Can I stop feeding Alfalfa? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-22-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Can I stop feeding Alfalfa?

I am bringing in a new horse on Tuesday, a Warmblood cross. He is currently on 2 flakes Bermuda and 2 flakes Alfalfa a day with 2 lbs of Senior Feed and a probiotic.

Can I take him completely off the alfalfa? At least in flake form...maybe I can switch him over to pellets?

I ask because I am severly allergic to alfalfa and because of that I only feed my past horses grass hay, beet pulp, and some alfalfa pellets with probiotic and supplement.

I am a little afraid to change his diet, any advice?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-22-2009, 10:32 PM
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Seeing as you're allergic, it's probably best to change it! :) I'd gradually switch it to the alfalfa pellets. But that does mean feeding alfalfa for a bit. Can you do that or have someone feed for you for a bit? Maybe wear a mask, long sleaves and gloves? Just trying to think up some ideas ;)
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-22-2009, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hehe I do all my own feeding so I can't go that route... In the mornings I am feeding on the way to work so I have on business clothes and don't have time to change before my commute or I would just wear protective clothing, its pretty frustrating.

I would like to go the pellet route, then its not as airborne and I don't really have to touch it. I get hives just thinking about alfalfa! Nasty nasty alfalfa hehe.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-23-2009, 01:17 PM
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I would think just going straight to 4 flakes bermuda and then adjusting in some alfalfa pellets would work fine considering you're allergic to alfalfa.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-23-2009, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Deineria, that is the plan, thanks. :o) How much alfalfa pellets?
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 10:36 AM
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Alfalfa pellets are fed by weight, so however much he was getting before (in flake form) in weight is how many pellets you're going to want to feed him.
I don't think you've got much to worry about switching from alfalfa to grass, a simple week long transition will suit your horse just fine.

Rachel

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 10:57 AM
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Are you sure that the weight of alfalfa flakes should directly = the weight of the pellets fed? Here is a great site that I have used before: Alfalfa Pellets for Horses
Only, it doesn't give the feeding ratio, but it has good info.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 11:05 AM
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If your going to switch to pellets feed by the ratio given on the bag. You may have to get yourself a little kitchen scale to ensure your feeding the right amount.

That said, there's no reason you HAVE to feed alfalfa at all. If he's getting a good quality hay feed at 1.5-2% of his body weight and the senior feed that would be fine.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, he is in great condition now and I was just concerned taking him completely off the alfalfa would cause him to lose weight. A lot of people at my stable think bermuda has no nutritional value (comparing it to eating lettuce) and think you have to feed alfalfa.

I want to try and do without the alfalfa, just switch to 4 flakes bermuda plus his senior feed. Maybe I should track his monthly progress with a weight tape. :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-24-2009, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie9r View Post
Thanks guys, he is in great condition now and I was just concerned taking him completely off the alfalfa would cause him to lose weight. A lot of people at my stable think bermuda has no nutritional value (comparing it to eating lettuce) and think you have to feed alfalfa.

I want to try and do without the alfalfa, just switch to 4 flakes bermuda plus his senior feed. Maybe I should track his monthly progress with a weight tape. :)
Tracking is a great idea when making a change. In addition to the taping, I would use photographs. When we see our horses every day, gradual changes can go unnoticed - comparing photographs taken a month or so apart often reveal huge changes we didn't notice.
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