouth and she is fine.. Strange. EDIT- it gets stuck right under her lower lip and she can't get it out and she coughs and has colicy symptoms (fine gut sounds, just circles and looks at stomach) but once I hose her mouth out she is fine.. Vets clueless also.

And I am aware they are practically the same nutrition wise, and that pellets are not long stemed- only cubes. I did feed pellets for a couple days a while back when I was camping. Personally, I just like the look of the pellets better and they supposedly easier to digest and chew, but I want to do what is best for Casey. I am also going to see which is cheaper at the store- since it seems like either would be fine for Casey (and I have fed pellets successfully to her) I guess I will look at the prices and compare. Or- another thought, a bag of pellets and a bag of cubes, see which she seems to like better..
If choak is not an issue, pellets are HUGELY easier to feed. It takes seconds to grab a scoup of pellets into a bucket, and maybe a full minute to get the same volume of cubes.

Honestly, I like the idea of getting a bag of each and seeing which one you like best and which one your horse likes best. Everyone (and every horse) has a difference preference. Mine is cubes - my horse well, he thinks his fluffy self is going to starve to death tonight... in spite of the fact that I have had to ask the stable owner to put him on another diet... I have looked for ribs, searched for them in fact, but there are no where to be found. Sigh. Silly pony.

(Tomorrow I get horse hugs!!!!)
     
    03-28-2012, 12:50 AM
  #6
Weanling
Oh - let me describe a choak...

My horse will swallow as much food as he can stuff into his mouth and try to swallow it - when I'm NOT looking. While walking him back out to his paddock, he will lower his head and cough. Then look like nothign is wrong. A few steps later, he will lower his head and cough again.

At this point, because I KNOW this horse, I know we are in trouble. And we start energetically walking. Many times I can run my hands up his estophagus (spelled wrong) and feel the bluge, sometimes I can massage it to break up so he can swallow it. Mostly we walk and walk and do not let him go down. I keep periodically messaging his neck, he keeps occasionally coughing.

After about 30 minutes, he will either cough it loose, or I will massage it loose and he takes this deep breath, shivers all the way from head to toe, and immediately wants to go back to eating.

Instead, what he does get to eat at that point is a couple handfuls of rice bran in about two cups of canola oil - which he thinks is crack. We walk for another half hour or so, call him a dork fish, and go home.

We do this about three or four times a year.... the last time he choked it was on CARROTS!!!
     
    03-28-2012, 08:11 PM
  #7
Started
LOL - carrots.

Well.. Got Alfalfa cubes and pellets from the store .. GUESS WHAT?! I gave Casey less then a handful of pellets and one broken up cube (dry, I made her chew before she got more) .. She choked. And couldn't cough either, and most of the chokes I have experienced the horses could cough, but she couldn't, and was obviously trying to. I have no idea whether it was the pellets or cubes as I fed them both within a couple minutes before the choke. It wasn't that bad at all (other than not being able to cough) just had some stuff stuck in her throat, came loose in about 10 minutes. I also couldn't feel a really obvious lump in her neck, but I am quite sure it was behind her jaw bone as it seemed a little enlarged.

The few times I have actually used pellets or cubes was a couple years ago, and they were soaked. Lesson learned- best to soak with Casey.. Right now some cubes and pellets are soaking in the barn.

Funny thing- I wanted to compare and see which one Casey would choose when offered, so I put the crumbled up cube in one hand and small handful of pellets in the other (before the choke, she choked after eating them) and she chose the pellets.. Not very scientific, but I did place them pretty much even on either side of her face, and she sniffed both before going to pellets.. Personally I like the smell of the cubes better, almost seems stronger.
     
    03-28-2012, 08:36 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I give my mare alfalfa/timothy cubes soaked 2x's a day as a nutritional suppliment -(sparse grazing up here), and I have to say that regardless, I'm a firm believer in soaking cubes, as choking is always a hazard.
caseymyhorserocks likes this.
     
    03-28-2012, 09:11 PM
  #9
Started
^ Agreed .. I always believed in soaking, but really didn't believe a crumbly 1x2 inch cube and 6 1/4 inch by 1/8 inch pellets dry could really cause choke.. Like I mentioned she had her teeth done a bit ago.
     
    03-29-2012, 02:08 PM
  #10
Foal
I moved my horse to mostly full time alfalfa cubes (soaked with quite a bit of water) cause he's not a big water drinker. He gets Strategy grain in the AM and PM and Timothy Hay Pellets. I think the brand is Standee for the Alfalfa Cubes, and cost $11-$12 dollars for a 40lb bag. Which is about equal to 4 bales of alfalfa.

He is doing wonderful on this new feed. He is sensitive to any dust in hay, and spent last summer battling a cough despite watering down his feed. However, it is much more time consuming than hay feeding, but is cleaner for his paddock, and a total fix for his health so it's worth it.

After each feeding I make his next batch and let it soak for the next feeding. I add his hoof supplements, grain and etc into it. Makes his lips green which is funny too! He loves the alfalfa which I'm surprised because he doesn't like carrots, apples, or even those expensive apple horse treats. . .weird!

Good luck with the supplements, my horse is and his health have changes drastically due to this feed choice!
     

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