Feeding Alfalfa Hay Information please - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding Alfalfa Hay Information please

Yes this is my question & concern, we feed Alfalfa hay every evening, each horse gets one sliver of Alfalfa, I know it can make a horse hot, now hot as being hyper or hot as in sweating, should I feed them Alfalfa during the summer time or take them off of it.

Lisa
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 10:47 AM
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Alfalfa is lower in fiber therefore it will produce less body heat when digested than grass hays. It is therefore a better hay in the heat. All those horse owners in AZ can't be wrong.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much this puts my mind at ease, I love giving them the best hay I can find for them.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 05:31 PM
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Yup, I'm in Arizona and we basically have two kinds of hay. Alfalfa and bermuda grass. Almost everyone I know feeds straight alfalfa. A mix is good if you can get it. Right now I can't even get bermuda so it's alfalfa all the way. They do excellent on it. The only major negative is that you can't feed it free choice like grass. And if you have a growing horse or broodmare, you need to be slightly concerned about the lack of phosphorous in alfalfa. My vet told me to add oats to my mare's diet when she was pregnant (for the phosphorous content). Now there's a diet that would scare a lot of people- alfalfa and oats! But hey, that's what we have and that's what I feed. The horses are always sleek and shiny and on a tiny bit fat.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 06:27 PM
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I feed straight alfalfa twice aday with no ill effects to my horses, they don't like grass.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 08:45 PM
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It depends. If your horses are on good pastured, there is little point in feeding them more than a sliver, if that (except during winter, of course). If they are not on pasture, and they are not worked hard, and you have access to good grass hay (e.g., timothy), then a mix is "optimum". If they are worked hard, then nothing beats straight alfalfa.
I have never noticed that it makes horses "hot" (hyped up). I have heard a lot of people say this, but it is most likely due to a particular cutting , not "in general" - the protien content can change a lot from 1st to 4th cutting. But, if it does....and you can ride them "hot", just think...it can only get better!

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all, this makes me feel very good about feeding my horses the Alfalfa because I love giving it to them, and of course they love getting it, and am no longer worried about it.
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